In the aftermath of the events in "Dark Tide" ...
The Yuuzhan Vong attacks have become a full-scale invasion, and the galaxy's military forces are for some reason completely unprepared for the war.
Luke Skywalker is still head of the Jedi Academy, and realises that the Jedi will have to prepare themselves for the forthcoming invasion. They are the galaxy's only hope ...
The YVs have learned that the Jedi are the greatest threat, and plan an attack against them. Mara Jade is still suffering from the disease she contracted in the previous book, and they use this as their opportunity to get their assassin close to the Jedi.
Han Solo is still beside himself with grief, and this is his chance to do something of consequence. He sets off alone to do battle with the forces of evil in the best way he can; not as "General Solo, hero of Endor" but as Han the swashbuckling smuggler. Using underworld contacts he learns of renegades who have sold out to the YVs, and heads off to do what he thinks is right.
Finally, a New Jedi Order book that is reminiscent of the early Star Wars books. The book seems based on the Brian Daley Han Solo trilogy, and has many references to it as well as the almost-as-good AC Crispin books.
The villains are still truely villainous, an Alien menace with a capital "A", but they have been fleshed out and given characterisation. We get more of a look at their society, not just a couple of military officers this time.
All in all, this lacks the blandness of previous books. Also, we get a glimpse of the old Han at his best.
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