Saturday, March 30, 2013
Scoundrels, by Timothy Zahn
Publisher: Del Rey books
Description: Ever wondered what would happen if you took an episode of Leverage, and set it in the Star Wars universe?
Review:This book was a lot of fun to read.
Set shortly after the first movie, the story centers around Han and Chewie, having lost their reward money, trying to pull off an apparently impossible theft, from a crime lord's impregnable vault, in order to settle Han's debt to Jabba. To pull this off, they assemble a team of criminals with a wide array of talents.
The rest of the team, and the supporting cast, are where this book is the weakest. Most of the characters are, to the best of my knowledge, original characters. With seven new characters working with Han, two major bad guys, and an Imperial intelligence officer running around, four hundred pages really isn't enough room to flesh them out.
The strong point is the heist itself. It avoids the potential pitfall of making poor decisions on the part of the target a necessary component of the plan. Everyone acts reasonably intelligently, based on the facts they have available, throughout, which even causes several problems that our band of thieves have to adapt their plan to deal with.
If you've seen the original Star Wars trilogy, you'll be able to predict certain bits of the outcome of this heist, but the trip is still worth it.