I vividly recall going along to a Christmas Day gathering at one of my aunt's in 1978. All of the children ended up in one of the bedrooms whilst the adults drank rum, vodka, gin and made merry. Not sure how or why, but this book just happened to be in the bedroom and I picked it up and started reading. Star Wars had been released just the year before and having seen the film numerous (OK, 11) times, it was still at the forefront of my mind. 

The story was 'self-contained' and was focussed on Luke and Leia who after crash landing on a swampy planet called Mimban and getting separated from each other, are forced to find each other and then try to find some way of getting off of the planet again. I think during that long night, I managed to read my way through a third of the story and was forced years later to track it down and re-read it in its entirety.

As anyone, who's read the story can tell you, there are certain aspects that were superceded by the later films, Empire and Jedi, but it was 'of it's time' and for me started a lifelong obsession with Alan Dean Foster.