I've finally finished reading the prequal to Star Wars: Rebels. I must say I enjoyed it. It took place in a period of time quite a bit further away from the TV show than I anticipated. Spoiler light recap inside.
The book focuses on 2 of the show's main characters and a potential future villain. It starts off with a scene from the Jedi Temple talking about the beacon to call the Jedi home. A youngling named Caleb Dume asks a lot of annoying questions that cause everyone around him to giggle. Eventually he asks if it could send a different message. One that says to stay away. This analytical approach is the foundation for Caleb Dume now Kanan Jarros.
And that's just it. The entire book gives a great deal of depth to Caleb/Kanan. Hera (the female Twi'lek pilot) is also in the book. It gives you a clear understanding that she's the one in charge (which I haven't gathered from the show so far) and that they're all following her agenda. However, we don't meet Zeb, Sabine, or Chopper. This leads me to believe more novels are planned.
The main plot of the story is about an evil bureaucrat who is trying to speed up production everywhere he goes. He wants the favor of the emperor and will do whatever it takes to make it happen. Hera wants to gather intel on this bureaucrat to determine if anything should be done about it. Kanan? He's just a freighter pilot who also is a bartender. A drifter when we meet him. It all comes together well and the ending is quite satisfactory.
In the end I thought the tone was solid. The book was entertaining but I was able to put it down. It is broken up into 3 sections and each section ending was a good stopping point. It certainly wasn't Timothy Zahn, but it wasn't the Crystal Star either. If you're a fan of the show it is a must read. It was written with input from the show's creators and the amount of depth it adds to Kanan is important.