Assault at Selonia by Roger McBride Allen Audiobook Review

With Han Solo and Leia Organa prisoners of ‘The Human League’ and the New Republic Fleet unable to fight, Luke, Lando must find a fleet capable of breaking through the Interdiction Field. Meanwhile, Chewie and the Solo kids go with Ebrihim to his homeworld and discover the secret behind Corellia’s archaeological dig.

The second part of ‘The Corellia Trilogy’ is an action packed splendour that keeps the main heroes separated for the majority of the book. All three must rely heavily on unfamiliar allies to achieve their goals and reunite.

Han is captive of ‘The Human League’, led by his sadistic cousin, Thracken Sal-Solo, who’s aim is to reinstate an Imperial-type rule over Corellia. For entertainment, Thracken has Han fight a Selonian called Dracmus ago later becomes Han’s cell mate.

After a few days, they are rescued by Dracmus’ clan who have a series of underground tunnels. Suspicious but thankful for the help, Han is led into an Underground Complex where the Selonians have built their own space craft on which they attempt to escape to Selonia.

Leia is held hostage in the wreckage of the Government Building. A new cell mate is brought to her, Mara Jade. Despite a lack of trust between the two, they hatch a daring escape plan, making their way to Jade’s room she had been staying in prior to the attack and her incarceration.

First they retrieve Leia’s lightsaber and Han’s spare blaster and eventually make it to the room where they find the remote to bring the Jade’s Fire to them. After a brief skirmish, the ship arrives and they escape.

Chewie and the kids have arrived at Ebrihim’s homeworld, where they visit his Aunt Marcha. After he explains the events of Corellia, it turns out it’s happening on Drall also. The Solo children are encouraged to tell Marcha whet they found on Corellia and Marcha believes there is another on Drall. They find the location and enter the same style chamber and learn that it’s a repulsor, big enough to move a planet. They deduce that each of the planets in the Corellian System must have one.

Luke and Lando’s journey to Corellia is cut short by the Interdiction Field and the return to Coruscant and meet with the leaders of the New Republic. During a meeting with Admiral Ackbar, Mon Mothma and other leaders to discuss their options. Seeing as most of the fleet was under repair and the rest on other missions, Luke decides to visit Gaeriel Captison, an old flame from the novel ‘Truce at Bakura’.

After meeting with Luke, Gaeriel tells him that the Bakuran government has granted permission for the Bakuran Fleet to aid the New Republic on a mission to Corellia to vanquish ‘The Human League’ and their new Hyperspace technology would help them get through the Interdiction Field.

The Bakuran Fleet arrives in the system and pushes through the Field until one of the ships loses its systems. They learn they the Interdiction Field is being generated from Centrepoint Station. Lando and Luke fly with the fighter squadron, taking on Corellian fighters. The damages Bakuran ship is destroyed by another Planetary Repulsor, this one fired from Selonia. Dracmus reveals to Han that her group wanted to secede from the Corellian government and become part of the New Republic, and would have handed control of the Repulsor to them, however, it seems that their opposition had located it first.

Leia, in the Jade Fire, senses Luke and Han. The Bakuran fleet welcomes Leia, Mara, Han and the Selonian crew (whose ship became useless after Dracmus has the crew pull some daring manoeuvres. Lando also reunites with Tendra Risant who left her planet to search for him.

In another part of the Galaxy, Wedge is working tirelessly to evacuate people from the next system on Thracken’s list is stars that ‘The Human League’ will cause to go Supernova. Up until the last minute, Wedge believes that the threat was a hoax until the star starts acting strangely. Luckily Wedge and the New Republic ships were able to get to a safe distance, but many thousands of people died, and the next star on the list has a much higher population, many of whom would certainly die even if the New Republic was able to begin evacuations immediately.

As much as I enjoyed ‘Ambush at Corellia’, ‘Assault at Selonia’ really ramps it up and genuinely feels like ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ in terms of the structure with all the heroes on separate adventures that culminate with everyone together for the final part. Allen doesn’t hold back and puts each of them through some form of ordeal, Han’s imprisonment at the hands of his cousin doesn’t feel half as brutal as his incarceration in ‘The Black Fleet Crisis’, but adds something different where he has to trust Dracmus and her Selonian comrades, even though he has very little knowledge of their allegiance in the Corellian crisis, it’s not until they are stranded that Dracmus explains their position and for Han, trust isn’t easy.

The Leia/Mara dynamic is interesting, given that the two of them don’t really trust each other at this point in the timeline, but knowing that they become family later it’s great to see that relationship develop, we also get to see Han’s feelings of distrust towards Jade in a conversation with Dracmus, who also knows Mara, but as a legitimate trader who the Selonian trusts.

The continued pairing of Luke and Lando is still as enjoyable in this book and the two of them end up going on another mission of the heart, with Luke meeting his former love interest, Gaeriel. Having still not read/listened to ‘Truce at Bakuran’, I didn’t learn about this pairing until this (audio)book, and their initial awkward meeting before the New Republic meets with the Bakuran naval leaders managed to give some insight to their past relationship without a huge amount of exposition, and didn’t get in the way of the story.

Seeing Chewie with Jacen, Jaina and Anakin as they go to Drall, Ebrihim’s homeworld gave us a look at another different grouping. Usually Han and Chewie are the inseparable pair so this is another refreshing change that Allen has given us in this trilogy. The fact that the children are the ones who have the important information that leads their group and Aunt Marcha to finding out about the Planet Repulsor and the history of the Corellian Sector, being a solar system made by people gives some interesting history to the Galaxy.

This final part with Wedge really slams home the threat of the hidden ‘Star Burster’ weapon, and the fact that we get a well known and loved character like Wedge to be a witness really shows the high stakes of what the New Republic must deal with and is a great lead in to the next book.

The second part of any trilogy is just like the second act of any story, it’s where the characters go through the most, must deal with insurmountable odds and get them ready for the final part and ‘Assault at Selonia’ does just that in a really great way and is helping put ‘The Corellian Trilogy’ high on my favourites list for the Legends timeline.

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