My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
The publisher provided me with a copy of this book to review via NetGalley.
I had been looking forward to reading this book since finishing the previous book in the Empire & Rebellion trilogy, Razor’s Edge. I am a huge fan of Star Wars and so it’s pretty easy for me to get excited about a new book in that vast series. There’s something about books that involve the big three, Han, Luke and Leia, that really draw me in the most. So having this book focus on Han Solo was one of the major reasons I wanted to read it. I’ll admit, I wasn’t sure if this book would live up to my expectations or that Han would be portrayed correctly. However once I started reading I quickly realized there was no reason to worry.
Before I even talk about the storyline or anything else I just have to take a moment to talk about the books main focus, and that is Han Solo. Han has always been my favorite of the three main characters from the Star Wars series. His mannerisms and patterns are a big part of his character, and I was so happy to see that the author did a fantastic job of keeping those characteristics spot on for this book. This was really the thing I was most worried about, because a poorly portrayed Han would ruin the book completely. But there was no reason to fear. It was as though the author took the Han Solo from the movies and directly transported him into the pages of this book.
While Luke and Leia were also in this book their parts were relatively small, however I have to say that their characterizations were also very well done. Chewbacca played another small role in this story, but was certainly important and was brought to life quite well. There are also mention or appearances of several other characters from the Original Trilogy movies, but I won’t get into them. The introduction of Scarlet Hark, who played a pretty important role in this book, was fairly interesting. Though I must say there was something about her character that I found odd. Perhaps it was the way she so easily blended in and incorporated herself into each situation with great ease. I understand that is a major part of her character and why she fills the role of spy so well, but something about that just didn’t mesh well with me.
The story line was solid and the pace on this book was very good. I found from page one right to the end I was absorbed into the story and did not want to set the book down for any reason. There are a lot of aspects from the movies that remained within this book and one of the big ones for me was the constant repairs needed to the Millennium Falcon. It’s this small but important detail that really stands out for me. Sure a lot of it was because of damage received, however there was also just the general maintenance and breakdowns that have become part of the Millennium Falcons role.
Really the only downside to this book is that the ending really isn’t all that surprising. It’s well know that this isn’t the end of things, that there is much more work for the Rebels to do in their fight against the Empire and so while the exact ending isn’t predictable the general idea and knowledge is. I’m certainly not going to hold that against this book, but I do like the little facts that they give off that link this book to what will happen in The Empire Strikes Back, such as why the Rebels chose Hoth for their next base.
Overall I really enjoyed this book. It has everything that I have come to love and expect out of the Star Wars universe, the characterizations are fantastic, the story line was entertaining and the flow was very good. Fans of Star Wars will enjoy this book. I think that those new to the series will also enjoy this book along with general Science Fiction fans. Highly recommend this book and cannot wait for this trilogies next book.