I had a hard time rating this one…really I’d go 3 1/2 stars. The story itself is good its just the niggling details that bother me.
This story fits between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back.
For Han Solo, the attitude of being unsure of his place matches that he has in Allegiance. Although the timeline in the book suggests it goes after Choices of One, their is an event in this book that should’ve affected his attitude in this one. So it could be it’s before Choices.
Leia also matches the attitudes and behavior in those two books, still trying to woo Alliance members (this was also how Splinter of the Mind’s Eye begins) but also acting as a military leader in choosing what risks to take and whose life to risk.
Luke is a bit iffier in spite of his small role in the book. The problem here is really Wedge Antillies being Commander. Wedge is definitely not in command in The Empire Strikes Back, Luke is.
It’s not insurmountable but its confusing. Is this before or after they flee Yavin? Luke was initially promoted to Commander when they fled, but it didn’t stick since the only one who knew it apparently died there (Classic Star Wars comic strips). He was then promoted to Commander of Red Squadron AKA Rogue Squadron after Commander Narra died. (This is in TESB Radio Drama and right when they are setting up Hoth.) Rogue Squadron was initially part of Red Squadron, with Renegade Flight led by Narra as another part.
It IS possible that Red Blade Flight (mentioned in this book) was meant to be another part of Red Squadron and it was decimated and the survivors moved into Rogue group, thereby forming the new Rogue Squadron. That still leaves Wedge a mystery though. He has been with the Alliance longer and had more training, but somehow Luke ends up outranking him. Demotion? A refusal of promotion? Was Luke promoted due to more courageous (or at least more obvious) acts? Either way Luke is the one who created Rogue Group (according to the X-Wing series) and Wedge ends up his second (according to The Empire Strikes Back.)
-Noghri. At one point Han sees a noghri female, a species he shouldn’t know about until post Thrawn trilogy. However, since the book is NOT told first person, its possible this just is a description for the reader. The species was out in the galaxy, and even Han didn’t recognize every species out there.
-The Weapon. Given there are numerous species with ancient superweapons lying around such as the Rakata, the Gree and whatever drove the Sharu into hiding, its not unreasonable for this weapon to exist. It did however bother me the scale of it.
Ultimately the niggling little continuity glitches (I mean the Wedge and Luke thing is right there in The Empire Strikes Back, never mind the rest of the Expanded Universe) makes me lower my rating of it since yanking me out of the universe due to confusion isn’t a good thing. I had trouble believing the second macguffin (the first being the data, the second being what it claimed) was for real. Also it bugged me just a bit how the woman struck me as always being smarter and quicker on the uptake than Han. This could be just how it came across, as Han was feeling out of place still working for the Rebels. But Han has always been a fast thinker (for better or worse) and most of the best stories have the characters as equals. Witness how he and Leia balance in other stories, or Luke and Mara for instance.