James Luceno's ... he also authored Dark Lord The Rise of Darth Vader and Labyrinth of Evil Yeah, not a fan...
This book was pretty dull the first half but it did pick up at the end. Mainly the story is about the Yuuzhan Vong attempting to exterminate the Jedi by slipping in a female Yuuzhan Vong priestess Elan claiming to want to defect. She's actually carrying a toxic poison waiting for the right time to release it. At the same time Han goes his own way to the dismay of his family and the Wookies that want to take over Chewbacca's Life Debt.
The author seems to want to show off the fact he knows all the novel VERY well. Some stuff must have been in the X-wing books cause I didn't know what they were talking about and it sounded like stuff I should have.
I really don't have a lot to say about this one. So straight to the few Spoiler notes I can come up with...
What on earth is a "familiar"?! You go through this whole book yet never get an answer to this question. Maybe that will be answered eventually or maybe it doesn't matter but this creature goes along with Elan to kill the Jedi yet in the end she goes out of her way to save Mara. If she is such a compationate being how has she followed along so long with Elan in this plan or did she just have a sudden turning point? One must have to guess she is in some way being held aganst her will. Maybe... kind of hoping more about her comes out in later books.
Some parts felt like shuffling card keeping up with who was where and why! The funny thing is the
last or the second to the last chapter is an over view of what you just read! I mean, it was nice cause I what I just read was not clear in my head! Normally you need to do this in a sequel but this book did it in the same book at the end!
Ah, these Yuuzhan Vong! They sound so grotesque!!! The illustration of Elan on the cover just doesn't look horrible enough. She too pretty! And who is the guy at the right? Is that the Ryn, Dorma Han hooked up with? Not the image I had in mind by the description I was getting in the book... maybe it's just me.
Luke and Mara. This is a strange pair... perhaps only Timothy Zahn should be able to write about them. I think James Lucendo did ok at the end where Luke and Mara see who can drink the tears first and yes, I can see that Luke would try it first and that Mara wouldn't allow him to be that protective of her. The dialogue between then is a bit awkward after she takes the stuff. The sickening sweetness is a little much for the two of them in public.
Since I disliked the image of Elan on the cover I did a little searching and found a fanart piece that I think is a better likeness.
Elan and Vergere by blue-but-beautiful on deviantART