I don't know why I was surprised this was so good, but it was a damn solid tie in to the star wars universe. And even though it's labelled young adult, I think it reads above that. This book about two nobody kids from an outer rim planet bonding together despite their differences to embrace their love of flying. They decide to join the empire together to bring honor to their families and to fly in the greatest fleet the galaxy has ever seen. As children they easily bought into the empire's lies but once they make it through the academy and start serving as officers they see first hand how destructive and manipulative it is. Eventually Thane can't take it anymore and deserts, swearing to never join the rebel alliance, because to him they are just as bad. But as the war churns on, he realizes what the rebels are trying to save. Ciena on the other hand, keeps ranking up in the empire. She's not happy with everything she sees going on but on her planet you never break an oath, so she continues to serve despite her better judgement. These two friends become star crossed lovers serving on opposite sides of the war. Through their eyes you see the construction of the death stars, hear of the heroics of Han Solo and Luke Skywalker, see the battle on Hoth, and so much more. It's a lot of fun viewing the original trilogy through two young set of eyes on opposites sides of the war. An AMAZING tie in.