Not Bad, but Not Great Han continues to deal with his internal pain, seemingly finally snapping in this book as he flies off on on his own adventure to help an old friend.
The set up is pretty good, with Han taking on some different personality characterisitcs than normal, adding some variety to his well known behavior. He meets a new ally, Droma, who while interesting, is pretty two dimensional and will eventually get boring.
Despite being an obvious set up for many events to come, the book still maintains its interest. You get to see some new Yuuzhan Vong ships and weapons, and the followed characters manage to get in trouble no matter which way they turn.
While not the best of the New Jedi Order series, the book manages to keep you entertained throughout and is worth reading.
Droma rules James Luceno has earned my eternal gratitude with HERO'S TRIAL, for he has put the fun back in Han Solo. I fondly remember watching Star Wars for the first time almost ten years ago, and like so many others, my life was changed. The reason for this wasn't Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader, the epic space battles or the Force...it was Han Solo.
Going into my first viewing of Star Wars, I had heard all there was to hear about lightsabers and the Force, of the Death Star and it's demise. I expected all of that. What I didn't expect was the humour, the sarcasm, the wit, all supplied by the scoundrel Han Solo. He was the fun and excitement of Star Wars, for me anyway, and since The Empire Strikes Back, I haven't felt that again.
Since his union with Princess Leia, Han has become a general in the New Republic, a family man, and compared to the rogue of his earlier days, a pansy. Han is an upstanding citizen now...HAN SOLO! That's ridiculous. She has taken all of the swagger from a man who's swagger defined him. To me, he's a different character from the one we met in Mos Eisley.
But along comes the New Jedi Order, along comes the death of Chewbacca, and BOOM! Han is back! Widely regarded as a terrible idea, I believe that Chewie's death is one of the smartest ideas ever conceived in the Extended Universe, because it gave Han back his cynicism, his biting humour, his impatience and do-it-alone attitude. But most importantly, it finally gave Han a partner as equally fun as himself, someone who Han can bounce off of and actually have conversations with...Droma, my favorite addition to the Star Wars universe in a very long time. Together, the duo are just plain fun to read.
The first 2/5's of the book didn't really grab my attention. There were some interesting moments, like Chewie's funeral and the interaction between Han and Leia, but overall, it wasn't anything special. But once Han meets up with Roa and the two go off in search of their old pal Reck Desh, things really get exciting. Once Droma appears, the story is in full swing and gaining momentum with every page. The momentum of this book is tremendous. By the end, you couldn't pry me away from this book for anything. I was completely hooked.
James Luceno's characterization of Han is dead on, and he throws in tons of old-school Han catch-phrases and mannerisms. From calling everyone "sister" to throwing his finger in everyone's face, he made Han feel like Han. I loved it. And by the end of the book, when Han is coming to accept Droma, he goes so far as to let him sit in Chewie's chair, and he calls him "partner." I thought this a nice touch and it was good to see Han dealing with Chewie's death in a way, and allowing himself to move on.
If not for the slow start, I would have given HERO'S TRIAL a five-star rating, and I can't wait to sink my teeth into AGENT OF CHAOS II: JEDI ECLIPSE. PIck this one up. Droma rules.Han's Crisis If you have read the first three books in this epic series, you already know that Chewie died when Sernpidal's moon came crashing down. Since then, dozens of worlds have fallen, including Ithor in the Mid-Rim and Obroa-Skai, the library world located in the Inner-Rim.
After Chewie's funeral on his homeworld of Kashyyyk, Han decides that he needs to deal with his grieving in his own way, that is alone. However, he learns that an old friend has joined a fifth columnist group. Meanwhile, a defector comes over fromt he Yuuzhan Vong. But is she really a defector.
James Lucerno keeps things moving in this fourth volume of the series. While the focus is on Han and his personal crisis, it doesn't neglect other developments in the owngoing war between the Yuuzhan Vong and the New Republic. There are a few surprises on the way as well as more and more of the galaxy comes under Yuuzhan Vong control.