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X-Wing #4
X-WING #4 The Bacta War
By Michael A. Stackpole
7 years after ANH

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This is the fourth book of a series of eight (so far) which highlights the exploits of the star -fighter pilots who get the job done when the fight against the Empire demands action-sequences.

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In book one, Rogue Squadron, we met the pilots. In book two, Wedge's Gamble, we saw the espionage and behind-the-scenes efforts that enabled the Rebellion to capture the ruling planet of Coruscant. In book three, The Krytos Trap, we watched as the Rebel Alliance struggles to make itself at home on the former Imperial Ruling planet, and struggles to become a legitimate government. And now in book four, The Bacta War, Rogue Squadron must again take on the nefarious Ysanne Isard to insure the flow of the all-purpose curative, Bacta, to the universe.

Ysanne Isard has escaped to Thyferra, the planet where Bacta is produced, assumed control of the Thyferran government, and begun to blackmail the galaxy with the supply of Bacta held for ransom. With the beleaguered New Republic officially unable to confront a "legitimate" Isard Thyferran regime, it is up to Rogue Squadron….actually a rogue Rogue squadron….to liberate Thyferra and the galaxy's wonder-drug. Along the way, we get to delve even further into the lives of all the Rogues, and watch the continued blossoming of the romance between pilot Corran Horn and smuggler Mirax Terrik.


The Bacta War is another enjoyable theme-park ride from author Michael Stackpole. The characters are all well-delineated and interesting, the action sequences are exciting and easy to visualize, and the plotting is intricate and entertaining. For those of us who like our action mixed with at least a bit of introspection, we get to see the inner conflicts of some of the ground-based "special ops" personnel, balancing mission parameters with conscience. And we see Corran struggle with the dual pull of his role as a pilot on the one hand, and the obligations of his new-found Jedi potential on the other.

For the X-Wing Comics fans, there is the bonus benefit of several characters and references to the excellent Rogue Squadron comics series, all well-integrated into the cast established in the novels. The smuggler-extraordinaire, Talon Karrde, pays another visit, and goes head-to-head with Booster Terrik, Mirax's gruff-with-a-heart-of-gold Dad. Action, romance, politics, comedy, "good" bad guys (and gals), and heroes by the dozen; The Bacta War is a tasty slice of the Star Wars-universe pie.


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