Thursday, February 21, 2013

Review: Star Wars: Scoundrels

Star Wars: Scoundrels
By Timothy Zahn
Published: January 1, 2013

To make his biggest score, Han’s ready to take even bigger risks.
But even he can’t do this job solo.

Han Solo should be basking in his moment of glory. After all, the cocky smuggler and captain of the Millennium Falcon just played a key role in the daring raid that destroyed the Death Star and landed the first serious blow to the Empire in its war against the Rebel Alliance. But after losing the reward his heroics earned him, Han’s got nothing to celebrate. Especially since he’s deep in debt to the ruthless crime lord Jabba the Hutt. There’s a bounty on Han’s head—and if he can’t cough up the credits, he’ll surely pay with his hide. The only thing that can save him is a king’s ransom. Or maybe a gangster’s fortune? That’s what a mysterious stranger is offering in exchange for Han’s less-than-legal help with a riskier-than-usual caper. The payoff will be more than enough for Han to settle up with Jabba—and ensure he never has to haggle with the Hutts again.

All he has to do is infiltrate the ultra-fortified stronghold of a Black Sun crime syndicate underboss and crack the galaxy’s most notoriously impregnable safe. It sounds like a job for miracle workers . . . or madmen. So Han assembles a gallery of rogues who are a little of both—including his indispensable sidekick Chewbacca and the cunning Lando Calrissian. If anyone can dodge, deceive, and defeat heavily armed thugs, killer droids, and Imperial agents alike—and pull off the heist of the century—it’s Solo’s scoundrels. But will their crime really pay, or will it cost them the ultimate price?

My review:

I loved Timothy Zahn's Thrawn Trilogy (Heir to the Empire, etc.) for its creativity and epic storytelling that was so similar to the original movies. I was really excited when I found out about this new book even though the premise is so different. There have been a lot of comparisons between this book and the film Ocean's Eleven and I would have to say that I agree. The feel of this book is definitely more like a heist movie rather than the epic good vs. evil kind of story that we had with the Thrawn trilogy. There is a large cast of characters with only four familiar faces (Han, Chewie, Lando, and Winter, a character from the Thrawn books). Thankfully Zahn gives us a list of characters at the beginning of the book to help us remember who's who.

I thought the pacing started out kind of slow because we are introduced to all the different characters and we get the background story to set up the action. It did pick up once that was in place and the book captured my attention in the latter half. I enjoyed the familiar humor too though I really did miss the presence of Luke and Leia and the droids. While this was a fun book, I do prefer the Thrawn Trilogy because it is more like the movies (the originals and not the "prequels) and I love the struggle between good and evil and the complex characters. With this book, the story doesn't focus on what is going on between the Empire and the Rebel Alliance and we don't get to know the new characters (good or bad) all that well with such a large cast.  

Overall, this is an entertaining book set in the Star Wars universe with some familiar characters and it offers some surprising plot twists and action even if the character development and pacing are not at their best. I think this book would appeal to a variety of Star Wars fans if they are patient with the pacing of the first part of the story and if they don't expect epic storytelling. If you like Ocean's Eleven and Star Wars, then strongly consider giving this book a try! If however you prefer the kind of good vs. evil story of Star Wars and haven't read the Thrawn Trilogy (Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, The Last Command) then definitely add that series to your TBR list.

Check out the book trailer here:

Note: While I did receive an ARC from Amazon Vine, I read the finished (published) version which I checked out from the library


  1. I like the sound of fun heist story-that can be such a change of pace after some serious stories. Love the trailer!

  2. Sounds fun, but I'm loving the sound of the Thrawn Trilogy more. I'll have to check out both.

    Fabulous review!


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