I just finished reading the First Darth Bane novel a couple of days before I left for DragonCon.
I enjoyed reading about the old Sith and entering another time frame of the Star Wars universe, 1000 years before the Rebellion.
I actually quite enjoyed the first 50 pages, where you follow Bane as he works in the mines and gambles. The gambling segment and the talking politics during it really was an enjoyable bit of banter.
The way the book breaks down into various parts made a lot of sense. Each one of the sections reads very differently. Each time, it takes a little bit of getting used to. It actually would have helped that the book needed to be longer to make more sense and to get the right feel.
Don’t think too hard about the lack of foresight in the Jedi characters. The story sets itself up conveniently for the Protagonist. The characters have interesting personality and descriptions, but I can’t help but think that any of them should have made a decision to change things from how they were. That would ruin the conclusion and make setting up the next book really tough.
In the end, I’d say that if you like Star Wars, this is a good book, no, a great book! If you’re not a huge Star Wars fan but you’re big into space opera, probably give it a whirl. Otherwise, there are better books out there that you can use your time on and probably get a more exciting story out of.