After reading Zahn's excellent Thrawn trilogy in the early 90's, I was hungry for more and picked up this book. By the first chapter I knew I wouldn't even read the rest of it. Well, actually I did skim through it and read a few more scenes, but they were just as bad as the first.
Here's an important example...
On page 5 of "Jedi Search," Han and Chewbacca are flying towards a planet when two TIE fighters come up out of the atmosphere, begin shooting, and fly back to the planet. Now they see an old X-wing come up behind them and Han says, "Chewie, contact the X-wing and tell him we'd appreciate whatever help he can give us."
When I read that, I was like, "What? Even I'd know not to trust a strange ship." But Han just keeps looking ahead, gets blasted from behind, and yells, "We've got to get out of here!"
I mean, give me a break. This is C3PO driving the Falcon, not Han.
Now check out Chapter 12 of Zahn's "Heir to the Empire." Here Han is also flying towards a planet, and also sees an X-Wing come up beside him. It has Republic markings, and they even hear Luke's voice over the radio, but while Leia is relieved to see him, Han is still on guard.
"It was Luke's X-wing, all right. Or at least, it looked like Luke's X-wing. 'So,' he said casually, swiveling the laser cannons around to target the other. Situated the way it was, the X-wing would have to yaw 90 degrees around before it could fire at them. Unless, of course, it had been modified... Somehow, they needed to make a positive identification, and fast."
He can see it's Luke's own X-wing, and hear his voice, but still doesn't trust it. Is even watching out for an unexpected attack. In short, here's a pilot I'd trust. And an author I trust as well.
Also, check out the language.