So even though it's not a kidlit book (more SW kidlit posts to come) it WAS really good so I thought I'd elaborate just a bit.
One ... Leia is awesome! Girl power. Like way more than she got even in The Force Awakens. Plus the whole First Order beginnings are explained much better in this book. From the movie alone it's sort of like "how on earth did this happen again?"
Two ... I thought the politics were pretty interesting. In different ways mirrored today's (both US and European) and early US. Everyone has some right ideas but can't seem to get along long enough (or trust "the other side" enough) to work together for a common good.
Three ... more Han and Leia. They're old now but I still love them.
(Like the "stuff" in the background? Experienced or patient enough bookstagrammer I am not. Plus e-readers aren't quite as pretty as the hard copy books anyway.)
Four ... supporting characters. There are some great ones in here.
These are quotes I got from Goodreads because I was so engrossed in the story I didn't stop to highlight!
“When the people with authority don’t have to answer to citizens of the galaxy, the result is tyranny.”
“She realized, then, something she had never fully understood before. She'd always wondered what had led her father to turn to the dark side, to become Darth Vader. She'd imagined it came from ambition, greed, or some other venal weakness. Never had she considered that the turn might begin in a better place, out of the desire to save someone or to avenge a great wrong. Even if it led to evil, that first impulse might be born out of loyalty, a sense of justice, or even love.”
“But, Princess Leia!” C-3PO’s voice rose in alarm. “You can’t! The mission sounds terribly dangerous.” “Threepio, in the quarter century you’ve served me, have you ever known me to run away from danger?” “Well. No.” The droid considered this a moment before adding hopefully, “Yet you might eventually develop a stronger instinct for survival.” Leia couldn’t help laughing. “Don’t count on it.”