Yeah, I was absolutely interested in the Pellaeon plot. He was one of my favourite EU characters by the time I got to Hand of Thrawn. Although I will disagree, Rob, with the assertion that the fate of the galaxy wasn't really at play, when half of the New Republic had warships over Bothawui ready to attack the warships of the other half at the slightest provocation. That the NR's hold on the galaxy was so precarious was a central theme of both books. Had Artoo not found the Caamas Document on Nirauan, there probably wouldn't have been anyone to sign a peace treaty with Pellaeon. The Mara-chasing-the-mysterious-alien-ships subplot was definitely the most intriguing one, yeah. A lot of suspense, and what a payoff! Although we'll get to that next month. I don't think the other storylines would have worked if they had relied primarily on mystery, though. Disra, Tierce, and Flim would have been pretty terrible characters if they hadn't had any scenes; that the reader is able to follow their plans and schemes as they're hatched and executed is what makes them effective villains. And even if the reader knows how the bad guys intend for the battles and schemes to play out, she still doesn't know how they actually will play out. The Battle of Bothawui in Vision is a pretty good example --- the reader anticipates it for nearly a thousand pages, but then a bunch of unexpected factors come into play and it proceeds differently than anyone believed it would. I also disagree that there's no suspense in Zahn's approach --- the leadup to the Battle of Bothawui is suspenseful precisely because the reader knows how various factions are predicting it will play out, and when the first shots are finally fired, it's the payoff of a thousand pages of hushed anticipation. Just what is going to happen now?