A.C. Crispin, author of the Star Wars Han Solo Trilogy, posted a farewell to her fans yesterday on StarTrek.com. Ann, who has written for a variety of franchises, including Star Wars, Star Trek, Pirates of the Caribbean, as well as her own original Starbridge universe, made the announcement that her battle with cancer is nearing its end.
Crispin thanked her fans for their support and assured them that she was receiving excellent care, let them know that her husband was collecting messages sent to her, but warned them that she may not have the strength to post to her Facebook or website again.
In addition to being a prolific science-fiction writer, Crispin has also served as the Vice President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and with colleague Victoria Strauss, founded Writer Beware, a offshoot of SFWA that helps writers avoid publishing scams and assists law enforcement in shutting down criminal activity in the publishing world. She has also been a leader in ensuring female voices and representation among the science-fiction community.
Ann’s Star Wars resume includes the Han Solo trilogy and two short stories, one for both Tales of the Mos Eisley Cantina and Tales from Jabba’s Palace.
I don’t care what anyone else says but I love the Han Solo Trilogy and always have since I first read these when I was 9 or so. I’ve said before that they’re my guilty pleasure books and that’s just fine with me. It has, however, been reeeeeally long time since I’ve read these books and wow was it weird to keep reading about a ‘Bria’. I don’t know you folks with more commonly used names do it when you read books. But let’s set my personal issues with that aside for now and get on with the reviews!
The Paradise Snare
Oh street rat Han. You try, kiddo, you try. Okay sure his background may be a little cliché but did we really expect Han to come from anything else? Plus, it’s a nice set up for everyone to realize that Thracken Sal-Solo is indeed a-word-that-I-cannot-use-in-this-review.
The book serves as a nice set up for both the trilogy and Han as a character. For starters, both his relationship with Dewlanna and his experience with Ylesia make it a no brainer for him to save Chewie later on. You get to see where he came from and how he made the natural progression to the person he is when he first meets Luke and Obi-Wan on Tatooine. It’s also fun to see how Han seems to attract sidekicks no matter what although the idea of Han teaching Muuurgh proper Basic grammar is somewhat entertaining. As far as Ylesia goes though? Wow does Han have some bad luck when it comes to ending up on crappy mining planets.
Obviously, I really do love the character of Bria Tharen. Sure she’s in a pretty crappy place (mentally and physically) when we first meet her but her evolution as a character through the series is great. I think her interest in archaeology is a neat touch. While yes, she has fallen victim to this fake religion, I really like that Crispin makes it clear that this happens to both the weak and the strong-minded. Similarly, while she does need Han’s help to initially break away from it, I absolutely do not think that makes her a weak character but more on that later probably.
I do love all the subtle little cameos such as the one by Bornan and Aryn Thul on Alderaan. It’s a cute little tie-in to the YJK books. I also appreciate the flyby mention of Hal Horn in connection to the ‘Jenos Idanian’ identity. Say what you will about the Bantam era books but I really love how the authors really did try to make things tie together and fit to the best of their abilities.
The only thing that had me really rolling my eyes with this book was Han’s abuse of endearments. Come on, Han. I know you were a street rat but really? On the other hand, I can wave it off because this is a book about a very young Han Solo and he hasn’t figured out how to be suave and charming yet scruffy yet.