Here, again, this series has been heavily panned in favor of other books by other favorite Star Wars authors, but I think it's only fair to say that not everyone can write in the same style.
What I liked:
The Yevetha crisis. Something to get the Republic off their butts and back into the action. It brings the military back into the picture, which, other than in the X-Wing series, occasionally gets glossed over. I, for one, am interested in the politics of the New Republic - we must remember that politics are behind much of the action. It's not always all about the shoot-em-up action on some remote planet. The ideas behind Nils Spaar - a megalomaniacal character who is incapable of holding equal ground with any species but his own.
Surprise! Leia's human. We, the readers, get so accustomed to her superhuman mentality that some can't accept when she stumbles or questions her judgement. This self-doubting keeps her three-dimensional, instead of turning into an Ivory Tower heroine. She's forced to do without Luke for a while, which is refreshing.
What I didn't like:
The whole "Luke looks for mom" storyline. I had been under the impression that in the "old days" (ie Heir to the Empire), that it was an established rule not to discuss this. Now, especially in light of the new movies, this storyline comes dangerously close to contradicting itself, I fear. When Luke first went into hiding, I though that this might be an interesting devlopment, that we might find some things out about what goes on in Luke's head. Instead, he gets drawn into the whole mom thing, by this girl who plays on his momentary lapse of self assuredness. I did not like this female character, and I didn't like the "White Current" storyline behind her. Nowhere in the Star Wars universe have we heard of this sect before, yet the stories of the Jedi and the Sith go back for millenia. Even in "Courtship of Princess Leia," the women acknowledge the Force. I have really yet to understand what this "White Current" is all about - are they healers? witches? What can they do?
The Lando/ship thing is dragging badly, and that's sad. I love Lando's character, especially after reading the Han stories, and this could have been something really interesting to drop him into, but instead, well, it's just blah. The mystery of what the ship is, and what it's for is dragging on too long. We want answers; cool, plot-twisty ones, and so does Lando. And LOBOT! Wow, we haven't heard from him since Bespin - and frankly we haven't heard much from him here either. In the future, please don't treat Lando as an expendable character. He's got an great background, and deserves more than he got here. I know he must be bored by now.
This series is ok, but before Mr. McDowell writes more Star Wars, the writing needs a bit more spit and polish.