I meant to post some initial thoughts, but I never got around to it, and now I'm literally halfway through with this book.
The Cestus Deception is a Star Wars novel from the untold Close Wars saga. (Funny side note: I first accidentally typed that as "Cone Wars". Ha. Haha. Cones fighting. Classic) I've never read any of the Star Wars books, though I've seen a few trillion of them. What's confusing to me is that I guess some of them are considered cannon and some are not? Further, I've been told that a few are really very good, while many are forgettable.
This book appears to be "official" and licensed by Lucasfilms as part of the extended universe. According to the information on the inside of the book, if you want to get the FULL story on the Clone War, you have to buy x number of books as well as this certain graphic novel, this comic storyline, and these video games on different systems in addition to watching the cartoon series and movies.
Man, and I thought it was inconvenient when Kingdom Hearts started releasing in-betweequels on other platforms...
Now that I'm a good deal into this book, however, it looks like it's really not necessary at all to understanding the main Star Wars narrative (i.e., the six films). Rather, it's a story that happens between episode 2 and episode 3, so if you enjoy these characters you may enjoy these further exploits, but if you miss The Cestus Deception you're not really missing anything that corresponds to the main Star Wars storyline.
So there's that.
Anyway, book is written by Steven Barnes, who also wrote some episodes of Stargate-SG1, Andromeda, and (oddly enough) Baywatch. He's also an expert in martial arts and kickboxing. He's also won an Endeavor Award for distinguished sci-fi/fantasy written by a Northwestern writer (for his novel Lion's Blood).
So, yeah. Halfway through, not bad so far. Enjoyable reading, and not quite so philosophical as Flatland. Fluff. One of Dave's "palate-cleansers," which are always fun and, properly placed in your reading diet, quite necessary!