Well, I thought I would start a new thread here. My wife picked me up this book last week, and I had a day off so I spent it with the Thrawn and company.
I was a big fan of the Heir to the Empire series. And I read a few other books by Zahn, so I was looking forward to this read as well.
I think the author does a great job of character building, and I think that was the strength of the Heir series. Mara Jade, Pelleaon, Thrawn, and even Luke and the Solo's seem very vibrant and have depth. Characters are the cornerstone of good storytelling, and Zahn paints people well with words.
I did find myself not "connecting" with the new charcters in this story as much as I would have liked. I won't go into great detail, because it is a very new book. The main theme is, we get to know more about Thrawn. The background is the Outbound flight of Jedi and pioneers setting out to explore beyond the galaxy. There are some very interesting sub-plots, with Sidious working his magic. I was a little confused with some continuity issues, but I will let that dialogue begin when a few others have joined the thread.
It's a pretty quick read, so if you have some free time, grab a copy and join the thread!