Since the formation of the new canon, Lucasfilm has kept a pretty tight lid on the events that take place between the original trilogy and the sequel trilogy era. I’ve been reading/reviewing the new novels by publication date, and so far only the Aftermath trilogy and Bloodlines have taken place during this period. Since there’s a thirty-year gap between these two eras, it’s understandable that fans are clamoring for any information they can get their hands on. I’m no exception. For this reason, I was very much looking forward to reading Alphabet Squadron – a novel that takes place after the events of Return of the Jedi.
Alphabet Squadron focuses on a group of fighter pilots in the New Republic navy. They are named such because their team is comprised of different type of starships (X-Wing, Y-Wing, and A-Wing). The story primarily follows the character of Yrica Quell, a defector from the Imperial Navy who is selected to join the squadron due to her intimate knowledge of Shadow Wing, an elite Tie Fighter force. Yrica is trusted with the task of hunting down Shadow Wing, while assembling a functioning squadron out of a bunch of ragtag pilots and miscreants.
In many ways, Alphabet Squadron reminded me of the old X-Wing series from the old Legends canon. It focuses heavily on loyalty with an overall military theme. The story itself keeps a decent pace overall, but it does drag at several places in the book. The only major character to make an appearance in the novel is Hera Syndulla (from Star Wars Rebels). Her inclusion is a welcome addition to the story, but it is not particularly important to the overall plot.
This novel is the first part in a new trilogy, but after reading it, it didn’t exactly leave me excited for the next entry. I hate to say that, since it seems that Disney/Lucasfilm really wanted to drum up excitement for this title. The release of this book also coincided with a five-part comic book series, Tie Fighter. But aside from this crossover event, there was no additional fanfare.
Despite feeling a bit lukewarm to me, the novel itself is admittedly decent. And perhaps the next two entries in the trilogy will improve my opinion. But I guess I just have a high standard when it comes to stories in the post-RotJ era. I want to learn more about the Emperor’s contingency and the lead-up to the formation of the First Order. Yes, some of that is touched on in this book, but only in a teaser sort of way.
I guess we’ll see where the next entry in the trilogy takes us!
Story: Interesting. There’s some really cool characters introduced in this book. But it does lull a bit at times. The contents of this novel feel more like a set up for a bigger tale than a self-contained story. We’ll have to see where it goes.
Recommended: Hard-core fans.