Dark Force Rising - Timothy Zahn "We who remain must stand together against those who would destroy everything"
Book two in the thrilling Thrawn Trilogy! (Who woulda thought that a C'baoth clone would get the title of this review!!)
The Empire may have been foiled, but only just barely. And now things get worse as Admiral Ackbar, member of the Inner Council, is accused of treason. Han and Lando go to attempt to sniff out the source; Luke discovers that a Jedi named C'baoth may have escaped the Jedi Purge, and Leia goes to meet the Noghri and work on some sort of resolution.

I Liked:
Golly, I almost wish I could copy and paste my review from Heir to the Empire! But, to be original, I'll try to come up with different things I like.
Timothy Zahn continues to show his Star Wars writing prowess in book two. Many other authors flounder at this point. Not Zahn. He continues the Star Wars feel with this entry, from the characters, to the actions, to the theme.
To his character repertoire, Zahn adds Garm Bel Iblis, a former Senator from Corellia--and rival to Mon Mothma. Through him, we learn more of the beginnings of the Rebellion...and how Mon Mothma, that red-haired lady from Return of the Jedi, can be a little pig-headed and temperamental. A fight between him and her forced him to leave the Rebellion, and he, being too proud and Corellian to boot, is unwilling to rejoin. Garm Bel Iblis does wonders for adding to the Corellian culture (we even learn he met Han Solo when Han was a kiddo!) and giving a new dimension to the Rebellion and Mon Mothma.
The action continues to be high, with his characters spread in five different dimensions. You would think it would be overwhelming, but Zahn handles it nicely, reminding the reader where Leia is, what Han is doing, what happened to Luke and so on so you don't ever go, "Wait a minute, it's been forever since we heard from Mara...where is she?" I've read other authors who drop viewpoints randomly and make me wonder that exact thing.
Lastly, I love how Zahn, in between his characters and plot, manages to tweak on our views of the Jedi. As this was pre-prequels, we get to see his (now obsolete) views on the Clone Wars, how C'baoth became a Jedi (he went to the University before training as a Jedi!), and C'baoth's subtle twisting of Luke to embrace the power of the Jedi. Also, here is hinted the first time in EU that the Senate took part in the destruction of the Jedi (which, honestly, is what they did...they certainly didn't mind the Emperor's movement to destroy them).

I Didn't Like:
I guess I have a few more complaints about this one than the last. They aren't huge, but I should bring them up.
Zahn creates the Calamari (no, not the Earth food!) as a peaceful race forced into war when they were enslaved. My problem? That theme is repeated ad nauseum in EU. Yeah, I know, Zahn technically wrote this before the Camaasi, before the Mandalorians (according to the Clone Wars TV series), before the billions of other "peaceful races forced into war". But it is still freaking annoying.
Also, Zahn is guilty of speciesism, specifically of Borsk Fey'lya and the Bothans. Borsk isn't the problem, he's cool. But then Zahn goes and sets up the entire race full of back-biting, knife-plunging power seekers. Not cool. I prefer a little more grey to my aliens, a little more depth besides the one word stereotype. Too many books make this mistake. Rodians are idiots and lawless. Hutts are always involved in crime. Wookiees are always good; Trandoshans always bad. Twi'Lek females are always sex slaves, and Jawas are scavengers that apparently can be found off their homeworld of Tatooine (weird, eh?). I could go on and on and on, but I think you get my point.
Lastly, the book does have that middle part of a trilogy feel. You know, no beginning, no end, makes you wonder, "What am I doing here?" We all know, by book three, we'll be like, "Oh, yeah, that's why that was important," but still, while we're reading it, we wonder.

Dialogue/Sexual Situations/Violence:
Foul language? Can't recall anything off hand!
Sexuality is minimum to none.
Lando is injured at one point and can't receive medical attention because of triage. Really have to stretch to find ANYTHING to put here!

Overall:
Zahn doesn't fail to please with entry number two! There were a few things that perturbed me, but there were some moments that nearly brought tears to my eyes. When Leia unveils the Empire's poisoning of Honogr (even if I adore the Empire and hate how it is always shown in such a bad light), when the smugglers come to Han and Luke's aid at the end battle. Not many books can do this to me. This is Star Wars. Five stars.