Originally published at: http://www.rancorslovetoread.com/2010/01/andrews-review-of-corellian-trilogy-vol.html
3/5 Rancors – Assault at Selonia, the second volume in Roger MacBride Allen’s Corellian Trilogy, picks up the pace considerably from the leisurely first book. The story opens with our heroes stuck in various predicaments. Luke Skywalker and Lando Calrissian have left the fringes of the interdiction field blocking all access to the Corellian system and are on their way back to Coruscant to report and formulate a strategy. Han Solo and Chief of State Leia Organa Solo are being held prisoner in separate facilities by Han’s treacherous cousin Thracken Sal-Solo. Han and Leia’s children have escaped along with Chewbacca and are on the run looking for a hiding hole. The New Republic is working to identify the true puppet masters behind the Corellian situation, on the theory that Thracken’s Human League and the other Corellian splinter groups simply don’t have the wherewithal to have put together such a large-scale conspiracy.
There is quite a bit more action in Assault at Selonia than is found in its predecessor. The book opens with Thracken conducting an interrogation of Han followed by a forced fight pitting him against an intimidating Selonian named Dracmus. A great sequence, full of typical Han swagger and showing us that even when it is in Han’s best interests to throw a fight, he still has trouble backing down. Another excellent sequence features Leia and Mara Jade escaping Thracken’s clutches, and Mr. Allen devotes quite a bit of detail to the mechanics of their exodus. Other scenes are more forced, most notably one in which Luke and Lando take an inexplicably dangerous journey through Coruscant’s underbelly to attend a meeting (there’s an explanation provided for this but to my mind it was thin).
One welcome reappearance from earlier novels is Gaeriel Captison, featured in Kathy Tyers’ The Truce at Bakura. Gaeriel and Luke’s reunion forces them to explore what might have been had they followed the burgeoning feelings for each other they felt fourteen years earlier, and also underscores how long Luke has been searching across the galaxy for a meaningful relationship. It’s a nice tie to the earlier story to bring Gaeriel and the Bakurans in. We also learn more about the Bakuran military structure and are introduced to the efficient, thrill-seeking Admiral Ossilege. The Bakurans bring a rather intriguing hyperspace technology to the table designed to counter the effects of an interdiction field.
The story of Lando seeking a rich wife is furthered but in an improved manner from Ambush at Corellia. Lando is too busy with the military situation to continue his quest, and besides, he has taken a fancy to Tendra Risant, who he met in the last story. Tendra takes a daring solo flight into the interdiction field to find Lando and spends the book creeping through space alone. Although her plan is not a very sound one, people often do crazy things, especially when L-O-V-E is involved, and Tendra is seemingly no exception. She also brings warning of an outside fleet likely to play a key role in book three.
Mr. Allen’s trilogy features a notable level of hatred for droids. Lando is downright nasty toward C-3PO and R2-D2. Luke shows tolerance for the pair, but many of the other characters are shown to despise droids. There are glimmers of a superior attitude many organics feel toward droids in the films, with Han in particular having some choice moments with 3PO, but there is no grounding for the outright prejudice shown here. I got tired of Lando’s interactions with them and wished someone would put him in his place. The droids have saved their friends countless times across the films and books and this is simply not believable characterization.
Assault at Selonia is a step up from the somewhat tedious first entry in the trilogy. It is a quick read and sets up a decent mystery involving the true perpetrators of the starbuster plot. We learn more about the three species that comprise the Corellian system’s native population and there are several fun action sequences along the way. I look forward to finding out the resolution of the multiple hanging plot threads in Showdown at Centerpoint, especially after the grim climax of this story.
Originally published at: http://www.rancorslovetoread.com/2010/02/davids-review-of-book-two-of-corellian.html
3/5 Rancors – Assault at Selonia is the second book in The Corellian Trilogy. It continues the travails of our well-known and much loved Star Wars heroes as they travel several different paths. Han Solo has been imprisoned on Corellia by his cousin Thracken Sal-Solo and appears to be in serious trouble. Sal-Solo plans to reinstate the Imperial system and seize total power himself. Han must join forces with a female alien in order to escape and warn Luke, Leia, and Lando. Leia is under house arrest in what used to be the Governor’s residence and must work with Mara Jade to escape and search for her family. Luke and Lando have returned to Coruscant and are now on their way to Bakura to convince Gaeriel Captison to let them borrow the Bakuran fleet to put down a revolt in the Corellian system. At the same time, Han and Leia’s children are with Chewie on yet another world. Serious problems exist everywhere.
The book is an improvement over the first book Ambush at Corellia. We have more action, more plot, and no story involving Lando’s search for a rich wife. That particular search was a real weakness in the first book. A number of major questions still remain. Who is trying to use Corellia’s powerful repulsors and why? What is going on at the mysterious Centerpoint Station? Who is causing major stars to explode? There is plenty still left to lead one to look forward to the third book in the trilogy.
*Amazon links point to an affiliate account