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Friday, June 29, 2012

Isard's Revenge (Star Wars: X-Wing #8) (audiobook) by Michael A. Stackpole

Published by Random House Audio in 1999
Read by Anthony Heald
Duration: 2 hours, 59 minutes.

Admiral Ackbar
Probably no one, even George Lucas himself, knows more about the Star Wars universe than prolific author Michael A. Stackpole. He has authored comics and novels and helped to build the entire post-Return of the Jedi storyline. Isard's Revenge is set several years after the last movie. The New Republic (the government that took over from the  Rebel Alliance in Episodes IV, V and VI) is mopping up the various bits and pieces of what is left of the Empire. Several warlords have set themselves up here and there and the New Republic is negotiating or fighting with them. In this storyline, a warlord named Ysanne Isard, the former Director of Imperial Intelligence, presumed defeated and dead, has returned. She has put together a rather complicated plot to draw Wedge Antilles (newly promoted to General by Admiral Ackbar) and his Rogue Squadron into a trap so she can wipe them out to get her revenge for her defeat at their hands that was detailed in Book #4 of this series.

Read by Anthony Heald who covers a wide variety of voices, accents and species with apparent ease, this book is long on speeches and action and very short on character development. I could blame the abridgement for that. It almost certainly cut out  too much of the interesting secondary story involving an attempt by an inter-species couple to deal with cultural prejudice as they try to adopt a baby to raise as their own. But, let's face it, the appeal of these books lies in the dogfights and the almost corny speeches the officers give to their pilots before the big fight.

While the audiobook version is abridged, it does two things the book will never have: 1) real Star Wars sound effects; 2) snippets from the original Star Wars soundtracks by John Williams. For old fans of the movies, it is awfully fun to hear the music and the blaster fire and the R2 units as the X-Wings roar into battle.

I rate this audiobook 3 out of 5 stars.

This audiobook can be found on Amazon.com here:Star Wars: The X-Wing Series, Volume 8: Isard's Revenge

Reviewed on June 29, 2012.

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