Discussion in 'Literature Review Forum' started by Errant_Venture, Jan 25, 2004.
Assualt at Selonia by Roger Macbride Allen
Imprisoned on the planet Corellia, Han Solo finds himself at the mercy of his "dark side" cousin, Thracken Sal-Solo. Thracken plans to restore the Imperial System and seize total power -- no matter what the cost. Han has one chance to stop him. But to do so he must turn his back on his human cousin and join forces with a female alien. Dracmus was arrested as a ringleader in a plot against the corrupt Human League. Now she and Han will attempt a daring escape to Selonia in time to warn Leia, Luke Skywalker, and Lando of Thracken's plan. But can Hart trust the alien to keep her word?
Meanwhile, other questions threaten the New Republic -- and the lives of millions. Who is behind the deadly Starbuster plot? Why is someone attempting to take possession of Corellia's powerful planetary repulsors? And what is the secret behind the mysterious Centerpoint Station, an ancient artificial world of unknown origin that has suddenly -- and inexplicably -- come alive?
This is my favorite book of the Corellian Trilogy. We finally get to see the Bakurans back in action, and the scene where Leia and Mara escape from prison was top-notch.
The weak link of the trilogy. I enjoyed Han's scenes with Dracmus and Thrackan, and the Leia/Mara scenes were fun (the Corellian Trilogy was probably the last time I genuinely liked Mara Jade as a character). The rest, though, is terribly dull (especially the scenes with the Solo kids).
Enjoyed seeing the Bakurans in action also. It was just missing that certain something to be considered excellent.
I felt this trilogy so far could be better, why because it is supposed to be about Han's homeworld which it is but I was hoping it would also connect to Han more.
With enough slick to grease a Hutt uphill to the abbatoir, Assault at Selonia delivers the goods you've been waiting for.
Gone with the wind are the chapter-long conversations, slow pacing and stuttering Frozian from the previous book. New characters, new factions and some seriously good scenes start advancing the plot in ernast. Because it's becoming apparent who's really pulling the strings is now a game of guess who, and with the lives of five worlds and the entire sector on offer, the insurrectionists have the ability to target your sun---almost anywhere.
Solo's older cousin, thankfully shown on the neat cover front, has undertaken the biggest bluff in his dismal career, and that makes the critter bursting with quality. Not another beautiful villainess or strategic admiral or pompering warlord wannabe. What we have here is an everyday government administrator, hungering for the return of the harmonious Imperial system, seeing his chance to seize power in the galaxy's fattest fraud---a man who likes his drink, likes nonhumans even less, who's dancing events with what little he has.
And this makes Sal-Solo's character even better: an all-or-nothing risk on scant resources and time.
Skywalker is back in action, and shows it. He'll be even better in the next book. Uninjured as he was in Children of the Jedi, Planet of Twilight and New Rebellion, he's more talker than walker but it's a good change. And who better than wild card Calrissian, the poor fella we hardly see in books, considering he's a sacred movie character and all. Calrissian is shown as the thinker in the trilogy, needling the intrigues into wearable apparel while of course dealing with the bickering droids. Threepio provides the trilogy's best humour here, as he explains where he got his Bakuran info.
Characterisation couldn't be better. The Selonian Dracmus is fun and distinctive, and her partnership with Solo makes for some truly good performances. Solo himself seems to be written very well, and even slightly differently to others, not for the worse.
Storyline wise, inexplicable technology has sealed off the Corellian system from communications and hypertravel. The New Republic's fleet assets are not in a current shape to send taskforces all over the Monopoly board, so why not borrow one from Bakura and send Skywalker as ambasador? It's a great full circle 14yrs ago when last he was there. It's a book of partnerships, actually; Skywalker and Calrissian, Organa Solo and Jade, Solo and Dracmus. Condensing and scattering the cast allows for deeper characterisation and individual skills to display.
Enter the Bakurans and the exceedingly dangerous Admiral Hortel Ossiliege . . . and by the pitious breath of Vader, quiver the Ssi-Ruuk should they come back. Four ships against the unknown might of what lies at Corellia, and for Ossiliege and his scene-ending liners, pity the rebels more.
Allen shows his writing prowess with all the subtlety of a Sithing shadow. He has a core cast of pre-teens overseen by their alien tutors on one leg, and in the other slap you have the familiar adult movie cast. And he actually manages to pull it off. This trilogy is readable by kids and every bit for mature adults, the way Simpsons does. Seriously, I Malak you not. Prose, verbose and structure is nothing fancy but it doesn't need to be here; and with all the travelling the trilogy was written during, a fine balancing act indeed.
Perhaps the downsides are the overly long chapters as the first book, and the speculatory conversations the characters engage in. Because Sal-Solo can't be the only mastermind, and whoever it is has absconded with most of the sector's naval ships. Which means someone, somewhere, has a fat fleet ready to spring.
The finale culminates in more discoveries and questions, a battle names the title, and a brief but poignant demonstration of the ticking cloak for the New Republic.
I love the action. Overall it was very enjoyable. 9.