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A return to the X-Wing series of novels
on 13 June 2015
This novel revisits the X-Wing series of books a long time chronologically after their usual settings in the Star Wars universe. It is concerned with Wraith Squadron rather than Rogue Squadron. Obviously over the course of battles against the Empire and the Yuuzhan Vong not that many members of the original Wraiths remain (the novel reminds us of this and the heyday of Wraith Squadron with various flashbacks from the perspective of Voort which work successfully as interrelated interludes to the main storyline). Thus this is a newly assembled Wraith Squadron with many new, younger members.
There is little actual ‘X-Wing’ action, so those expecting a lot of dogfights and space battles might be somewhat disappointed. Being about Wraith Squadron the focus is more on their original remit of infiltration and scamming their opponents. It incorporates a lot of ideas and techniques utilised in the other Wraith appearances. But now also makes use of the new advances and technology that have come into the Star Wars universe, particularly from the Yuuzhan Vong.
The main plot isn’t the most exciting or inspiring. The Wraiths do what they typically do and do it with a similar sense of style and humour as they have before. In many ways it is quite an ordinary infiltrate and expose a corrupt political figure plotline that could easily be transposed into several genres.
The stronger side of the novel is the focus on Voort. He is certainly far more than merely a talking Gamorrean in this novel. The author really has given his character some thought and developed him accordingly. As such Voort is really the main character of this particular story. His struggles with his self-enforced retirement and his trials at returning to ‘active service’ make him a sympathetic and enduring figure. They also form the emotional core of the story.
Most likely, with the Disney takeover rendering the X-Wing novels no longer canon, this is the last we’ll see of the Wraiths. The novel is a reasonable last hurrah.