I almost didn’t read this book because there are stormtroopers on the cover and generally, I haven’t been a big fan of books focused on stormtroopers. But it is by Timothy Zahn, also featured our intrepid OT heroes, and promised young Mara Jade, so I went for it. It was a good book, though probably my least favorite Zahn book to date.
I liked Mara, though I kept remembering that she’s only 18 in this book and some of the stuff seems very mature for her age. Though she does also make some rash decisions, so I guess that makes sense for an 18 year old. I was confused by her Force powers. If I remember correctly, in the Thrawn trilogy, Luke is teaching her to use the Force. In this book, she’s younger and in complete control – moving things, influencing people, whatever needs to be done. I think there might have been something in TT about her thinking her powers came from the Emperor and she lost them when he died? idk. It just seemed weird to me. I did really like her interactions with Darth Vader and felt he was well written.
I like the Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewy story lines. Leia’s was especially interesting. I feel like Zahn did a good job of capturing them in their post A New Hope places, especially Han wavering between staying with the Rebellion and leaving to pay off Jabba and working out his feelings towards Leia.
The stormtroopers weren’t as bad as I expected them to be, but I still wasn’t overly invested in their story. It was just a little meh for me. I did like them by the end of the book.