After taking control of Coruscant, the New Republic now must deal with the trouble of the Krytos virus threatening to destroy whole species. It will be a difficult battle to fight, but the galaxy’s famed Rogue Squadron will be there to help.
The level of quality The Krytos Trap has is pretty much on par with that of the first two novels – the character development was great, the story was good, and it was an overall satisfying read. Unfortunately, even if it was still a solid novel, it’s probably my least favorite X-Wing novel so far – considering how good this series is, though, I’m not sure if I would say that’s technically a bad thing. After all, you have to have a song from your favorite band you like less than all the others, right?
I’ll start off with the positive points of The Krytos Trap and go onto my negative rants later. First of all, this probably goes without saying, but the character development and the way most of them were written was top notch. Being this far in the series now, I totally agree with people when they say that this series is less about mere space battles and more the fleshing out of the various characters. In fact, as the series has gone on, it’s seemed as if space battles have become less and less frequent, with personal stories taking the spotlight much more so. This makes me a happy Mizz. I only hope that the series will continue with this theme, but I really have no doubt that it will.
The legendary (“legendary” because of the mystique always surrounding it, with many characters not even believing it existed) SSD (Super Star Destroyer) Lusankya was explored in The Krytos Trap, offering a pretty cool insight into the lives of the prisoners on board. Not only that, but holy crap! When its exact location was revealed, that was pretty badass. Talk about it literally being right under the New Republic’s nose that whole time.
However, I do wish we had been given a grittier look as to the sort of life prisoners lead on the Lusankya, even going into more detail about the sort of torture that goes on – it’s an infamous prison and interrogation ship, after all. Give us some torture and darkness! *looks around at the odd stares she gets* What? You know you liked Saw, don’t act so horrified!
The Imperial spy hinted about previously was finally revealed. I so called it! I may be roughly ten years overdue with that prediction, but still. Huzzah! I actually wish it had been someone else because it was so terribly predictable (and no, in case you’re wondering, I haven’t ever seen who it was prior to reading the book, so that can’t be used as an excuse).
Whereas politics took a prevalent role in Wedge’s Gamble, the court system and Tycho’s trial was a main plot in this book. This was a pretty intriguing focus – it definitely reminded me of things like Law & Order, so now all we need is that classic, “DUN DUN!” sound effect and we’re good.
Now, since I can’t avoid it any longer, let’s move onto the negatives of The Krytos Trap. Because there are definitely some negatives to be found. In the first two X-Wing books, Stackpole showed his talent at writing characters – their development, emotions, reactions to things, etc. In The Krytos Trap, however… Hmmm. Just, “Hmmm”. I’m thinking he was a little off this time around. There were numerous times in the book where terrible things happened – the bombing of the school comes to mind, or maybe the destruction of Corran’s memorial. The former event was skimmed over completely, only warranting a casual thought from someone. Really? I mean… Really? This huge event couldn’t have been given anymore attention than that? Come on! The writing you could get out of something like that happening is gold – at least show the reactions of some people.
In the case of Corran’s memorial also being bombed, I was seriously shocked when there was not one reaction to that from any of the Rogues – or even Mirax! There wasn’t any anger from them about that? No sorrow? On that note, why weren’t more reactions to Corran’s apparent death shown? Sure, we got a nice internal monologue about it from Wedge, as well as a pretty emotional scene from Mirax about it, but what about everyone else Corran knew?
Also, why would everyone just assume Corran is dead without a body? Yes, yes, I know what you’re going to say. “Sometimes we don’t find bodies when people die in the real world either. Be rational!” While yes, this is correct, in the case of Corran’s “death” there should have been a body. Or at least fragments of his ship. Come on people! You’re in the Star Wars universe, damn it! There are certain things you have to assume, one of which is that if there’s no body when someone “dies”, that person is probably still alive! Sheesh. Brush up on your sci-fi/fantasy knowledge.
I suppose my main complaint is just that SO many things that would’ve been great scene to write were skipped for no reason whatsoever so often. It wouldn’t have been hard to include these things, either – just some simple thoughts/dialogue from a few people on events that have happened would’ve been great. Especially since Stackpole didn’t actually bother to really write a lot of the scenes – like Corran’s reunion with people like Mirax and Wedge. I was looking forward to his return throughout the entire novel just so I could see his reunion with certain people, but nothing! Not a thing! He was just suddenly back. Oh, except for a line of amazement from Ackbar. Yay? Ackbar’s cool and all but I can think of many others I would rather have had a reaction from before him – though I have to admit that I did love the part where he just stormed into court during Tycho’s trial. Priceless.
In the end, The Krytos Trap was a satisfying novel, but it falls short of the other two because of things like reactions to Corran’s “death” – and subsequent return – being incredibly skimmed over, as well as with other key events in the plot. It’s not a terrible book, but it certainly earns the title of “Worst X-Wing Novel” so far from me.
- X-Wing: Wedge’s Gamble (mibreviews.com)