Imprisoned on the planet Corellia where he is at the mercy of his evil cousin Thracken, Han Solo teams up with a female alien and launches a desperate escape plan in the hopes of warning Luke and Leia of Thracken's plans to restore the Empire. ... Read more
Customer Reviews (29)
Solid sophomore entry with appearances from long absent friends
The Corellian system is still in an uproar as human, Drall and Selonian all maneuver themselves to secede from the New Republic and attempt to kick out all the other aliens.Han, Leia, Mara, Chewie, and the kids are all stuck in this mess, all in different corners (Han is with his evil cousin, Thracken Sal-Solo, Leia and Mara are held hostage in Coronet house and Chewie and the kids are on Drall with Ebrihim's aunt).Meanwhile, Luke and Lando head off to Bakura to try to gather a fleet.
NOTE: I read this many years ago and recently listened to it on audiobook.
Roger Macbride Allen continues to show he is more than an adequate Star Wars author.The second entry into his Corellian trilogy expands upon the idea set forth in book one.
Allen introduces new memorable characters and combines them with older ones.Mara Jade has been mostly absent from EU of this time, and Allen makes the good choice to bring her back.As he did in the previous book, he writes her well (I will go out on a limb and say that Zahn would probably approve of the way Allen wrote her).Also, Allen brings back one-time love interest Gaeriel Captison (I will go out on another limb and say that Tyers would be pleased with how he wrote her).This was an excellent, excellent decision.Not only do we get to see that she did move on, have a family (something that most of the cast seems to be avoiding--yes, I am looking at you, Luke!), but we also get some nice tension between her and Luke.Of all the love interests Luke has had (and not married), this one is the one that is most interesting, most alive, and with whom he has the most chemistry.Han is well done, as is his evil cousin, Thracken (always neat to see more of Han's past).Leia is great, Luke is finally not a bumbling moron, Lando is decent (he's a hard one to get right, I've noticed), Chewie is good, the kids are really interesting, and I adore Ebrihim and his aunt (one of the only times I've ever laughed in delight when reading a Star Wars book!).
Lando's wife-hunting plot is wrapped up, which I think was a good thing overall, since it distracted from the main story.However, Tendra Risant does continue to play a part and I really like where she is going (I had liked how she and Lando hooked up in the past, and now I remember why!).Chewie is able to take the kids, Ebrihim, and his droid to Drall, where they meet his aunt and try to find a hidden artifact (and determine what the heck it is).I couldn't help but be intrigued by this, not only because I liked Ebrihim, but also because Allen writes the kids superbly and I enjoy a little "Indiana Jones" adventure (and here, unlike with Lando in Black Fleet Crisis, it makes sense and moves the plot).I already mention how Lando and Luke return to Bakura and meet Gaeriel, to win ships to deal with the Corellian issue.Leia and Mara get to escape Coronet House, which is a really intense scene.I also liked how Leia and Han suspected Mara of bringing them into a trap (though it did get old after awhile).
I know the system wide jamming and the system wide interdiction fields were kinda hokey, but for me, they worked.Allen didn't try to overexplain or use funky physics to handwave this plot device.Plus, I think it was cool that, in a sense, our team is forced to use "old techniques", i.e. "Morse" code and time-consuming space travel.All too often, our heroes are able to whip from system to system in a blink of an eye.
I Didn't Like:
I really feel with this second novel that a lot of incidents were put in just so it would fill pages.Some of the unnecessary events include Han fighting Drachmas (yes, I know that's how he meets her, but still, their fight felt tacked on), Luke and Lando fighting their way through Coruscant beasts to meet Mon Mothma (this is just pure filler, there is no reason to include it whatsoever), and all the repetition of the events of last book.I know Allen is trying to bring newcomers up to speed, but honestly, if the book is two in a series, you were already warned.
While Thracken Sal-Solo was kinda cool in how he was related to Han, he almost felt too obviously the villain.He was a drunkard, he had been in the Empire, he was power-hungry...all feels like a stereotypical villain to me.Not to mention, it is almost a bit extreme to make him Han's evil twin.
I guess what I disliked the most was how the excitement and energy from the first novel almost seemed to disappear.
D*** and h***.
Gaeriel and Luke experience sexual tension.
Han and Drachmas are forced to fight for Thracken.Chewie and the kids get shot at when they first land on Drall.Leia and Mara must elude their captors.
While I enjoyed this and even laughed in a few places, I still found this book a little dull and lackluster.I can't quite pinpoint why, and I'm not sure what was missing, but this book just wasn't as good as the first.However, that doesn't mean this book is bad.It is a solid follow-up to the first book (much better than most EU novels) and definitely leads well into book three, leaving me more than a little interested to see how it ends.
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Book 2 of The Corellian Trilogy
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.
Solid continuation of the Corellian Trilogy
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.
Star Wars Book
I believe Showdown at Centerpoint (book #3) is the best book in the Corellian Trilogy although you should definitely read Assualt at Selonia (book #2) so you know what is happening. If you are thinking of reading the Corellian Trilogy skip the first book (Ambush at Corellia) the opening of Assualt at Selonia has a "What Has Gone Before" that adequately summarizes what was in the first book.
Middle Book Syndrome
Ambush at Corellia was a surprisingly good Star Wars novel. It was set in the timeline at a place where quite a few of the surrounding novels were sub-par. The set up has Han, Leia, their children, Chewbacca, and the droids on a diplomatic mission to Corellia, Han's homeworld. Corella is a star system and planet which is coming apart at the seams and rife with factions sowing the seeds of rebellion and revolution and uprising. The novel did something fairly remarkable for a part of a trilogy: It told a complete story while broadening the overall story of the trilogy. I was impressed and I enjoyed reading the novel. I anticipated reading the second volume, Assault at Selonia, and hoped for the same level of quality and storytelling.
I was let down and satisfied at the same time. Roger MacBride Allen is a capable writer and he has an easy to read style that moves forward at a good pace. I had hopes that he would be able to avoid Middle Book Syndrome, a condition where an otherwise good novel does very little to tell an independent story and serves only as a link between Books One and Three. Unfortunately, Assault at Selonia caught a nasty case of M.B.S. There is quite a bit going on, but very little narrative advancement. I will give a brief overview: Han has been captured by his cousin Thracken Sal-Solo, the presumed leader of the Human League. Sal-Solo is threatening the peace of Corellia and has something that can cause a planet to explode. Another superweapon, sure, but this one is less the point of the story than in previous novels. Leia is also held captive, though in a different location. Luke is with Lando trying to decide how to get information to the Republic to help the situation as Sal-Solo has caused Hyperspace flight into the system to be impossible. Throughout the novel we learn more of what is going on behind the scenes and the characters are moved around the board so that every character is in a different place at the end than he/she was in the beginning, but there was no story thread here.
This novel would be completely lost if it wasn't tying itself to Book Three. There is no resolution, no real narrative advancement. Pad a few chapters into the first and third novels and this book could be completely absorbed with nobody being the wiser. That's what I mean by Middle Book Syndrome. It is a bridge between two books, but doesn't advance much and doesn't add essential story points that couldn't be covered elsewhere. This is a common problem with trilogies.
Though I may be coming off as being negative, I did like the book. When I finish the trilogy I expect that it will be one of the better Star Wars stories that have been written. MacBride Allen is doing a very good job here and taken as a three book cycle I think the work will be strong. Taking the second book alone, it doesn't hold up as a single novel. Other second volumes may have the same story flaws, but in this instance there was a certain obviousness about it, that Assault at Selonia could have been more and failed to live up to its promise. Still, it is worth reading the trilogy even if volume two is mostly filler.
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