Just finished reading "Darth Plagueis", by James Luceno (2012). Another of the relatively recent books that was pitched out in the Disney buyout. I'd say it was a decent read, but definitely started slow (and started with no characters we know). The pace and my interest level really picked up mid-book when Plagueis meets Palpatine, and the action ramps steadily to a nice ending which overlaps the events of Episode I.
I am happy to have read this one, but I need to follow it with some more good guys next. I've read too many books about Dark Lords recently.
A few notes
As of the writing of this book, Palpatine doesn't have a first name, which is awkward. Some roundabout reasoning is employed as to why this noble son of Naboo uses a single moniker, waving away the issue, but it is still strange. Ironically it is the same author (James Luceno) just a few years later (2012 to 2015) who gives the Emperor his first name in-canon: Sheev.
This book really doubles down (or triples down?) on the idea of midi-chlorians, a subject only slightly more popular than Jar Jar Binks. They are mentioned consistently throughout the text, as Darth Plagueis's life work is aimed at controlling or influencing them. Luceno does well to add some quasi-science sounding back story, yet still keep the midi-chlorians, their source, and their motives (if any) vague, thereby restoring some needed mystery to the Force. I still don't like midi-chlrians, however.
"Plasma" is mentioned as something which is "mined" on Naboo. The same material Gungans use in their low tech/high tech weapons. Uhhhhh. No thanks.
I personally don't care for the idea that Jabba, a low-life, two-bit criminal from a backwater desert planet, is a mover and shaker on the galactic scene. I feel he's not even a very important and influential Hutt: I would guess he'd at least make his home in Hutt space if he was a powerful being. Even more powerful and he'd live on Coruscant. No, he's more of a small fry space slug on the fringes. Certainly big enough to push around moisture farmers, low level bounty hunters, desperate smugglers, and basic crooks, but not a player in shaping events across the Republic. I'd prefer him to be subservient to a larger Hutt operation, based out of Nal Hutta (and rather low on that food chain, as well).
Nuclear weapons. Never seen one in a Star Wars book before, and not sure I like it.