Today, I was cursing myself for not knowing that the bookstore had new hours and was open an hour earlier than I thought originally, because I wanted Mercy Kill as soon as I could get it in my grubby little hands. If, for some reason, you have not gotten your copy yet…go get it. Right now. This is the best Star Wars book to come out in years.
And now, I’ve read it. This review is not so much a review as it is me squealing about various parts of the book. There are spoilers behind the jump, so fair warning.
This book is all about Piggy, and I absolutely love that. Allston did always use the Wraith books to look at one character in particular for each book, and now it’s Piggy’s turn, and it’s completely amazing. We’ve never gotten a good look at Piggy before, and learning what he’s been through in the last twenty years is at once inspiring and heart-wrenching.
I admit it. I cried. When I found out what Piggy had to do during the Yuuzhan Vong War, I cried. It was like Ton Phanan’s death all over again, but worse. And knowing that Piggy had carried that with him for fifteen years, trying to make his life his own again twisted my gut.
This carries all the Allston humor hallmarks. Witty dialogue, pranks, Face being, well, Face. Myri Antilles kicks butt (and when she can’t, she calls Daddy and Uncle Tycho for help). Jesmin Tainer takes after both of her parents far too much. And Allston left enough little clues about things that have happened to these characters to make room for enough future stories to delight both professional and fanfic authors who want to fill in the blanks.
It also has a fairly convoluted plot that straightens itself out nicely at the end. To be fair, there’s some stuff that I don’t understand going on, as I’ve not read all of the Fate of the Jedi series, but Allston provides enough information in text to keep you from going nuts over it.
Did I mention that we saw some familiar faces? It’s good to know that Kirney Slane is alive and well, married to Myn Donos and that she’s got kids who Piggy has been flatly forbidden to recruit for the Wraiths. It’s nice to see Dia out of the Wraiths. Perhaps one of Falynn Sandskimmer’s relatives during one of the Flashbacks. It’s great to see Face kicking butt (and taking over GA security). Shalla’s nephew turns up. And Myri Antilles isn’t a slouch in an X-wing either. (And Wedge wrote a volume of his memoirs! Who wants to see that?!?)
All in all, this book was fantastic. It’s everything I want in a Star Wars novel. Congratulations to Aaron Allston–he’s done it again.