The Krytos Trap by Michael A Stackpole

Well written, clever storylines and amazing personalities.
The Krytos Trap book cover

Set: 7 ABY

The Rebels have taken Coruscant, but their problems are far from over. A killer virus called Krytos is wiping out the indigenous population, and a counter-revolution is exploding. At the center of the storm is the highly charged treason trial of Rebel hero Tycho Celchu. While agents provocateurs carry out their acts of terrorism, the fledging state can be defended only by the blood and courage of Rogue Squadron. As the X-wing fighters scramble to save the Rebellion, Corran Horn, given up for dead in Ysanne Isard's inescapable prison, discovers he alone holds the key to freeing Coruscant from the Empire!

One of the things that I find really frustrating when reading a series of books is when, instead of continuing the storyline they were on, the author/s go off on a big loop, kinda like Ω, taking a big detour away from the story. The first time I read X-Wing: The Krytos Trap I thought that was what was happening, and I thought the same thing the second time I picked the book up.

Both times I was wrong.

The Krytos Trap, the third in the X-Wing series and written by one of my favourite Star Wars authors, Michael A Stackpole, is a book that I love to pieces now that I remember it, and I feel a little embarrassed for ever thinking otherwise.

I got to that point in the book where I could either put it down, and be left hanging for a day or two before I was able to pick it back up again, or read on until 2am and finish the book. You can probably guess what I chose. It was a brilliant book, and I love the ending. It keeps you hanging on to the edge of your ... bed (that’s where I was reading) until the end comes.

The book focuses on two stories; the first being the trial of Tycho Celchu and the second being Corran Horn.

The first aspect to the book leaves you feeling devastated as you’re really certain you know that Celchu isn’t the bad guy. Add to that feeling the fact that the majority of the characters, including the prosecution, think the same thing, and you have a brilliant story about being stuck between a rock and a hard place.

As a subplot to Tycho’s trial is the missions that Rogue Squadron are forced to take while they’re friend is being reviled by the entire New Republic. Stackpole has writing dogfights in X-Wings down to a fine art, and is really enjoyable to read. Add to that the team dynamics and the missions themselves, and this part of the book is nonstop reading.

The second aspect to the book sees you in Corran Horn’s head, as he deals with being stuck inside the domain of Ysane Isard; Lusankya. Corran’s head is still working, and watching him fight his way free of Isard’s control, and then the prison, is really a joy to read. The relationships he forms in the prison will be continued later on, but for the moment we’re left with just his exciting escape and the reveal upon reveal upon reveal that make up the end of this book.

If you like your Star Wars, especially the street-level Star Wars (compared to the Jedi and galaxy spanning war stuff) then the X-Wing series is a must for you. Well written, clever storylines and amazing personalities and characters makes this series one of the best property driven series around, and beyond that, just one of the best series around.

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