Top critical review
Refreshing after Black Fleet
Reviewed in the United States on September 11, 2019
Coming out of the incredibly plodding Black Fleet Crisis, this book was refreshing. The author weaves several stories into one, but unlike Black Fleet Crisis, here the stories are actually related; and since the author is skillful at using cliffhangers, every chapter is generally interesting and keeps the pace.
The villain is interesting but by the end is reduced to a pastiche -- I thought this was unfortunate. The author introduced some new characters and has a firm grasp on how to write the existing characters well; unfortunately, she was either unable or unwilling to leave the confines of Lucas's story and merely recycled familiar elements, producing what is ultimately an original and kinda disappointing conclusion. The end of the book is full of forced drama that had me rolling my eyes.
The style of writing is rather simple, which becomes annoying when characters dramatically say someone's name like "Leia." "Han." I didn't care for that.
R2-D2 really shines here, and the author excels at building his/its character without giving him/it any direct dialogue. I really enjoyed that element. Cole Fardreamer seems like he could be an interesting character, but I've read a few NJO books and he never crops up again. That's unfortunate. Brakiss gets some development and didn't die so I guess he could reappear later. But again, it's a shame the author reduced Kueller into a pastiche.
I liked the book but it didn't blow me away like X-Wing or Zahn. It showed potential, and was refreshing after Black Fleet.