My rating: 4 of 5 stars
NOTE: Some minor spoilers may follow.
Timothy Zahn did a truly excellent job with young Commander Thrawn; I enjoyed his interactions with Car’das, but especially his tactics and strategy for dealing with the Vagaari and Outbound Flight.
Speaking of Outbound Flight, I enjoyed the perspective of the Jedi, but I felt that perhaps Zahn covered too much ground. We went from before Outbound Flight was officially and finally green-lit until its destruction, and I thought more could have been done on the vessel (especially as things deteriorated between C’baoth and the non-Jedi crew). I also thought that, while Obi-wan was well portrayed, Anakin was a bit wooden (I guess maybe it was the Hayden-Christensen-in-“Attack-of-the-Clones” version).
C’baoth, I had read before reading this book, seemed to be way too much of a jerk to be a genuine Jedi Master. Sure, he apparently had a lot of power and a lot of experience, but he was completely emotional, arrogant, and obsessed, and nobody ever called him on it (to his face, at any rate). It’s a fair question to wonder how such a man managed to become a Jedi Master. Still, it does explain his clone’s personality, and it seems to have been the only way to compel Thrawn to destroy Outbound Flight in the end.
Ultimately, I enjoyed the book immensely, but it wasn’t Zahn’s best work.