I'm halfway through the new book... I'd say neither of these live up to the memory I have of the original Zahn triology. They are good, but definitely not as good. As a matter of point - I started reading Alliances 4 weeks ago, and haven't gone back to it.
If you were Zahn, imagine how hard it would be to really put the effort into doing what he did before. They basically burned him like crazy, and they made it that taking the universe seriously has no future. Now its stewards don't respect it. So there is neither a culture of quality, nor the personal benefits of doing a good job. I can only imagine that for Zahn last time was passion, and this time is pure dollar signs. Which really, is how everything Disney is. That's why you choose the Disney life, yeah it makes a lot of money, but there is no soul in it.
Disney has a committee meeting. They have the Thrawn Trilogy in hand. Committee decides to purchase the franchise. Decides that drivel is the way to go forward. Smashes franchise to pieces.
All is well