Turns out superhack Kevin J. Anderson is a hack in any format. Randy Lander (one of my favorite reviewers) seems surprised that "novelist Kevin Anderson has managed to create one of the most generic by-the-numbers formula space opera stories I've ever read". Guess he hasn't read many of KJA's novels, then.
When KJA writes completely original material, he seems to be ok (judging from reviews), but when he's put on any kind of licensed product, he produces formula, formula, and nothing but formula, and while certainly readable – if one doesn't care so much about the characters of the license, which is a problem, as people who care about the characters are pretty much the target audience – it is usually completely uninspired. This is, after all, the man responsible for those Dune prequels, and for books in just about every possible license you can think of.
It's not impossible to create decent (or, at least, competent) novels based on licensed material. Timothy Zahn and Peter David have done it on numerous occasions. But labeling a superhack, whose career is pretty much built on license after license, "a novelist", and expecting something decent from said hack as a result seems a bit silly.