I really enjoyed Conviction and Vortex especially, but agree that some of the series' plot threads seem a little contrived. I'm still holding out hope that it all comes together in the final book for a big payoff.
At least in Fate of the Jedi we have Luke actually doing something, instead of standing around wringing his hands like he did in NJO and Legacy of the Force (28 books of him doing jack squat!).
The plot/story seems to have taken a huge turn, but we don't have any of the fun plot twists to get us there. It's almost as if many of the overall story's building blocks up to this point have been thrown out the window.
Not sure how I feel about Golden's writing. She handled Vestara well enough, but the Lost Tribe came across as kinda lame, and weak. Why exactly are they following Abeloth? All the villains of the book, Sith included, seem pretty flat.
Also, I just don't get Luke. I was excited to have him more in the forefront of this series finally, but his character is kinda....weird. It's almost as if each writer in the series has a different take on him, and it's not meshing. It's certainly not meshing with my expectations of how he should be/act.
Does anyone think it's weird how the EU novels have older versions of the characters on the illustrations, but they don't look much like how the real actors look now? Cause the real actors have aged not as well and changed more. It must be sad for the actors to see idealized middle aged versions of themselves on the EU covers "this is how you should look now of you'd kept healthier"! Not saying they look bad IRL.
I've to say that i really dislike Luke's New Jedi Order.
Whatever flaws the Old Republic Jedi had, they at least seemed like compassionate wise Masters of the Force. Luke's Jedi don't seem all that wise at all. During the Yuuzan Vong and Darth Caedus things, they spent most of their time arguing with each other.
Especially Mara and Jaina. Rude and bullheaded, gals. Both of them.
Yes, they did a lot of hand-wringing and 'meditating' in the last two series, but I feel like the Fate of the Jedi series is when they finally step up and start acting like Jedi again, not afraid to take action and not merely lackeys of the Republic/Galactic Alliance.