by Timothy Zahn.
How good a sign is it when my overwhelming impression of a book to tell you is that “yeah, I didn’t mind reading it.” I gave this book two out of five stars. A common theme in positive reviews is how much everyone has enjoyed the humanization of Stormtroopers; I actually am not going to deviate from that because I agree that this was the book’s chief selling point. Granted, there was little enough else going for it — a small corps of troopers desert the Empire because they have a problem with what the Empire is ordering them to do. The characters are believable, compelling, and interesting. A young Mara Jade is an interesting addition, and I enjoyed getting a glimpse of her at work as the Hand.
Still, there were complaints. Aren’t there always? I get fed up with Zahn’s absolute preoccupation with the Empire as a “speciesist” organization, mostly because he’s got three quarters of the rest of the Star Wars Authors believing it, when there isn’t the smallest amount of proof toward such a hypothesis. Ask me about that sometime.
I guess my biggest complaint was Zahn sampling his own work. A lot of Thrawn-Trilogy references and reflections that weren’t necessary because such shout-outs usually aren’t necessary, and the Ghost-of-Obi-Wan didn’t belong in here any more than he belonged in the Thrawn trilogy. Oh, well.
Not a bad little read. Not a good one, either. Canon, but not “necessary.” Check it out on Amazon.com.