I was talking about this story arch in the Star Wars pantheon recently with one of my close friends. Neither of us is thinks its the best story arch, and she's read the entire arch whereas I'm just getting started, but I at least liked this book a lot more than the last two! I think the difference is that the last two books focused a little too much on the Yuuzhan Vong and exploring their culture. The Yuuzhan Vong are very focused on pain, both inflicting it and enduring it themselves, so the last two books were rather dark and depressing.
This book, while it continues the story of the Yuuzhan Vong and their invasion, focuses more on the story of Han beginning to recover from Chewbacca's death. After Chewie's death Han spiraled into a deep depression and doused his sorrows with vats worth of alcohol. In this book Han finds a reason to begin to crawl out of that hole when he's approached by an old friend to pursue a smuggler who's now working for the Yuuzhan Vong.
Having a purpose, something he could actively do, helps Han a lot, but he still has a long way to go. Leia spends most of the book worried about Han, especially because he refuses to tell her what he's doing, but she realizes she needs to let him go and do his own thing. Letting him go doesn't work 100% though, because they end up in the same place!
This book was high on action, and I loved reading more about Han! Despite his abnormal amount of luck, I always love reading stories about him, especially when I need to just relax and not think too hard about what I'm reading. I'm looking forward to the next book in the story arch because it's also written by the author that wrote this book!
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