I've been a fan of the Star Wars Universe for a long time, and used to read everything that came out for it. That all came to a rapid and sudden stop when they start with the New Jedi Order books started coming out. I just couldn't get in to them at all, didn't enjoy the concept, the events, even the some of the characters I had a hard time getting in to. So that brought my love affair with Star Wars novels to a crashing end.
Last week I was in our local bookstore and noticed a new Star Wars novel, the first thing I noticed on a closer was that it was by Timothy Zahn. The same person who wrote my all time favorite series in the Star Wars Universe The Heir to the Empire series. A quick scan of the back was enough to confirm that it was a time period in the Universe that I enjoyed, so I picked it up.
The book runs with four main story lines which all meet at various points through book and end for a dramatic climax. Story lines focus on of course Han, Luke, and chewie in one group, Mara Jade in the next, a group of Stormtroopers, and Leia. In the end I honestly think I would have enjoyed the story more had it focused on just the small group of stormtroopers and Mara Jade. While the rest of it did add interesting bits to the story, and filled in a bit of the story of main characters between episodes 4 and 5. It didn't overly add to my own enjoyment of this story.
My favorite aspect of the book was the deserter Stormtroopers who were struggling to figure out there own way and trying to stay true to their own values and the oaths they had made to the Empire. They struggled with some of their past actions like following orders to slaught innocent aliens. They also tried to stay true to the oath they took to protect and defend the empire. I hope that someone picks up their story and writes a few more books about them.
The book opens up with an acknowledgement that I feel is worth mentioning. The idea behind a small group of stormtroopers that are the main characters in the novel came from a fan. Albin Johnson the fan who founded the 501st legion, which is a group of fans that dress up as Star Wars characters at conventions, most commonly Stormtroopers. It's great in my opinion to see the fans getting some acknowledgement for what they do.