Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehhhhhhh I'm remembering why I stopped reading EU novels after Darksaber.
I have a personal pet theory that when Lucas threw his "the EU isn't canon anymore gaiz" fit, all the regular EU writers just looked at each other and shrugged and blew it all up and that's where we got the New Jedi Order. (I made the mistake of reading Vector Prime and I am still bitter about the grimdark turn ok.)
I am starting to think that after the prequels, the feud got even more intense. (Makes me wonder what the novelists will do after the sequel trilogy is out...)
I mean, I get it, the EU writers basically had to take what amounts to maybe twenty minutes of lore on the Jedi from the movies and make it go. They did some brilliant stuff... and then the prequels basically pissed all over it. The prequel Jedi are already pretty unlikable in that I am super bland watch me bland kinda way, but in this they're all people I actively dislike aside from Lorana, who may as well be Knight Doormat for all that she actually ever does. It's especially egregious because you can see exactly where ethical and moral principles that are pretty well-established on Earth were taken to an extreme and as a result go off the rails.
Of course, OTOH, I liked the EU writing on Darth Maul, so I'm going to see if the books on the Sith are better. They just might be.
A good quarter of the text, at least on my edition, was previews and shit for something else, so the book is a lot shorter than it looks. Things basically go from bad to punchable to blown up, and there are a lot of loose ends that are annoying given that I know Zahn can write better than this. I was expecting this book to actually show the incident that got Thrawn kicked out of Chiss space... and while it established he had a pattern of troublemaking, we don't get that payoff. His tactical skill also is extremely Gary-Stu-ish in this because of the point on the timeline it hits. You can believe Thrawn is a tactical genius in the trilogy in which he first appeared because he'd clearly done his time. He'd worked his way up the ranks, had a lot of experience, and been tested in pitched space battles, and even then he never saw his final comeuppance coming. In this... he's a savant who seems to have supernatural abilities at interpreting art as it relates to psychology and he's annoyingly right all the time.
All in all.. meh. It was a read and I did finish it just because I wanted to find out just how badly the Outbound Flight expedition would end, but I'm not a huge fan of books where I want to punch most of the people I'm supposed to be rooting for.