Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Star Wars: X-Wing: Mercy Kill Review

Star Wars: X-Wing: Mercy Kill review

I decided to start my review series with the latest novel from my favorite Star Wars sub-series  and favorite author. Mercy Kill is set over 30 years after the last X-Wing novel, and closer to 40 after the last novel focusing on the characters from  earlier in the series who do appear. While the few major characters from the old days also appeared in a duology set around 15 years before Mercy Kill there is still a lot of uncovered ground. This book also tends to focus on a single character far more then previous books in the series. In this case that character is Piggy, a genetically enhanced Gamorrean (AKA the green piglike species from Jabba’s palace) super genius. The novel starts with a mission set 29 years before the main plot to rescue a mineral analyst held by the Empire.
When the story picks up after the time jump Piggy has retired from the military and become a college mathematics professor. He is approached by Garik Loran, also known as Face from being a famous child actor in the early Galactic Empire, his former commanding officer. Face was forced to retire following the civil war that was the focus of the earlier Legacy of The Force series but has been contacted by the new head of Galactic Alliance Ecurity. There was a failed conspiracy to overthrow the Alliance and Imperial Remnant and restore them to something like the Empire in the old days during the Fate of the Jedi series set shortly before Mercy Kill.  New Evidence has been discovered implicating Stavin Thaal, the commanding general of the Alliance Starfighter Command in the plot and Face has been asked to put together a new team of Wraiths to investigate. Piggy eventually agrees to join and soon the team begin their efforts. These vary from planting tracers in blasters slated to be sent to a base manned by General Thaal’s handpicked forces when needed. They then assume the role of militant pacifists and steal weapons from the base’s patrols forcing the weapons they had bugged to be called into service. Later they arrange to board a passenger liner heading to Imperial space then sabotage it, and after their escape pod is picked up by an Imperial patrol vessel they hijack the patrol ship. They plan to give Staal a message that the vessel will serve him in exchange for it’s commander being granted more power. In response to this Staal arranges an ambush leading to the patrol vessel’s destruction but all hands making it safely off.
In time the main team discovers then joins forces with  a second team of Wraiths, and receive support from some former members of the original team as they discover Staal’s full plan and eventually have him arrested for impersonating an officer. In the end a secret ally of both Staal and the earlier conspiracy he had been part of is arrested while the Wraiths are officially recommissioned. The book also included two major flashbacks, one to a mission just before the end of the first Galactic Civil War and the second covering the mission which led to Piggy deciding to resign from the military.
My feelings on the book are mixed. While it wasn’t a bad book by any means I don’t think it should have been included in the X-Wing series. In the previous Wraith squadron focused X-Wing books even when the Wraiths were undercover they were taking their starfighters into battle regularly. In Mercy Kill there are only a couple of starfighter skirmishes. It feels like they just put the X-Wing name on to draw fans of the old books not caring if it didn’t fit with the rest of the series. Still it was fun just don’t go in expecting the epic space battles of the previous books. 

1 comment:

  1. Great job! I look forward to seeing more reviews from you.