Firstly, there's a refreshingly different style to this book to the other core rulebooks I've read (although admittedly, that's not that many). To give a sample:
Drugs & Poisons: Alcohol, drugs and poison are fought with a Resistance (double Vitality) roll, with difficulty and effects adjudicated by the GM. This could lead to a mild buzz, certain death, or you might start seeing little lights in front of your eyes before you collapse onto the cockpit floor in a puddle of your own drool.Secondly, the system for character generation is simple and relatively easy to use, encouraging, strong vibrant characters rather than power-gaming (if you want a really powerful character, you'll need to give him a few complications. Having pre-made stats for our heroes as well as another group of people gives you a clear idea of what to aim at in the event that you wanted to create a highly chirpy mercenary who likes to paint her guns pink (hey, who doesn't?).
The background stuff is excellent, adding considerably to already existing canon material and provides valuable help to free-form games as well as games using this system. This especially applies to the ship material; a deck plan of a Firefly will be much appreciated.
The style occasionally goes into the condescending; particularly in the GMing section, although this is aimed at a wide audience.
There are some avoidable typos, especially in the ship section.
I would have appreciated a Space Chinese - English dictionary as well as one going the other way, as well as a definite ending to the two "stories".
Finally, space combat could use a better description; it's not clear what positioning reference if any, you are supposed to use - operating in 3D is a nightmare for any GM and 2D isn't too realistic.
9/10. Definitely worth getting.
Two further notes
The Margaret Weis licence expired on 31 January 2011; no further official books to the ones already out will be released. In addition, it is getting increasingly hard to find this book for sale in Europe; be prepared to import if necessary.
PS: If anyone spots the Blake's Seven reference in my previous post, I will give them some reward in any game I run.