Ambush at Corellia by Roger Macbride Allen Audiobook Review

The Solo family visit Han’s homework’s of Corellia for a Trade Summit as tensions rise amongst the people and a hostile group called ‘The Human League’ begins terrorising the planet. Meanwhile, Luke joins Lando on a strange journey to find Lando a wife.

As the first part of a trilogy, ‘Ambush at Corellia’ has got the hard job of being the scene setter, establishing the overall plot, introducing the key players and setting up for the second act.

Han, Leia, Chewie, Jacen, Jaina and Anakin visit Han’s homeworld of Corellia to golf to a Trade Summit. Before they set off, Han and Chewie are approached by Belindi Kalenda from the New Republic Intelligence, there is unrest on the planet and they need Han to act suspiciously to distract those working against the New Republic.

On Corellia, Han has a look around and crosses the path of a parade for a group calling themselves ‘The Human League’. Two members seem to recognise him and knock him out, he wakes up in a cell where another member of the League tells them he’s not who they think, and that he is in fact Han Solo. He’s knocked out again and returned to his family with a warning.

Leia hires a Drall (one of the three native species of the Corellia System) called Ebrihim, and his Droid, a modified R2 unit called Q9 to be the children’s tutor during their time on Corellia. The family go on various field trips, one of which is to the first archaeological dig on the planet where Han recognises the uniforms of those that ‘The Human League’ wear. As they go through the dig, Anakin is drawn to a part of the wall, the twins join him and they reveal a hidden panel. They press it and open a door to a chamber. They are joined by Q9 who, before leading the children back to the group, scans the area in case it’s needed later.

At the trade summit, Mara Jade arrives with a message for Leia that had been delivered to her. The message, originally intended to be delivered by Luke who has gone on a separate adventure with Lando. The message, from the head of ‘The Human League’ demands that the New Republic begins the process to allow Corellia to leave the Galactic Government as well as remove the Selonian and Drall inhabitants from the planet, or his group would trigger a series of stars to go supernova, the first of which has already happened.

Han finds Kalenda who has been keeping an eye on the Solo family. They devise a plan to get Kalenda off-planet with the message to show Mon Mothma and The Senate. When Han tells Leia the plan they share a brief moment, knowing that Han is going to end up captured. He then instructs Chewie that, if anything happens he is to get the kids to safety.

The building they are in is attacked, Chewie, the children, Ebrihim and Q9 to the Falcon and try to escape but are attacked, so Ebrihim directs Chewie to a safe haven they could use.

Han and Kalenda go through with their plan and Kalenda escapes but Han is captured. The following day, ‘The Human League’ sends a message, their hidden leader is revealed to be Thracken Sal-Solo, Han’s cousin who had believed to be dead.

Meanwhile, through all of this, Lando takes Luke across the Galaxy to find a wife, not for love but as more of a mutually agreed business transaction. Their first visit almost has Lando enter into a union with a Life Witch, where Lando would die at the end of their five year agreement, the second has recently gotten married but the third, Tendra Risant piques Lando’s interest in a more romantic venture but their meeting is cut short by the local government kicking non-citizens off planet due to the unrest in the Corellian Sector. As they head to Corellia to help Han and Leia they are pulled out of Hyperspace by an interdiction field, a measure ‘The Human League’ has put in place to counter any attacks against the planet.

As a set up to a trilogy, ‘Ambush at Corellia’ does a great job, and it gives us our first look at Corellia (in Legends, as far as I know). By the end, all of the characters are in place for their storylines in the next book and gives us a promise of some great action ahead.

I really enjoyed the Luke and Lando dynamic, it’s not one we usually get and whilst it’s a more subdued storyline than Han and Leia’s it is almost refreshing to see something different playing out in a Star Wars story.

Allen gives us a really nice look at family life for the Solo’s when not in the middle of some crazy adventure as they are travelling to Corellia when Han is telling his children about the Corellia System, of course it’s an expository scene and it gives us a swath of information we need about the different species, the planets of the Sector and the political situation that they are in before, during and after the Empire. It’s a lovely scene with the whole family, the children sat with their parents for something akin to story-time.

‘The Human League’ is a different kind of enemy, not a Sith or Dark Force user in sight, no Imperial Remnant leaders wanting to get their name out there or alien race hell bent on Galactic domination. And whilst the concept is new for Star Wars, it’s not me that we have seen a lot in the world recently and whilst I try not to compare Star Wars to the real world too often (not saying Star Wars isn’t political, I just like to keep the fantasy and reality separate), there is something awfully similar to the horrendous increase of racism over the last few years that comes to pass in this (audio)book.

A good and enjoyable book that promises great things from the rest of the series, I’m starting to look forward to these audiobooks again after the tough slog that ended with ‘The New Rebellion’.

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