Han Solo at Star's End
by Brian Daley
Published by Ballantine / Del Rey
Darin's Rating: 4 out of 4
David's Rating: 4 out of 4
Han Solo and Chewbacca are out of money, and so accept a smuggling job in a sector of the galaxy run by the Corporate Sector Authority, a big beastly company that sucks up chunks of the galaxy for its own profit (kind of like Houston does to smaller cities that are profitable but not incorporated that are within, say, 50 miles of its current limits). The CSA even has its own military, kind of a "super police force" made up of heartless thugs (like the BATF ;-( ) and called "espos" for short (Sector Police, I guess). Han and Chewie get the Falcon beat up in a run, so they decide to go get some repairs and illegal "special modifications" done to her with the money they made from the run. When they get to the chop shop, they get pulled into a rescue mission. Along the way, Han flys a Z-95 Headhunter in dogfights (this is the first appearance of this craft in a novel), gets in shootouts, fist fights, you name it. He also has as his companions an old droid named Bollux, and Blue Max--a high powered computer package (actually an immobile droid packed to the gills with slicing gear) that is hidden away behind Bollux's chest plates. They of course save the kidnappee, and wreck a CSA prison doing it.
Daley captures Han Solo really well in this fast-paced novel. Humor isn't forgotten. In fact, this novel has a lot more humor than authors seem to be putting in books nowadays. They need to take some lessons from this guy. It's also nice having an enemy other than the Empire. No worries about Darth Vader, the Emperor, the Emperor's clone, the Emperor's other clone (ad infinitum), ... This is a great read!
Daley did a great job with this story, managing to capture both the feel of the movies and of Han Solo's pre-ANH character. I also loved the Corporate Sector Authority as a change in villians. You can only beat the Empire so many times. I also loved the action scenes at the end of the book, very well done. And let's not forget Bollux and Blue Max. I'd like to see another author, or Daley himself, for that matter, reintroduce them to the SW universe. This entire trilogy meshes particularly well with Ann C. Crispin's Han Solo trilogy.
Darin forgot to say what wasn't so great about the book. We'll get back to you!
To be entirely honest, I can't think of anything bad about the entire book.
Darin forgot to say what was ugly!
Han wearing a tight black body suit, complete with epaulets, piping, shining braid, a broad yellow sash, and a metallic silver cape.