Still in my Star Wars reading mood, I picked up this major story for the first time last week (only 19 years late on this one). At the time this was considered a major event. I recall a Lucas comment saying this multimedia release would be "everything but the film": toys, novel, video games, etc.
I must say I was pleasantly surprised with Shadows of the Empire. A good story, a bit over the top, but not too far gone I'd say. The characters we know and love seemed to speak and act as we'd expect.
A few quibbles, minor as they may be:
1. This book features the most sexuality of any Star Wars novel I've read. A bit out of place, in my opinion.
2. For some reason, it irked me to use the term "castle" for the Coruscant residences of the Emperor, Darth Vader, and Prince Xizor.
3. I didn't mind the idea of Black Sun, or Xizor, or the notion that Xizor would be influential enough to occassionally bend Palpatine's ear. I didn't quite care for the implied idea that Xizor was an equal for the Emperor's affections alongside Vader.
4. At least one vast network of criminal informants could spot Luke in hiding at Ben's hut (and note when he left planet in his X-wing), but Imperial Intelligence could not. What?
5. A huge bounty (unspecified) offered for Luke, Black Sun knows where he is, but they decide to just send a dozen local swoop gangers.
6. Leebo had only one line in the book. Outrider disappeared in a cliffhanger-like flash. I thought both would be around more.
An enjoyable read, overall. I'm glad to have finally gotten around to this one. Next in the reading cue: 4 books in the "Journey to the Force Awakens" timeline.