Having read both Allegiance (many problems I had with this book as a whole anyway) and Choices of One (better but still not great) and the thing that sticks out most is how much off a chump Vader is written by Zahn. In Allegiance he has Vader go on a random rampage for no reason before Mara defeat's him rather easily then pretty much talk's down to him which somehow seems to calm him down!. Then at the end he lets the Hand of Judgment guys go after Mara browbeats him while seeming completely clueless at the same time. Then in Choices of One, Thrawn pretty much leads him by the nose and again Vader comes off as a real fool needing Thrawns guidance. Put simply this seems so different from the Vader in the OT with the very sick sense of humour (apology accepted Captain Needa) but clever and calculating mind that was such an icon. Now I know Zahn loves his charachters, but is it nesscary to make Vader a weak fool to show that love. Just for the record I love the Thrawn trilogy too and think Mara is a great charachter before anyone accuses me of being a Zahn hater or whatever.