on February 25, 2004
As the final powerhouse story in Allston's Wraith Squadron Trilogy, Solo Commander is an impressive feat. Based on the continuing hunt for Warlord Zinj, General Solo along with Commander Antilles and his loyal pilots continue to show off their skills in ways that make this a fun and exciting read. The Lara Notsil/Gara Petothal issue is resolved in a way that is both satisfying and leaves the reader wanting more, perhaps an opening for another X-Wing book. Anyway, the main story sees the defeat of Zinj, although not permanentaly as well as some of best action in the expanded universe. With this trilogy, Allston gave us memorable characters including Face, Donos, Elesser, Tyra and others, but he fleshed out those that already existed especially Melvar and Zinj two bad guys who hardly get mentioned in the book where they play such a big role (The Courtship of Princess Leia) as well as giving Han Solo a chance to be a general. That was one of the best developments in this series. Allston contributed excellently to the X-Wing series. He also wrote one more X-Wing book as well as two of the better New Jedi Order books. He is really an excellent contributer to the Star Wars universe.
on June 10, 2002
WOW and double wow. I thought that iron fist was good, but Allston has actually outdone himself on this one! Just when I thought things couldn't get any better, Han Solo arrived on the scene to shake things up a bit . . .
Allston is a literary master of characters and plot, and he has discovered something that was first used by Timothy Zahn: the personalities of characters are important! For the first time reading some books, I discovered that I could relate to the characters. I really connect with Myn Donos, (heck even though i'm a girl), with his nagging feelings that he has to be in control, yet his subconcious desire to be like everyone else. Solo Command has fullfilled this, pulling the relationships of the characters to a close, and succesfully passing the baton to another author and another book (the courtship of princess leia).
I was rolling with laughter at what has become known as "wedge's revenge", and crying with pain when Lara gave her speech to the ewok pilot on "we're both lies."
I also liked how they broght Tetran cowell (?) face's opposing actor, into the book. He's so evil, its wonderful, even though he's only in one scene.
The dialogue is great, the scenes are wonderful, and I hope that Allston writes more books in the future, whether they are star wars or not!
PS Yub yub forever!
on April 18, 2001
After spending the hours between 10:45 PM and 6:30 AM reading this book nonstop, I can honestly say that lack of sleep does not alter or remove the imaginative ideas this novel stirs in the mind of the reader. That said, this book continues the Wraith Squadron tradition of rich character development, pranks, laughs and the "sleek, swift, and deadly" action scenes that are common not just in Stackpole's tales of the X-Wing fighters, but in Allston's as well. Allston has developed a unique style of running jokes throughout his Wraith Squad Trilogy (X-Wing Books 5, 6 and 7 - Wraith Squadron, Iron Fist and Solo Command, respectively). "Yub Yub, Lieutenant" is used, then replaced with "Nice rear, Lieutenant." Keeping the custom of a break from routine (see Runt's formal dance in Iron Fist), Wedge Antilles and Han Solo stage a mutiny and distract officers on a Calamari Cruiser with a day of gambling and drinking. Lara Notsil continues her attempts to keep her true identity a secret, all the while wishing that Myn Donos, the man whose command she had destroyed while working for Apwar Trigit, would just leave her alone. With numerous action scenes and vicious battles, all the Rogues and Wraiths must reevaluate their feelings of duty and responsibility, long enough to try, one more time, to bring an end to Warlord Zsinj. By the way, don't try to read this book without reading Wraith Squadron and Iron Fist first. In fact, I'd recommend starting with X-Wing Book 1, Rogue Squadron. However, this isn't necessary. It helps, though. Bring on the squints and charge up the shields, because this book will keep you up all night. And I should know.
on January 2, 2001
This book follows Wraith Squadron, the newest fighter unit of the Alliance. In this book Han Solo is back to command a task force including Rogue and Wraith Squadron, as well as some of our favorite heroes; Wedge, Han, Wes, and Lara Notsil. Aaron Allston does a great job on his characters, and all of the lives of the other pilots are some way involved with the main story, the life of Lara Notsil. Lara Notsil is really Gara Pethrol, an Empire spy, responsible for the lives of many pilots including some of Wraith squadron, but she has forsaken the Empire and has became a true Alliance pilot. The only problem is she doesn't tell anybody. No one knows until Face Lorran, and ex-Alliance intelligence officer turned pilot discovers her secret. Face tries to arrest her, but she runs and turns to the Empire once again. She is know helping Warlord Zsinj, aboard the Super Star Destroyer Iron Fist, the very fleet she was supposed to be hunting. She helps Zsinj but she is still a Rebel and sabotages the Iron Fist. Then Solo finally catches up a huge battle commences and the Alliance think they defeated Zsinj along with the Iron Fist. I really enjoyed this book. Everything was excellent except a few things. First, the book is titled after our favorite Correllian, but we only hear him a little at the end. Second, Zsinj is supposed to be "Grand Admiral Zsinj, Supreme Warlord" but the book describes him as "Short, plump, with baldness appearing...", he doesn't live up to his name. Lastly, my little 6th grade sister gets to read a 750 page Harry Potter book, and my books are all 300-450 page books. After you turn the last page, you wish the author could have written more, but they didn't. I would recommend this book despite the shortness to anybody and everybody who has an interest in the Sci Fi world of Star Wars.
on September 12, 2000
1. The Rogues are back with more to do. Corran Horn, Tal'Dira, and Iniryi Forge have quite a bit of stuff here. Forge's one chapter seems to give more dialogue than Stackpole ever gave her after WEdge's Gamble.
(Man, this keyboard is messed up. Any mistakes are probably because of the keyboard. Keys are sticking all over the place.)
2. The humor is still great. Wedge' mutiny and his revenge on Jansen are terrific. Elassar Targon seems to fit in well withthe Wraiths, except for Runt of course.
3. Awww, Wedge is back with Iella, I guess. Sort of. She's mentioned in one scene. Anyway, they are back together.
4. Han Solo is dead on with character. Great job, Allston.
5. Great Drama marks this book. The scene where Face accidently makes a revalation over an open comm channel is great. Wraiths in the oven, also good. Wedge and Baron Fel played out great too.
6. Deaths. Allston has backed the body count down a notch or two but the deaths of characters are appreciated. Two relatively minor characters are dispatched in various battles but the way one of them dies is particularly chilling.
7. About time we had assasins in the SW universe. The attacks on the political and military officials were very nicely done.
8. Opening. Allston has the best opening paragraphs of any SW EU author IMHO. He started off Iron Fist with a bang and he matches it here. Twelve minutes to live. Wow!!
One minor quibble:
It got a little old having Solo jump in and pound at Zsinj and then having him jump out and Solo slumps his shoulders in despair. Redundancy and predictability are the name of the game in these slugging mathces.
Gotta go. I'd stay longer but someone just came in to tell me that the Rancors are stealing my top hats. I've got to put a stop to that. See ya.
on March 28, 2000
This is among of the finest books in the X-Wing series that does a good job of combining the tactical elements with the ship to ship dogfights that are a trademark of the entire series. Unfortunately, these dogfights are not very exciting, and the tactical element is BADLY flawed. The Rebels do incredible amounts of damage, striking with all but total impunity at the Imperial ships. This is especially noticeable when a single Calamari Cruiser takes on a Super Star Destroyer towards the end and forces it to retreat. The book had its moments, however, like the infiltration and covert elements of the story. These were generally well written and compelling, and they were the most exciting parts of the book. Also, the attacks on the ending are unfounded. Anyone who scored a 7 on an IQ test will be able to understand what happened, and I think that the way the ending was setup throughout the book was artistic. Attacking the final sequence because it doesn't tell you EXACTLY what happened (it MERELY implies it throughout the entire book) is like saying that an author cannot write: ""Very well, we will settle this with a coin toss." The coin tumbled through the air." because the author never said that anyone flipped the coin! The reader is expected to have passed a second grade reading comprehension test. IF you liked the other X-Wing series books, then this is a good book. If you did not(or did not pass that Reading Comp test back in grade school), then this is best left on the shelf.
on April 10, 1999
I'd just like to say that solo command was the 2nd best X-wing book in the series the ( Book 1 holds number 1) The story was great the action was great and what I liked most was that a bit of the story was about Myn Donos and the how he got into rogue squadron ,(where I hope he'll be for Isards Revenge) he is my favourite charcter in the hole X-wing series. Again Aaron great work on this book!!! Just one thing to other readers I think Aaron Did great work on the story line of Wraith Squadron and if Michael had just carryed on he would have just done Isards revenge to finish it off , I know most you would like that but that would leave all the Warlord Zsinj story un-touched and the Warlord did play a part in the Rogue squadron story because in book 3 the Rogues space battles where all against Zsinj so the Allston story line was needed so the x-wing series could fit in perfectly with Courtship of... and the Zahn Trilogy. So just think before you judge so harshly.
So Aaron you right up there with my greatest authors along side Michael A. Stackpole.
on April 6, 1999
In Solo Command, Aaron Allston take us on a trip to fight the notorious Warlord Zsinj. Let me get to the point. Slow and at times, much to much detail (I must be insane for saying that!), this book is better than the first two Wraith Squadrons but still no where near the elegant style of Rogue Squadron and The Bacta War. I liked the inroduction of Han Solo on the Mon Remonda but that was toyed with in Iron Fist (that book was very mediocre). This book has finally got on the right track with it's dogfights and characters, though the ending was lacking. Over all, Aaron Allston really needs to pick up the pace. Compared to the lightning pace of Rogue Squadron, this book seemed too slow, too little and too late. But I also agree with some other readers: Wedge needs to find a woman who can understand him and get him out of his mourning and put some life into him. Corran got Mirax, Kell got Tyria, Face got Dia. Somebody find Iella or a girl like her and help Wedge out.
My conclusion is simple. Not as good as the Rogues, but if you suffer through it, there is a plot and lightfight some where, deep inside. Buy it because it's good, but remember, Michael A. Stackpole is THE X-wing author and there is no other person alive who can match his writing skills (except Timothy Zahn).
Knight Blade 79
PS- If you like dogfights and fighters, check out the following games: Colony Wars- PlayStation Colony Wars: Vengeance- PlayStation X-wing vs. TIE Fighter- PC Star Wars: Rogue Squadron- Nintendo 64
on March 28, 2002
Just as Iron Fist focused on "Face" Loran, so does Solo Command focus on a character who's intrigued me from the beginning, Myn Donos. Also, finally we get right down to it with Zsinj, who is troublesome as ever. While the Courtship of Princess Leia portrayed Zsinj as an almost cartoonish villain, this author makes him seem much more threatening, and even interesting as a character in his own right. Each of the Wraith's continue to grow as characters and as a team in general, and we can easily see the contrast between these fighters and the overly "goody" rogues. This book is definitely the best one yet, as it wraps up this particular storyline and increases the tension a hundred fold. The down side? This is the last book about the Wraiths! I definitely think this author is one of the best we've heard from in the Star Wars universe, and I can't wait to see what he does in the New Jedi Order.
on January 20, 1999
This book really puts the pedal to the metal in the Xwing series. It's great! Massive fleet actions, nefarious skullduggery from Warlord Zinj, clever tricks from your favorite fighter pilots. See Runt get really mad! Listen to Corellian in-jokes! See Wedge Antilles face down Baron Fel! Watch Gara/Lara, everyone's favorite disillusioned spy, walk a tightrope, TWICE! Marvel as Allies arrive from strange quadrants! Ponder Myn Donos's painful decision.... AND You'll never look at Ewoks the same again! But really this one is quite good, lots of the Wraiths and Rogues get a chance to shine, and there are good bits for everyone from Squeeky, the free droid quartermaster, to Chewbacca and Han Solo. Well developed characters, lots of starship action, and a steadily intensifying pace make this a real good read. A must-have for any Star Wars or SF fan.