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Star Wars: X-Wing Series Book 3: the Krytos Trap Paperback – Sep 1 1996
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Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
High up in a tower suite, up above the surface of Imperial Center, Kirtan Loor allowed himself a smile. At the tower's pinnacle, the only companions were hawk-bats safe in their shadowed roosts and Special Intelligence operatives who were menacing despite their lack of stormtrooper armor or bulk. He felt alone and aloof, but those sensations came naturally with his sense of superiority. At the top of the world, he had been given all he could see to command and dominate.
Ysanne Isard had given him the job of creating and leading a Palpatine Counter-insurgency Front. He knew she did not expect grand success from him. He had been given ample resources to make himself a nuisance. He could disrupt the functioning of the New Republic. He could slow their takeover of Coruscant and hamper their ability to master the mechanisms of galactic administration. A bother, minor but vexatious, is what Ysanne Isard had intended he become.
Kirtan Loor knew he had to become more. Years before, when he started working as an Imperial liaison officer with the Corellian Security Force on Corellia, he never would have dreamed of finding himself rising so far and playing so deadly a game. Even so, he had always been ambitious, and supremely confident in himself and his abilities. His chief asset was his memory, which allowed him to recall a plethora of facts, no matter how obscure. Once he had seen or read or heard something he could draw it from his memory, and this ability gave him a gross advantage over the criminals and bureaucrats with whom he dealt.
His reliance on his memory had also hobbled him. His prodigious feats of recall so overawed his enemies that they would naturally assume he had processed the information he possessed and had drawn the logical conclusions from it. Since they assumed he already knew what only they knew, they would tell him what he had not bothered to figure out for himself. They made it unnecessary for him to truly think, and that skill had begun to atrophy in him.
Ysanne Isard, when she summoned him to Imperial Center, had made it abundantly clear that learning to think and not to assume was the key to his continued existence. Her supervision made up in severity what it lacked in duration, putting him through a grueling regimen that rehabilitated his cognitive abilities. By the time she fled Imperial Center, Isard had clearly been confident in his ability to annoy and confound the Rebels.
More importantly, Kirtan Loor had become certain that he could do all she wanted and yet more.
From his vantage point he looked down on the distant blob of dignitaries and mourners gathered at the memorial for Corran Horn. While he despised them all for their politics, he joined them in mourning Horn's loss. Corran Horn had been Loor's nemesis. They had hated each other on Corellia, and Loor had spent a year and a half trying to hunt Corran down after he fled from Corellia. The hunt had ended when Ysanne Isard brought Loor to Imperial Center, but he had anticipated a renewal of his private little war with Horn when given the assignment to remain on Coruscant.
Of course, Corran's demise hardly made a dent in the legion of enemies Loor had on Imperial Center. Foremost among them was General Airen Cracken, the director of Alliance Intelligence. Cracken's network of spies and operatives had ultimately made the conquest of the Imperial capital possible, and his security precautions had given Imperial counterintelligence agents fits for years. Cracken--or Kraken, as some of Loor's people had taken to calling the Rebel--would be a difficult foe with whom to grapple.
Loor knew he had some other enemies who would pursue him as part of a personal vendetta. The whole of Rogue Squadron, from Antilles to the new recruits, would gladly hunt him down and kill him--including the spy in their midst since Loor presented a security risk for the spy. Even if they could not connect him with Corran's death directly, the mere fact that Corran hated him would be a burden they'd gladly accept and a debt they would attempt to discharge.
Della Wessiri was the last of the CorSec personnel Loor had hunted, and her presence on Imperial Center gave him pause. She had never been as relentless as Corran Horn in her pursuit of criminals, but that had always seemed to Loor to be because she was more thorough than Horn. Whereas Corran might muscle his way through an investigation, Della picked up on small clues and accomplished with élan what Corran did with brute strength. In the shadow game in which Loor was engaged, this meant she was a foe he might not see coming, and that made her the most dangerous of all.
Loor backed away from the window and looked at the holographic representation of the figures below as they strode across his holotable. The ceremony had been broadcast planetwide, and would be rebroadcast at various worlds throughout the galaxy. He watched Borsk Fey'lya and Wedge Antilles as they met in close conversation, then split apart and wandered away. Everyone appeared more like toys to him than they did real people. He found it easy to imagine himself a titanic--no, Imperial--presence who had deigned to be distracted by the actions of bugs.
He picked up the remote device from the table and flicked it on. A couple of small lights flashed on the black rectangle in his left palm, then a red button in the center of it glowed almost benignly. His thumb hovered over it for a second. He smiled, but killed the impulse to stab his thumb down and gently returned the device to the table.
A year before he would have punched that button, detonating the explosives his people had secreted around the memorial. With one casual caress he could have unleashed fire and pain, wiping out a cadre of traitorous planetary officials and eliminating Rogue Squadron. He knew, given a chance, any of the SI operatives under his command would have triggered the nergon 14 charges--as would the majority of the military command staff still serving the Empire.
Loor did not. Isard had pointed out on numerous occasions that before the Empire could be reestablished, the Rebellion had to die. She had pointed out that the Emperor's obsession with destroying the Jedi Knights had caused him to regard the rest of the Rebellion as a lesser threat, yet it had outlived the Jedi and the Emperor. Only by destroying the Rebellion would it be possible to reassert the Empire's authority over the galaxy. Destroying the Rebellion required methods more subtle than exploding grandstands and planets, accomplishing with a vibroblade what could not be done with a Death Star.
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Top Customer Reviews
In this excitng installment, Corran Horn is believed dead and Tycho Celchu has been arrested for his murder. Celchu faces a treason and murder trial, with all the evidence working against him, despite all of the heroic work he's done for the Republic. The Alliance is struggling to become the New Republic. The dreams of setting up the main government at Coruscant are beginning to collapse as the deadly Krytos virus begins to attack non-human members. Bacta, the only known cure, is scarce and the prices are climbing. To make matters worse, a terrorist group on the planet of Coruscant is threatening to tear the government apart before it even begins. As Rogue Squadron deals with the loss of its top fighters, Corran struggles to stay alive in the horrific Lusankya prison, run by the evil Ysanne Isard.
The best of the series so far, this book is packed with action and suspense. And the dogfights - WHOA! This book has something for every type of Star Wars fan: action, intrigue, suspense, mystery, you name it!
This being the third book in the series, it's sort of found itself at a precarious position. It could either have gone back to the dogfight style of the first book or stayed with the more subdued style of the second. Stackpole pulls a nice one by returning with the fighting, only putting it in a courtroom.
The last book left off with Tycho Celchu charged with the murder of Corran Horn, something that anyone who read the epilogue in the last book should know isn't true. With this in mind, as the climax builds, we are left with the conclusion that either Tycho is brainwashed, Corran is brainwashed or someone else is brainwashed. That's an awful lot of brainwashing. Anyhow, the trial scenes are enjoyable and several villains get theirs so there is nothing wasted.
Wedge is back and unfortunately for him so is the husband of the first woman he's been interested in for a while. Corran is a little more subdued in this one, of course he IS being tortured in a prison camp. Tycho is still his likable this-shouldn't-be-happening-to-me-I-didn't-do-anything-wrong self. Gavin is starting to become a real character that I thoroughly enjoy and Borsk Fey'la just makes me want to beat him up.
Finally, complaints. The main villain is even less intimidating in this one because she's in it so little. Word to the wise, just develop one of the politicians as a villain and I'd be impressed, they are more backstabbing than all the villains combined.They're really trying to make Asyr and Mirax developed female characters, but they're failing. Lastly, there wasn't nearly enough Tycho for me. He just passively takes everything that's done to him and never explains why.
Aside from that I really enjoyed the Law and Order in space.
The Krytos Trap may pose the series's savior. Stackpole weaves a tale of betrayl and treachery, of love and detirmination, and suprises you simply can't put it down.
There is very little space battles or battles in general for that matter, but Stackpole keep's you in complete suspense until the very end.
His work is far more down-to-earth, complete with lawyers, a very diferent (not bad mind you) turn for Star Wars literature. If I could give Stackpole a single bit of advise, it would be to give up Sci-fi and go to more realistic fiction.
This rollar coaster of a novel starts you out on a fast paced straight away that accelerates you into the plotline. No turns or loops simply a well written beginning.
But then, without warning, this book sends you into a tunnel of betrayl and questions, questions that blind the reader to the turns twists and turns its about to take. It takes so many twists and turns in fact that it could make the Goliath at Magic Mountain look calm.
It end with a final loop that shows you just how wrong you were the whole time, which leads me to a final regret, just as a rollar coaster must come to an end, so must a novel.
Luckily we've still got the Bacta War.
I can virtually guarentee you this book shall not disappoint, it's a true return to great Star Wars literature, in a time in which it seemed Star Wars was in a downfall.
Most recent customer reviews
A devastating plague is unleashed on the non-human population on Coruscant. The members of Rogue Squadron must take on this issue and try to find a way to cure this evil disease... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Sean Talbot
Set after X-Wing: Wedge's Gamble. The virus is loose on Coruscant. Isard (IceHeart) has captured Corran Horn. Tycho Celchu is on trial for spying. It's a mess, but exciting. Read morePublished on June 2 2003 by Matt
This is an interesting book. The story line deals with biological warfare and the empire trying to take back control.Published on Jan. 14 2003 by A.J.W.
For those readers that felt Wedge's Gamble was a tad too heavy on the intrigue and lacking in the action, then The Krytos Trap will be the book you were hoping for, and it's the... Read morePublished on Aug. 26 2002 by Chadwick H. Saxelid
Though it got off to an only so-so start, in my opinion, anyway, the X-Wings series rose to hieghts above the average Star Wars novel with the second entry in the series, Wedge's... Read morePublished on March 17 2002
By book three, this series is in full swing; the main characters have been introduced and developed, the continuing war against the Empire is being fought, and Coruscant has been... Read morePublished on March 9 2002
I just read a review of the Phantom Menace where the reviewer said that anyone who didn't like the movie was not a true Star Wars fan. Read morePublished on Jan. 30 2001 by Mark Hills
I just finished reading "The Krytos Trap" about five minutes ago, and I have to say that I am amazed. Read more
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