Troy Denning's "Tatooine Ghost" is one of the more recent Star Wars novels, but it actually takes place pretty early in the timeline, shortly before Zahn's three-book cycle featuring Grand Admiral Thrawn and immediately after Dave Wolverton's "The Courtship of Princess Leia". Being recent, this book has the advantage of drawing on plot points from the prequels, particularly Anakin's youth on Tatooine.
In this book, Han and Leia go to Tatooine in an attempt to recover a piece of artwork that has some important intelligence codes embedded within, but remnants of the Empire are after it as well, and they are unusually competent (thanks to the influence of Thrawn). The pair have just finished with the adventures described in Wolverton's book, in which Han kidnaps Leia to prevent her from being married off to some random prince to cement an Important Alliance, so the two of them spend some time here establishing the ground rules of their relationship for later books.
Leia also spends a lot of time finding out about Anakin's childhood, and that's actually the major attraction here, I think. It's one of the first links to prequel material and how the popular characters deal with Anakin's whole history. I also enjoyed the idea of Imperial forces acting competently, and there were flashes of Zahn's Thrawn influence throughout. I can't say I was really compelled by the main plot of the chase for the stolen artwork, but there were enough interesting sideshows to put this book in a category with the other middle-tier Star Wars books.Posted by Observer at March 2, 2006 07:49 PM
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