The Rise of Darth Vader - James Luceno Several Jedi, including Roan Shryne and Olee Starstone, are fighting a fierce battle on Murkhana when Order 66 arrives. Commander Climber, the clone leader amongst the Jedi, defies orders and allows the Jedi to leave. The three Jedi must then leave the planet and flee to safety, avoiding Darth Vader and his wrath.
NOTE: Based on novel and audiobook.

I Liked:
I was surprised how much I actually enjoyed this novel. If you've read my review for [[ASIN:0345442970 Cloak of Deception]], you learned how disappointed I was, how I didn't like all the info-dumping and over-describing, and how I just wasn't very engaged. This book is completely different.
The primary characters really stand out, namely Roan and Olee. Roan feels a little like Arwen Cohl from CoD, a little like Lorn Pavan, a little like Han, and a little of something else. He's a Jedi who has lost two apprentices during the war. He's not a super Jedi, but he's decent. Only problem is, he really struggles with what the Jedi should do next. I adored how he met his mother, how they imply Jedi stealing babies (Roan's mother did not want to give him up), and how awkward it was.
Olee Starstone is completely different. She's a strong-willed woman, who wants to find other Jedi and regroup. She used to be a librarian, under the tutelage of Jocasta Nu before the war. Now, she's lost her master and is the unofficial Padawan of Roan.
Darth Vader also appears quite prominently, though not as prominently as you would figure from a novel with his picture splashed on it. I really liked how Luceno tightened the gap from Anakin in the prequels to Vader in the sequels. Vader is lacking confidence, upset with his new body, and questioning everything. Also, his single-minded goal of exterminating the Jedi keeps interfering with his missions, making Palpatine wonder if Vader is such a good apprentice after all.
The story is unique, as (especially at this time, before the Coruscant Nights books) we don't know what has happened to the few Jedi who escape Order 66. What many hoped to see in Karen Traviss' eponymous novel, we actually get to see here: Clones defying orders and saving Jedi, and what happens to them afterwards. It's touching and very neglected.
And, being this is a Luceno novel, we get tons of EU references, from Garm Bel Iblis, to the outcome of Fang Zhar, to Tarkin, and more. If there is one thing Luceno can get, it's tying in EU and making it seem like it was meant to be that way.

I Didn't Like:
There are a billion other Jedi in this book and I couldn't keep their names straight or remember them for the life of me. There are six total on Murkhana, but I could only remember Olee, Roan, and the one Vader killed (and I can't even remember her name!). Then Olee and Roan meet a bunch more Jedi on a ship, and none of them are memorable. This may be in part because I am listening to an audiobook, but it's hard to be invested in characters when they pass through so transparently.
For a book about Vader, there is stunningly little Vader. This was disappointing, even if Vader's development overall was good.
I went directly from listening to Revenge of the Sith to reading this, and there is a distinct difference in writing style, one that comes as quite a shock. After the intimate, dark, and tortured writing style from RotS, Dark Lord comes off as bland, uninspired and emotionless.

Dialogue/Sexual Situations/Violence:
Little to none.
One smuggler makes eyes at Olee.
Several Jedi die. Order 66 is enacted. Vader lightsaber duels several Jedi. There is a big, final battle on Kashyyyk that results in the Wookiees imprisonment.

While not seeing more of Vader was a disappointment and the writing style a drastic change from RotS, this is a decent final novel to the unofficial trilogy (Labyrinth of Evil, Revenge of the Sith, and Dark Lord). We get to see the effects of Order 66 on two vastly different Jedi, Roan (pessimist) and Olee (optimist). We get to see Darth Vader overcome his confidence issues and get adjusted to his body. And we learn what happened to Fang Zhar, how the Wookiees are imprisoned, and if there are other Jedi. A more than decent novel, very enjoyable and recommended.