My other read-in-progress was too big for the plane, so I picked up book five of the X-Wing series, Wraith Squadron. After having been on covert operations repeatedly with the Rogues, Wedge Antilles realises that his pilots are rather unsuited for this kind of mission. Since he believes in the worth of sneaky precision as complement to open warfare, he wants to found a sneaky squadron. He collects the washouts of New Republic navy, people that have no future in regular fighter squadrons and have their main talents elsewhere. He ends up with a bunch of peculiar individuals, everything from slicer over actor to demolition expert. All can handle their fighter, though. Since all of them have problems with authority and themselves, there is plenty of room for conflict. After the newly formed squad accidentally takes over a gunship belonging to warlord Zsinj’s forces, it is ordered to operate the vessel as if it was still occupied by its original owners. This way, they infiltrate New Republic’s now most dangerous enemy for the purpose of data mining and demolition.
Wraith Squadron is a great idea and makes for quite Soloesque reading experience. The Rogues became old since Stackpole’s action focused writing style does not really support longer series. Allston sticks to this paradigm so we get a very entertaining novel. I wonder how Allston is able to keep characters interesting in the subsequent books, given that they are rather shallow. In any case, the squad’s creative problem solving and slow integration into a proper unit is fun to read. Sadly, the big final takes place in space; it might be nice to have a climatic ground or even spy battle for once in Star Wars. The ending is appropriate, without big surprises but with proper payment.