Star Wars X-Wing #9: Starfighters of Adumar

Star Wars X-Wing #9: Starfighters of Adumar

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by Aaron Allston
     
 

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Book 9 in the exciting series!

The X-wing fighter pilots have earned their reputation as the Rebel Alliance's ultimate strike force by overwhelming enemies with their rapid-fire assaults. But now they are about to embark on a diplomatic mission that will prove to be even more hazardous than all-out combat....

The neutral world of Adumar has decided to

Overview

Book 9 in the exciting series!

The X-wing fighter pilots have earned their reputation as the Rebel Alliance's ultimate strike force by overwhelming enemies with their rapid-fire assaults. But now they are about to embark on a diplomatic mission that will prove to be even more hazardous than all-out combat....

The neutral world of Adumar has decided to pick a side in the war to control the galaxy. Delegates from both the New Republic and the Empire have been invited to Adumar, and each camp will be given a chance to plead its government's case. But there is one small catch: since the Adumari prize military skill above all else, they insist that both delegations be composed exclusively of fighter pilots. For pilot Wedge Antilles and his company, it's an unfamiliar exercise in diplomacy--and one that's filled with unexpected peril. For once they arrive, the X-wing pilots are challenged by Adumar's fierce warriors and attacked by Imperial assassins bent on eliminating all competition. But these challenges pale in comparison to the threat posed by a rogue Republic agent...one who is determined to win Adumar's allegiance once and for all--even if it costs the X-wing pilots their lives.

Features a bonus section following the novel that includes a primer on the Star Wars expanded universe, and over half a dozen excerpts from some of the most popular Star Wars books of the last thirty years!

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307796394
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
06/28/2011
Series:
Star Wars: X-Wing Series , #9
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
85,230
File size:
5 MB

Read an Excerpt

She was beautiful and fragile and he could not count the number of times he had told her he loved her. But he had come here knowing he had to hurt her very badly.

Her name was Qwi Xux. She was not human; her blue skin, a shade lighter than her eyes, and her glistening brown hair, downy in its softness, were those of the humanoids of the planet Omwat. She was dressed for the occasion in a white evening gown whose flowing lines complemented her willowy form.

They sat at a table in a balcony café three kilometers above the surface of the planet Coruscant, the world that was a city without end. Just beyond the balcony rail was a vista made up of skyscrapers extending to the horizon, an orange sky threatening rain, and the sun setting beyond one of the more distant thunderheads. Breezes drifting across the two of them smelled of rain to come. At this early-evening hour, he and Qwi were the only diners on the balcony, and he was grateful for the privacy.

Qwi looked up from her entree of factory-bred Coruscant game fowl, her soft smile fading from her lips. "Wedge, there is something I must say."

Wedge Antilles, general of the New Republic, perhaps still the most famous pilot of the old Rebel Alliance, breathed a sigh of silent thanks. Qwi's conversational distraction would give him at least a few more moments before he had to arm his bad news and fire it off at her. "What is it?"

Her gaze fixed on him, she took a deep breath and held it until he was sure she would begin to turn even more blue. He recognized her expression: a reluctance to injure. He gestured, not impatiently, for her to go ahead.

"Wedge," she said, her words all in a rush, "I think our time together is done."

"What?"

"I don't know how to say it so that it doesn't seem cruel." She gave him a helpless shrug. "I think we must go our separate ways."

He remained silent, trying to restructure what she'd said into something he understood.

It wasn't that her words were confusing. But they were the words he was supposed to be saying. How they'd defected from his mind to hers was a complete mystery to him.

He tried to remember what he'd thought she would say when he spoke those words to her. All he could manage was "Why?" At least his tone was neutral, no accusation in it.

"Because I think we have no future together." Her gaze scanned his face as if looking for new cuts or bruises. "Wedge, we are good together. You bring me happiness. I think I do the same for you. But whenever I try to turn my mind from where we are to where we will be someday, I see no home, no family, no celebration days special to us. Just two careers whose bearers keep intersecting out of need. I think of what we feel for one another and every time it seems 'affection' is the proper word, not 'love.'"

Wedge sat transfixed. Yes, those were his thoughts, much as he had been marshaling them all day long. "If not love, Qwi, what do you think this relationship meant to us?"

"For me, it was need. When I left the Maw facility where I designed weapons for the Empire, when I was made to understand what sort of work I had been doing, I was left with nothing. I looked for something to tractor me toward safety, toward comfort, and that tractor beam was you." She dropped her gaze from his. "When Kyp Durron used his Force powers to destroy my memory, to ensure I could never engineer another Death Star or Sun-crusher, I became nothing, and was more in need of my tractor beam than ever."

She met his gaze again. "For you, it was a simulator run."

"What?"

"Please, hear me out." Distressed, she turned away from him to stare at the cloud-mottled sky and the distant sunset. "When we met, I think your heart told you that it was time for you to love. And you did, you loved me." Her voice became a whisper. "I understand now that humans, in their adolescent years, fall in love long before they understand what it means. These loves do not usually endure. They are learning experiences. I think perhaps that you, shoved from your childhood home straight into a world of starfighters and lasers and death, missed having those learning loves. But the need for them stayed with you.

"Wedge, I was the wrong one for you. Whatever your intent, whatever your seriousness, I think that all you have felt for me has been a simulator run for some later time, for some other woman. One with whom you can share a future." Her words became raspy. She turned her attention back to Wedge, and he could see tears forming in her eyes. "I wish I could have been her."

Wedge sagged back against his chair. At last her words had become her own again.

"And I am at fault," she continued. "I have--oh, this is hard to say."

"Go ahead, Qwi. I'm not angry. I'm not going to make this harder for you."

She flashed a brief smile. "No, you wouldn't. Wedge, when we came together I was a different woman. Then, when I lost my memory, I became someone else, the woman I am now, and you were there--brave and modest and admired, my protector in a universe that was unfamiliar to me--and after I realized this, I could not bring myself to make you understand . . ."

"Tell me." Unconsciously, he leaned over to take her hand.

"Wedge, I feel as though I inherited you. From a friend who passed away. You were her choice. I do not know if you would have been mine. I never had the chance to find out."

He stared at her for a long moment. Then a laugh escaped him. "Let me get this straight. I look on you as a comfortable old simulator, and you look on me as an inheritance that doesn't match the rest of your furniture."

She started to look stricken, then she laughed in return. She clapped her free hand over her mouth and nodded.

"Qwi, one of the things I truly admire is courage. It took courage for you to say what you've said to me. And it would be irresponsible, even cruel, of me if I didn't admit that I came here tonight to break up with you."

She put her hand down. Her expression was not surprised. Instead, it was a little wondering, a little amused. "Why?"

"Well, I don't think I have your eloquence on this matter. I don't think I've thought it through the way you have. But one reason is the same. The future. I keep looking toward it and I don't see you there. Sometimes I don't see me there."

She nodded. "Until just now I had a little fear that I was wrong. That I might be making a mistake. Now I can be sure I was not. Thank you for telling me. It would have been so easy for you not to have."

"No, it wouldn't."

"Well . . . maybe it wouldn't for Wedge Antilles. For many men, it would have been." She turned a smile upon him, a smile made up, he thought, of pride in him. "What will you do now?"

"I've been thinking a lot about that. I've been looking at the two sides of my life. My career and my personal life. Except for the fact that I'm not flying nearly as much as I want to, I have no complaints about my career." That wasn't entirely true, and hadn't been ever since he'd been convinced to accept the rank of general, but he tried not to burden her with frustrations he was convinced arose from his own selfishness. "I'm doing important work and being recognized for it. But my personal life ..." He shook his head as though reacting to the death of a friend. "Qwi, you were the last part of my personal life. Now there's nothing there. A vacuum purer than anything in space. So I think, in a few weeks, I'm going to take a leave of absence. Travel a bit, try to sneak a visit into Corellia, not think about my work. I'll just try to find out if there is anything to me except career."

"There is."

"I'll believe it when I see it."

"Keep your visual sensors turned up, then."

He laughed. "What about you?"

"I have friends. I have work. I am acquiring hobbies. Remember, the new Qwi is less than two years old. In that way, I'm still a little girl experiencing the universe for the first time." She looked apologetic. "So I will learn, and work, and see who it is I am becoming."

"I hope you'll still consider me a friend," he said.

"Always."

"Meaning you can still call on me. Send me messages. Send me lifeday presents."

She laughed. "Greedy."

"Thank you, Qwi."

"Thank you, Wedge."

From the Paperback edition.

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Star Wars X-Wing #9 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 42 reviews.
hmweasley 19 days ago
I'm going to try to keep this review brief as this is the ninth book in a series, and I typically don't like spoiling previous books in a series in my reviews. This series does feel different in that there's not a larger, overarching plot that links the story in this ninth book with the others in the series. But still, this is the ninth one, so I feel like anyone who has gotten to this point is invested in the series and knows whether they want to read this one or not. That makes going into a lot of detail feel pointless. For me, I read this book three years after reading all eight of the other books, since those were the ones I had at the time, so I was worried that I'd be confused going into this one, having forgotten the events of the last eight books. That wasn't a problem though. Any information that I needed to know came back to me quickly. It was almost shocking how much I remembered once I was back in the series again. The familiarity was nice. That being said, I think this was my least favorite of the series, and I don't think I'm saying that because it's been three years since I read the others (although maybe that is why). It was only a minimal drop in enjoyment. I still want to read the tenth book. I'm even more curious about it because it was published so many years after the ninth. The ninth book was enjoyable and fun. I really did like it, and I think anyone who read and liked the first eight would get enjoyment out of this one too. I did. It's just that, if I were to rank the series, I'm not sure what order they would be in, but this one would likely come last for reasons that I can't quite place my finger on.
Skip_Wiley More than 1 year ago
X-Wing - Starfighters of Adumar: several things wrong with that title First and foremost, this is NOT an X-Wing book. It contains X-Wing pilots as primary characters but it is not about X-Wings and the craft themselves barely appear at any time. Second and second-most, there's no starfighter action - nearly all combat portions of the story take place in atmosphere. Now that we've gotten that out of the way, I enjoyed this book quite a bit. It was slow-moving but the witty repartee was exactly what I'd come to love about Allston's depiction of Rogue Squadron (sorry, Michael). I enjoyed a lot of the cloak-and-dagger mystique of the plot and the emotional portrayal of the protagonists. While I was happy to witness the initial romance of Iella & Wedge, that part seemed forced. Previous novels showed them as being close friends and now suddenly they aren't. It's tragic, sure, and eventually some explanation is given for that but it just seemed so scripted (I know, it WAS scripted - it's a novel). It's like they needed to add some sort of drama to the romantic entaglement besides the danger of the mission so someone said "Ooooh! I know. Make her mad at him for something!" Aside from these perceived drawbacks, I did enjoy this book a good deal and would recommend it. But with no X-Wings and no starfighter action to speak of, I have reservations.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A condensed version of an X-wing book. Which has its good and bad points. Instead of juggling a twelve man squadron plus additional supporting characters, we only have a handful of pilots, assistants, and enemies to deal with. Instead of a full military campaign where the main characters go on several missions, there's only one assignment that's the focus of the entire book. Instead of a romance building over the course of the book between two characters, they just seem to decide at one point that they're now officially going to be a couple. I don't know if this is the shortest book in the X-wing series, but it definitely feels like it. Over all, I enjoyed it. The sense of humor from Allston's previous work on the series is definitely here. Which helps to balance a bit of grimness that creeps into the story at the edges. At least with what I've read in other Star Wars novels before, I don't recall other stories where the heroes of the Alliance/New Republic have been quite so antagonistic towards each other.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For those of you who like the in-depth description of starfighter combat that characterized the previous X-Wing books, you may not like this. By the way, this is NOT the last X-Wing book. X-Wing: Mercy Kill is upcoming.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read it several years ago and enjoyed very much. I gave my paperback copy away to a relative and I decided to read it again!
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ColoradoBR More than 1 year ago
This is the final novel in the X-wing series of novels. It begins on the heels of those events in the Last Command. It takes the pilots of Rogue Squadron to Adumar, where more than their piloting skills are tested. The series ended better than it started.
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