The Crystal Star - Vonda N. McIntyre You know something is wrong when Leia says "Piloting was more fun than being a Jedi!"
Oh no! Jaina, Jacen, and Anakin have been kidnapped on Munto Codru, while their mother, Leia, is touring the more peaceful worlds of the New Republic. The official on Munto Codru are convinced it is a "normal" kidnapping, but Leia thinks otherwise and leaves with Chewie and Artoo to find her children. Meanwhile, Han and Luke go vacationing to Crseih Station in pursuit of Jedi.
NOTE: This is a review based on the audio book and what I remember from reading the actual novel years ago.

I Liked:
The biggest redeeming factor of this book and one of the biggest reasons I rated it two stars is the rising importance of Jaina, Jacen, and Anakin. For the first time, we get to see through Jaina's eyes, and McIntyre absolutely nails this portrayal. All the children act their age, speak their age, and think their age. I enjoyed their portions of the book, and back when I read it when I was a teen, that was the reason I liked this book enough to devise my internet moniker (get it? Crystal Star(r Light)?).
The second biggest factor was Leia behaving like a mother. In the Jedi Academy trilogy, Leia was content to dump her children where ever and on whomever was available, whether it was Chewie, Winter, Ackbar, or Jedi students she didn't even know. Knowing how she was raised, I found this unbelievable and disturbing. Here, Leia runs for her children and when they aren't there, she pretty much immediately packs up to leave after them. Now THAT'S the mother I was thinking she would be!
Also, there were a few touching scenes with Han mentioning his fear his children would turn to the Dark Side (oh, boy, that is sure touching after Legacy, isn't it?) and if they died, and I did like the inclusion of a former love for Han, Xaverri.

I Didn't Like:
With the exception of a few books (the Thrawn Trilogy being the foremost), it seems to me most of the books of the Bantam/early 90's era portrayed our Big Three (Han, Luke and Leia) way, way out of character. This book is no different. Han goes into the virtues of flirting, even though he's been married to Leia for over six years. A bit early for the seven-year-itch or is he experiencing an early mid-life crisis? I don't know, but I still have trouble with his return to the smuggler of A New Hope (gambling, drinking, carousing at night-it seems like all these books want him to return to being a rogue and forget the fact he was a respected general). Luke acts like he has constipation all the time. I know this was "because of the crystal star's resonating with the Force" or "because Callista left him" (only, didn't he reconcile with her in Planet of Twilight), but can anyone else say: "Been there, done that"? How many planets/aliens/weird events must Luke encounter that *surprise surprise* rip away his Force abilities, leaving him a whining baby that is easily swayed to join Waru? And Leia, while far more motherly than earlier portrayed, drove me nuts. Not only was her code-name absolutely goofy sounding (every time the narrator said her fake name, all I could think of was that song by Jan and Dean, Li-Li-Li-Li-Li-Li-Li-Li-Li-Linda, only there, it was cute and not childish sounding), not only did she give the absolute most ridiculous name to a ship ("Alderaan"? Made me think she was talking about a planet, which has some funny connotations, to be sure), but Leia also at one points says Luke chided her on learning how to pilot instead of being a Jedi and she chose piloting because "It was more fun." Wow, how mature!!
As for the other new characters: Well, they aren't much better. Firstly, it was extremely odd to hear "Werewolves" (spelled wyrwolves) in a Star Wars novel. And centaurs was kinda weird. I didn't hate those concepts too much, though I kept feeling like there was something more about them that I wasn't hearing.
Hethrir is a completely stereotypical bad guy, plum out of a children's book, and his wife, Rillao, is the stereotypical counterpart to him. Why can't authors make a little bit more...oh, I don't know, maybe realistic heroes and villains? Hethrir and Rillao were both trained by Vader, but of COURSE, Rillao is a healer and opposed to violence and of COURSE Hethrir embraces the Empire and kills without a second thought. It was so stereotyped, I could gag. And their son, Tigris! BAH! He reminded me too much of Dev Sibwarra, only Dev was at least half decent (being brain washed directly). Tigris is just plain stupid. Oh, and his daddy is so mean and bad, that he lies to him about his mom and being able to use the Force! Did you know Hethrir is the Bad GuyTM?
As for the plot, well, I enjoyed Leia's search for her kids far more than another weird vacation for Han and Luke. Why do these guys always go on vacations to the most out of the way, most disgusting, most undesirable places in the world? That would be like me saying, "Oh, I want to go vacation in a pig sty!" Why don't they go somewhere decent? And why bother looking for Jedi in a place that has a population of like a thousand? Seems to make more sense to go to the bigger worlds to find Jedi potentials instead of the smaller ones, but then, we wouldn't have the "wonderful" plot of Waru, a creature that must have been a Star Trek reject. I swear, I've not seen many Star Trek episodes, but I am pretty sure this one would fit. An unknown, multi-dimensional creature that deceives its followers into feeding it and is destroyed in the end? Call up Gene Roddenberry now!

Dialogue/Sexual Situations/Violence:
At least three instances of d***.
Han lauds the virtues of flirting, Leia makes a comment that could be seen as sexual to Rillao, Luke questions Han's fidelity.
A young centaur fears her horns will be cut off and she will die. Chewie is injured when the children are kidnapped. Hethrir force chokes someone.

While I still greatly enjoyed reading about Jaina, Jacen, and Anakin, the rest of the book did not have the feel of Star Wars. Unless you want to see how the Solo children started out or are trying to read all the novels, pass on this one.