Old Friends: Han Solo, Princess Leia Organa, Luke Skywalker, Chewbacca, Darth Vader
Synopsis: A Jedi Holocron was left behind when the Rebels abandoned their base at Dantooine before the first Death Star destroyed Alderaan. Someone has to sneak back to the planet, now overrun by the Empire, smugglers and pirates, find the Holocron and return it to the Princess. If the mission fails and Vader gets his hands on the Holocron, the names and locations of secret Rebel hideouts, Jedi information from the past, and anything else the Rebels don't want the Emperor to know, the Rebellion is doomed!
Review: Disque Mistflier is a bioengineer trained by the Empire. Unfortunately, she is a woman and is therefore overlooked when it comes time for promotions and special assignments. She is also a victim of the Emperor's policies of death and destruction, having lost her entire family in one way or the other, to the war. Although she keeps her feeling to herself, she is beginning to have serious doubts in her role as a member of the scientific community that she works for.
On a mission to Naboo with her friend and mentor Tendau Nadon, she attends an event that is reminiscent of the old Roman gladitorial contests, pitting animal against animal to the death. Her job, following the demise of all species in the ring, is to collect biological samples for future research. Although sickened by the deaths of all the participants, she and Tendau do their jobs. She is accosted/followed/rescued by Finn Darktrin, a handsome but mysterious man, secretly in the employ of The Dark Inquisitor Loam Redge, who is involved with a special project for Darth Vader - to recover the missing Holocron on Dantooine.
We follow Dusque and Finn on their travels, eventually ending up on Dantooine. I am not going to tell you how they get there and how it ends - you'll have to read it for yourself.
The characters are well developed. The reader has brief contact with our favorite heroes of the Rebellion, and they are nicely written, staying in character as we know them. The pirate Nym is an interesting addition to the cast and has some good "back and forth" dialogue with Finn and Dusque.
As in almost all SW novels, what we see isn't necessarily what we get. The good guys sometimes aren't and the bad guys are not as bad as we thought they were. The Author has done a good job in pacing the story, the ups and downs, action and conversation are nicely spaced so the reader isn't bored. Nor are we overwhelmed by too much space battle action or mindless conversation.
This book is a companion to the game Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided. Although I am not a game player, and am unfamiliar with the who,where,why,what and when of this scenario, the book stands on its own merits and the reader does not have to play the game to enjoy this good read!
I only hope that, as more of these type game/book tie-ins are published, Dusque and Finn, and the Inquisitor will become recurring characters. They are a welcome addition to the Classic Trilogy universe.
Title: The Ruins of Dantooine