Rebel Dawn by A.C. Crispin
3-0 years BBY
Every once in a while you come across a book that literally blows your mind. For me, a good book keep me excited the entire way through, ties plot points (and, for Star Wars, continuity points) together seamlessly, has a diverse and engaging cast of characters, and is well-written overall. Rebel Dawn is all of this and more. Call me crazy, but this just might be my favorite BBY book.
Let's break it down by the qualities I listed above...
I was always glad to pick up this book. It just had an exciting and foreboding feel to it. This story is pretty long for a Star Wars adventure, but I never even noticed that until I finished it. I can usually only read a book for about an hour straight (covering maybe 50 pages), but Rebel Dawn was so engaging that I found myself spending half my day reading it- and loving every minute.
When I think of what attracts me the most about this story, it has to be the astonishing smoothness with which it both creates it own story yet integrates so many others. Rebel Dawn takes place over 3 years and, being the obsessive galactic historian I am, I frequently had to put it down in order to read other books. The most notable interruptions were the Han Solo Adventures: At Stars' End, Han Solo's Revenge The Lost Legacy. Now, you would think A.C. Crispin would have been hard-pressed to incorporate this huge gap (during which Han is off fortune-hunting in the Corporate Sector). Not at all. In a brilliant move, Crispin changed the entire focus of the book away from Han and towards three other key characters: Bria Tharen, Jabba The Hutt, and Durga The Hutt. This book also covers a lot of continuity ground as well. It includes infamous events such as how and why Han and Chewie had to drop their spice cargo, how the Death Star plans reach the Tantive IV, and how Jabba became the leader of the Desilijic kajidic (Hutt clan).
The characters featured in this tale are some of the most iconic in the GFFA. Where else can you find Han, Chewie, Lando, Jabba, Boba Fett, Prince Xizor, Guri, Dash Rendar, Winter, and more? The list just goes on and on. This doesn't even include the numerous references to other major characters (i.e. Obi-Wan, Luke, Mon Mothma).
Finally, A.C. Crispin is an amazing writer. She may be even be my favorite (no disrespect to the mighty Zahn). Her reading is so natural and flowing. And she really created a story that, if I had to pick, would be my personal pick for a one-shot Star Wars movie. This really felt like belonged with the OT. In fact, it seems that this is truly a heartfelt welcome for me to the ABY galaxy.
If I scored this book out of 10, it would get a thousand.