Rogue Squadron - Michael A. Stackpole Gonna take you right into the Danger Zone - Top Gun for Star Wars fanatics
It's two years after the events in Return of the Jedi and Wedge Antilles is recreating the infamous Rogue Squadron. He gathers together the best of the best: Corran Horn, Corellian ex-Cor Sec, Nawarra Ven, Twi'Lek attorney, Ooryl Qorg, a Gand pilot, Bror Jace, an arrogant Thyferran ace and more. And then there is Tycho Celchu, a Rebel pilot who was once a prisoner of the Empire...and may be a spy...
NOTE: Based on audiobook and novel.

I Liked:
Stackpole has created an array of interesting new characters--characters who could die at any moment (and only reading later books lets me know if they still live). He brings to life Wedge Antilles, who basically only had cameos in the movies. He creates a fascinating new character, Tycho Celchu, someone who might be either psychotic or a spy (he's one of my favorites). He walks us through the life of Corran, former CorSec with a history (his good luck charm is a Jedi medallion). Through Corran, we get a taste of the culture of Corellia: the ale, the food, how the Jedi's huge fun!
Since the Empire is still pretty strong, we need to have new Imperial villains, so Stackpole provides us with Ysanne "Iceheart" Ishard and Kirtan Loor. This early on, Ishard is mostly in the background, but Loor is an interesting villain, from Imperial Intelligence, bearing remarkable resemblance to Grand Moff Tarkin. Loor strikes a good balance between being cunning, evil, and human (he makes a mistake that Ishard points out to him).
Being the first of a series, this book has a lot of set up: characters, mood, plot. It's all done very well, much better than some series I've read. We are introduced to the characters, their behaviors (Corran initially is quite the arrogant loner), and the villains. The mood is light, with some heavy duty piloting. The plot is far-reaching (I've read some of the later books, so I have an idea what happens) and realistically studies what happens to the Rebellion after, how the Rebellion becomes established on Coruscant and was the Empire really defeated at Endor.
And this is minor, but I still love it: continuity! Stackpole includes references to Zsinj, Bakura, and more! I love an author who does research!

I Didn't Like:
Space battles and dog fights can be very confusing, determining who is going what way doing what when.
Gavin Darklighter is yet another native of that supposedly "far away, backwards" planet, Tatooine.
There are a lot of pilots and some of them are harder to remember or identify than others.

Dialogue/Sexual Situations/Violence:
Sexual tension arises between Corran and Mirax and Corran and the Erisi (Thyferran female pilot).

An enjoyable start to a good series, Rogue Squadron keeps things exciting with new characters and a different niche (dogfighting a la Top Gun). This is one of the better Bantam novels out there, perfect for some nice, light reading.