I can't do it. I just can't write up a normal review with the Good and Bad things with this book. I mean, there are parts I liked and such, but, just, no.
Here's the problem with this book. There's too much "inside baseball" and too much power.
The main villains are Columi. That's not a common race - but they only get a passing description. There's even reference to their mother. And I went "Huh?" Keep in mind that I have purchased every non-juvenile bit of Star Wars fiction to come out in the past 20+ years, and I actually reread them.
And here I am, reading the book, and my reaction is "Huh? What are they talking about?" Because this information was not given in a "these are hints the author is including to provide motivation" but rather pointing to a backstory. And thanks to wookiepedia, I found it. A Choose Your Own Adventure style segment in a role playing supplement... from 1990.
Written by Troy Denning.
How in the world am I supposed to be expected to remember that? Or why would I have been expected to have READ that, ever?
And it goes on. I thought this was supposed to be a stand-alone novel. Apparently "stand-alone" means "We won't call it the 10th book in the previous series, but we will just make it totally dependent on the previous, forgettable series." This book required me to remember more things from the previous book (Apocalypse by... you guessed it) than most of the books in the series did. When the book requires me to remember small, throwaway details from a previous series so that I can try to understand an obscure journey through an esoteric meta-plot that I think is dumb anyway... yeah, that no longer feels like the Star Wars Universe that I know and love.
Come on Reboot! Help us, J. J. Abrams, you're our only hope!
And of course, the other problem is, well, Denning's solution. To everything. MORE POWER! To have a better fight, just give everyone more power! The fight's going to be better if they are level 85 and not level 25... because level 85 means "more drama!"
And it's just unsatisfying.
To be fair, some scenes were great. I thought there was some great Sabacc scenes. But yeah. No more. No more Denning. Please. Because I am a sucker and I will buy it and read it, but please, no more.