Showdown at Centerpoint - Roger MacBride Allen Events are boiling down to the wire. Luke, Lando, and Gaeriel investigate Centerpoint Station and begin to learn its secrets. Anakin unleashes the power of the artifact he helped find on Drall. And Han, Leia, and Mara attempt to rouse the Selonians to action.

I Liked:
Although it had a weak middle, this book picks up nicely. The characters are now joined by a Jenica Sonsen, an administrator of Centerpoint. I am amazed at how Allen has created so many new ladies (Belindi Kalenda, Dracmas, Aunt Marcha, Tendra Risant, Jenica) or used old ladies (Gaeriel, Mara, and, of course, Leia) and never once did I mistake one lady for another. Each was special and unique, ranging from slightly timid and very lady-like (Tendra) to no-nonsense kick butt (Mara). And I like how each one plays a role that fits her character. It doesn't feel forced one bit. And I want to commend him for using Gaeriel and Mara, both previous additions that haven't been used at all or very often since they were first introduced into Star Wars EU.
Of course, Allen's handling of the characters itself is impressive. He has a huge cast, and could get easily lost, but he does a nice job manipulating all of them and still making it feel like each character is spot on. I haven't felt this good about the characters since Timothy Zahn!
I really must applaud Allen on the story. I found the mystery of the Corellian system, the uprisings in the sector new, interesting, and fun! We don't have a sniff of the Empire in sight, and while the galaxy is sorta pulled into it (when the baddies start blowing up stars), this conflict is heavily Corellian, not a galaxy-wide "life or death" threat. Further, he does the unthinkable and has an EU character die in a very heart-pulling way (causing me to tear up!). And the ending is very nice, tying up loose ends but not in a dorky, over-the-top, clich├ęd way. It left things open (cleaning up the Corellian system, figuring out the repulsors and Centerpoint), but it didn't leave major plot points open.
Lastly, I really enjoyed the kids. They worked together, they had adventures and yet they still acted like children, running and playing and pouting at the most inopportune time.

I Didn't Like:
Okay, so there's another superweapon. That was more than a little annoying. Also, Lando comes off as far too knowledgeable about things he really shouldn't. I swear, he should be teaching a physics or quantum physics class based on his knowledge here! And I really think that Anakin sometimes acted way more mature and knowledgeable than he should have been. As for Han and Leia being okay with their kids helping out with the repulsor...uh, they capitulated way too easily for good parents.

Dialogue/Sexual Situations/Violence:
Some d*** and h***.
Sparks fly between Lando and Tendra.
Several characters die or are injured. There is an epic space battle at the end.

This whole trilogy puts a smile on my face. I am entertained, I am happy, heck, I even laughed a bit. There are intense action sequences, quite, moving, heart-rending sequences, a hint of lost love between Luke and Gaeriel, the hint of future love for Lando, the awakening of Force powers in Anakin, Jaina, and Jacen, and the revelation of one of the most interesting systems in the galaxy. So what if it includes a superweapon? It's a nice, fun novel, and that's more than anyone could ask for.