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The Krytos Trap (1996)

The Krytos Trap (1996)

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3.91 of 5 Votes: 3
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0553568035 (ISBN13: 9780553568035)

About book The Krytos Trap (1996)

Something about the X-Wing series has always reminded me of a TV show, a very ambitious TV show with compelling characters and plots that if it ever actually became a live-action show, I'd be hard-pressed to maintain my dogged opposition to any new Star Wars films or shows.Michael A. Stackpole is a master. The first book was about fighter pilot jocks; the second was about a covert operation behind enemy lines. The Krytos Trap is a courtroom drama, prison escape, dogfight extravaganza. (By necessity, the review of a third book in a series contains spoilers relating to the first two books, which I do not consider worth specifying as "spoilers." Our society is too spoiler-oriented as it is.)Winning Coruscant was a bittersweet victory for Rogue Squadron and the young Republic. With the loss of Corran Horn biting deeper than previous deaths, they try to pull together a funeral ceremony that will get them some peace and closure, but political tensions require it to become a media frenzy. Furthermore, they have inherited a diseased world: Ysanne Isard's Krytos virus is devouring the nonhuman population along with the rebel bankroll and bacta supply. And then, as the rotten cherry atop the whole bloody mess, Corran's death has been ruled a murder -- and Tycho Celchu is the man facing the gallows.Unbeknownst to them, but knownst to us (via the epilogue in the previous book), Corran is not dead -- he might wish he was, if he could get his torture-pocked brain to process anything from more than 90 seconds ago, because he is captive to Isard in her secret and unescapable prison, Lusankya, and she wants to break him and turn him into a secret agent to do her dark will.The courtroom battle with its parry-and-riposte dialogue is only part of the battlefield Rogue Squadron is not prepared for, because the Alliance is still desperately trying to come up with a way to cure the Krytos virus. With precious bacta shipments falling under attack and Kirtan Loor overseeing a counterinsurgency program on Coruscant, these pilots must become diplomats and detectives as well as aces.Did I already say the part about Stackpole being an absolute master? This book is a gem. Unlike Reaves, who, much as I like him, always falls over by the third book because he has nothing left to say, Stackpole keeps the plot moving fast and there's enough to keep him and the reader busy.The other thing I love about Stackpole is his humor. He understands perfectly how to spice the narrative with a few grains of comedy without jarring the reader, losing track of his plot, or being totally unrealistic. There are things in the book that are funny just because they are funny, of course, the usual quips and one-liners -- but by far the best are the bits that are funny just because you know and care about these people. A friend can say something that isn't necessarily funny, but you find it so because you know them; that's how it is with these guys. Reading the book, you're part of Rogue Squadron, invested in the characters and their relationships, and you can smile just because you know they're smiling.Protip, watch Corran's scenes very closely for the moment when his grandfather stops being referred to in the past tense and hints start dropping about the main subplot of I, Jedi. Or, just read this book for the rollicking good time. I've read it before and was on the edge of my seat and grinning through the last chapters.Review via The RebeLibrarian

What I've enjoyed most about the X-Wing books thus far is that, while the whole series represents a cohesive ongoing story, each book in the series is quite unique in its own right. If "Rogue Squadron" was "Top Gun" in space and "Wedge's Gamble" was a sort of cloak and dagger tale, "The Krytos Trap" is half courtroom melodrama and half prison escape tale.Tycho Celchu has been arrested on accusations that he murdered fellow Rogue Squadron member Corran Horn (Horn's supposed death occurred at the end of the previous volume). The case is not just high profile, it is also hugely political. The Rebellion/New Republic have won and occupied Coruscant, but not before the Imperials were able to release the Krytos virus, allowing it to spread among the general population. The virus is extremely contagious and deadly, but humans and a few other species are immune. The alien races who are being decimated by the virus want blood, and Celchu's trial will give the young Republic the chance to prove that justice is truly blind - by convicting a human of a capital offense. The only problem, as the reader knows, is that Celchu is innocent - at least of Horn's death. We know that Horn has been abducted and is being held captive by former head of Imperial Intelligence Ysanne Isard on Lusankya, location unknown, a seemingly inescapable prison world. The book alternates between the trial of Celchu, various political machinations on Coruscant, attempts by the Rebels to slow or stop the Krytos virus and Horn's escape attempts from Lusankya.As I've noted in previous reviews, there are probably still too many characters to track in this installment. But given that this is the third book in the meta-narrative, I am making fewer and fewer trips to the Dramatis Personae list Stackpole has provided. The plot clips along at a good pace and both major storylines have plenty of interest. I found some of the minor characters (e.g. Kirtan Loor) less compelling, but I also sense that Stackpole is setting up a few dominoes which will fall in succeeding volumes.There's nothing really earth-shattering here. Just good old-fashioned Saturday matinee style serial storytelling. If you're a Star Wars fan and love the minutiae of this universe, you'll likely enjoy it. If you're not, well, you probably didn't read this far.

Do You like book The Krytos Trap (1996)?

This is the third book in the X-Wing series, and I'm starting to get so into this series. I think this was my favorite one so far, but I can't really tell you why without revealing some spoilers...I thought all of the characters got even more interesting in this book. It's rare for me to be emotionally invested in so many characters in a book. To be fair, that's at least partly because not many books have so many characters, but still, I really love a good deal of the characters in this book. I
—Haley Keller

Advances the plot nicely. Was easy to read (3 sittings, two of which were over 100 pages apiece). I knew that Erisi was the traitor, and was satisfied that my detective work was accurate. Loved the Jedi stuff at the end, and I can’t wait for I, Jedi and the development of Corran Horn as a Knight of the New Republic.
—Ricky Ganci

The third of the original four books by Stackpole, I think that this one is the weakest of the group. The book suffers from having Corran separated from the rest of the squadron for the entire book, and I think it really brings the book down as a whole. The prison chapters just aren't as interesting to me as the rest of the goings-on are.One of the stronger points is that this book does focus a bit more on the other characters, and it's always nice to have a chapter from a new perspective, rather than Corran, Wedge, or Kirtan. However, none of them go particularly deep into their new characters, so they feel a little shallower than they might otherwise.The trial is reasonably entertaining, the bits with the rest of the squadron are fine, and overall the story is all right. The reveal of the traitor is fairly weak, I thought, with hardly any setup leading up to it. Rereading the series now, as an adult and knowing who it is, I didn't really feel that there were any clues as to their identity that would have let anybody make a reasonable guess.When I was younger I probably would have given the book two stars, but I felt it was a bit better than I had remembered, while not being as great as the others are. It might also suffer a bit (unfairly) because the next book is my favorite, and I found myself looking forward to it more often than I did enjoying this book.The reveal of Corran's family history felt a bit silly to me, but it's not exactly uncommon in Star Wars books, especially from this time period, so I will forgive it that, and it was at least set up a little beforehand.

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