Book Review: Starfighters of Adumar

Starfighters of Adumar by Aaron Allston is my favorite book. Oh, I know, your favorite book is supposed to be something profound, touching, and preferably literary, but nah. My favorite is a Star Wars (Legends…I save that for another time) book.

I guess I’ll start off with saying that I grew up with the Rogue Squadron books. They were my favorite books as a teenager.  I read them (my mom’s copies, because my mom owns every Star Wars book up to the mid-Yuzhon Vong Wars) until they fell apart. When I hear there was to be a Rogue One movie, I was ecstatic. Then my hopes were swiftly crushed. I do like the movie, very much, but it wasn’t about Rogue Squadron.

Wedge Antilles is, hands down, my favorite character in Star Wars. He beats out Mara Jade and Captain Rex and the Mandalorians. Absurd as it sounds, he was one of my guiding lights as an Army officer. He was one of the many factors in choosing that path. The survivor, the leader, the competent cunning soldier—and he could be funny, too.

So, as my praise for Wedge is another post unto itself, let’s get into Starfighters of Adumar.

In sum: Do you want adventure? Do you want wit and wile? Do you want action? Do you want a romance between competent adults?  Do you want hidden depths?

This is the book for you.

Wedge has been conscripted into being be a diplomat to the planet Adumar, which has, metaphorically speaking, watched Top Gun a few too many times.  The Adumari culture feels very sci-fi medieval French feel to me, though I still can’t sort out the described Adumari accent. In the meantime…intrigue, romance, treachery, fashion, and fun abound.

As I get older, and with the things I’ve experienced, the more and more this book appeals to me. There were times in my military career and life in general when many passages really resonated. The romance was touching for some very personal reasons. When I decided to leave the Army, the book resonated keenly. I really love this book.  

And best of all it’s funny. I don’t often laugh aloud when reading, but I still do every time I reread Starfighters of Adumar. There’s plenty profound going on, and not a little bit of life-or-death, but the wisecracking is phenomenal.  Wedge, Tycho, Wes, and Hobbie are great fun and their banter is priceless.

A few choice quotes:

“…you could choose to kill him yourself or refuse him. If you refused, he should withdraw, but might theoretically press the issue, if he was stupid.”

“That’s where security issues become a trifle more important,” Wedge said.

“If I understand correctly, general, you are saying that a pilot’s honor is internal Between him and his conscience…If you do not externalize it {honor}, you cut yourself off from your nation…when you do wrong your peers cannot bring you back in line by stripping away your honor…”

“True,” Wedge said, “But by the same token, a group of people you respect, even though they don’t deserve it, can’t redefine honor for their own benefit, or to achieve some private agenda, and then use it to control your actions.”

“We improvise,” Wedge said, “We need a wheeled transport, one of the flatcam units our pursuers are carrying, and four sets of women’s clothing.”

“On some worlds people fight with their feet, too. Hands, feet, rocks, pure cussed willpower—they’re warriors. You, you’re just a dilettante.”

I’d like to note that The Antilles Four-Step Instant Speech should be taught in all military leadership courses.

If this book sounds up your alley, you can of course pick it up on Amazon or Walmart (or Google around). I’d really recommend the rest of the Rogue Squadron books.  I cut my teeth on big girl reading with the original Stackpole-authored series, and the Wraith Squadron ones are pretty good, too.

The book in the picture and the Rogue Squadron patch are both mine.

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