Star Wars: Scoundrelsby Timothy Zahn
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/i>/b>/i>/b>
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?
“Highly entertaining . . . excellent Star Wars . . . There are many twists and turns [and] Zahn manages to find ways to twist them one step further than you’d expect.”—Examiner.com
“[Scoundrels] brings freshness to the franchise.”—USA Today
Read an Excerpt
Scoundrels: Star Wars
By Timothy Zahn
LucasBooksCopyright © 2013 Timothy Zahn
All right reserved.
The starlines collapsed into stars, and the Imperial Star Destroyer Dominator had arrived. Standing on the command walkway, his hands clasped stiffly behind his back, Captain Worhven glared at the misty planet floating in the blackness directly ahead and wondered what in blazes he and his ship were doing here.
For these were not good times. The Emperor’s sudden dissolution of the Imperial Senate had sent dangerous swells of uncertainty throughout the galaxy, which played into the hands of radical groups like the so-called Rebel Alliance. At the same time, criminal organizations like Black Sun and the Hutt syndicates openly flaunted the law, buying and selling spice, stolen merchandise, and local and regional officials alike.
Even worse, Palpatine’s brand-new toy, the weapon that was supposed to finally convince both insurgents and lawbreakers that the Empire was deadly serious about taking them down, had inexplicably been destroyed at Yavin. Worhven still hadn’t heard an official explanation for that incident.
Evil times indeed. And evil times called for a strong and massive response. The minute the word came in from Yavin, Imperial Center should have ordered a full Fleet deployment, concentrating its efforts on the most important, the most insubordinate, and the most jittery systems. It was the classic response to crisis, a method that dated back thousands of years, and by all rights and logic the Dominator should have been at the forefront of any such deployment.
Instead, Worhven and his ship had been pressed into mule cart duty.
“Ah--Captain,” a cheery voice boomed behind him.
Worhven took a deep, calming breath. “Lord d’Ashewl,” he replied, making sure to keep his back to the other while he forced his expression into something more politically proper for the occasion.
It was well he’d started rearranging his face when he did. Barely five seconds later d’Ashewl came to a stop beside him, right up at his side instead of stopping the two steps back that Worhven demanded of even senior officers until he gestured them forward.
But that was hardly a surprise. What would a fat, stupid, accidentally rich member of Imperial Center’s upper court know of ship’s protocol?
A rhetorical question. The answer, of course, was nothing.
But if d’Ashewl didn’t understand basic courtesy, Worhven did. And he would treat his guest with the proper respect. Even if it killed him. “My lord,” he said politely, turning to face the other. “I trust you slept well.”
“I did,” d’Ashewl said, his eyes on the planet ahead. “So that’s Wukkar out there, is it?”
“Yes, my lord,” Worhven said, resisting the urge to wonder aloud if d’Ashewl thought the Dominator might have somehow drifted off course during ship’s night. “As per your orders.”
“Yes, yes, of course,” d’Ashewl said, craning his neck a little. “It’s just so hard to tell from this distance. Most worlds out there look distressingly alike.”
“Yes, my lord,” Worhven repeated, again resisting the words that so badly wanted to come out. That was the kind of comment made only by the inexperienced or blatantly stupid. With d’Ashewl, it was probably a toss-up.
“But if you say it’s Wukkar, then I believe it,” d’Ashewl continued. “Have you compiled the list of incoming yachts that I asked for?”
Worhven suppressed a sigh. Not just mule cart duty, but handmaiden duty as well. “The comm officer has it,” he said, turning his head and gesturing toward the starboard crew pit. Out of the corner of his eye he saw now that he and d’Ashewl weren’t alone: d’Ashewl’s young manservant, Dayja, had accompanied his superior and was standing a respectful half dozen steps back along the walkway.
At least one of the pair knew something about proper protocol.
“Excellent, excellent,” d’Ashewl said, rubbing his hands together. “There’s a wager afoot, Captain, as to which of our group will arrive first and which will arrive last. Thanks to you and your magnificent ship, I stand to win a great deal of money.”
Worhven felt his lip twist. A ludicrous and pointless wager, to match the Dominator’s ludicrous and pointless errand. It was nice to know that in a universe on the edge of going mad, there was still ironic symmetry to be found.
“You’ll have your man relay the data to my floater,” d’Ashewl continued. “My man and I shall leave as soon as the Dominator reaches orbit.” He cocked his head. “Your orders were to remain in the region in the event that I needed further transport, were they not?”
The captain allowed his hands, safely out of d’Ashewl’s sight at his sides, to curl into frustrated fists. “Yes, my lord.”
“Good,” d’Ashewl said cheerfully. “Lord Toorfi has been known to suddenly change his mind on where the games are to continue, and if he does, I need to be ready to once again beat him to the new destination. You’ll be no more than three hours away at all times, correct?”
“Yes, my lord,” Worhven said. Fat, stupid, and a cheat besides. Clearly, all the others involved in this vague high-stakes gaming tournament had arrived at Wukkar via their own ships. Only d’Ashewl had had the supreme gall to talk someone on Imperial Center into letting him borrow an Imperial Star Destroyer for the occasion.
“But for now, all I need is for your men to prepare to launch my floater,” d’Ashewl continued. “After that, you may take the rest of the day off. Perhaps the rest of the month as well. One never knows how long old men’s stamina and credits will last, eh?”
Without waiting for a reply--which was just as well, because Worhven didn’t have any that he was willing to share--the rotund man turned and waddled back along the walkway toward the aft bridge. Dayja waited until he’d passed, then dropped into step the prescribed three paces behind him.
Worhven watched until the pair had passed beneath the archway and into the aft bridge turbolift, just to make sure they were truly gone. Then, unclenching his teeth, he turned to the comm officer. “Signal Hangar Command,” he ordered. “Our passenger is ready to leave.”
He threw a final glower at the aft bridge. Take the day off, indeed. Enough condescending idiocy like that from the Empire’s ruling class, and Worhven would be sorely tempted to join the Rebellion himself. “And tell them to make it quick,” he added. “I don’t want Lord d’Ashewl or his ship aboard a single millisecond longer than necessary.”
“I should probably have you whipped,” d’Ashewl commented absently.
Dayja half turned in the floater’s command chair to look over his shoulder. “Excuse me?” he asked.
“I said I should probably have you whipped,” d’Ashewl repeated, gazing at his datapad as he lazed comfortably on the luxurious couch in the lounge just behind the cockpit.
“Any particular reason?”
“Not really,” d’Ashewl said. “But it’s becoming the big thing among the upper echelon of the court these days, and I’d hate to be left out of the truly important trends.”
“Ah,” Dayja said. “I trust these rituals aren’t done in public?”
“Oh, no, the sessions are quite private and secretive,” d’Ashewl assured him. “But that’s a good point. Unless we happen to meet up with others of my same lofty stature, there really wouldn’t be any purpose.” He considered. “At least not until we get back to Imperial Center. We may want to try it then.”
“Speaking only for myself, I’d be content to put it off,” Dayja said. “It does sound rather pointless.”
“That’s because you have a lower-class attitude,” d’Ashewl chided. “It’s a conspicuous-consumption sort of thing. A demonstration that one has such an overabundance of servants and slaves that he can afford to put one out of commission for a few days merely on a whim.”
“It still sounds pointless,” Dayja said. “Ripping someone’s flesh from his body is a great deal of work. I prefer to have a good reason if I’m going to go to that much effort.” He nodded at the datapad. “Any luck?”
“Unfortunately, the chance cubes aren’t falling in our favor,” d’Ashewl said, tossing the instrument onto the couch beside him. “Our tip-off came just a bit too late. It looks like Qazadi is already here.”
“There were only eight possibilities, and all eight have landed and their passengers dispersed.”
Dayja turned back forward, eyeing the planet rushing up toward them and trying to estimate distances and times. If the yacht carrying their quarry had just landed, there might still be a chance of intercepting him before he went to ground.
“And the latest was over three hours ago,” d’Ashewl added. “So you might as well ease back on the throttle and enjoy the ride.”
Dayja suppressed a flicker of annoyance. “So in other words, we took the Dominator out of service for nothing.”
“Not entirely,” d’Ashewl said. “Captain Worhven had the opportunity to work on his patience level.”
Despite his frustration, Dayja had to smile. “You do play the -pompous-jay role very well.”
“Thank you,” d’Ashewl said. “I’m glad my talents are still of some use to the department. And don’t be too annoyed that we missed him. It would have been nicely dramatic, snatching him out of the sky as we’d hoped. But such a triumph would have come with its own set of costs. For one thing, Captain Worhven would have had to be brought into your confidence, which would have cost you a perfectly good cover identity.”
“And possibly yours?”
“Very likely,” d’Ashewl agreed. “And while the Director has plenty of scoundrel and server identities to pass out, he can slip someone into the Imperial court only so often before the other members catch on. They may be arrogant and pompous, but they’re not stupid. All things considered, it’s probably just as well things have worked out this way.”
“Perhaps,” Dayja said, not entirely ready to concede the point. “Still, he’s going to be harder to get out of Villachor’s mansion than he would have been if we’d caught him along the way.”
“Even so, it will be easier than digging him out of one of Black Sun’s complexes on Imperial Center,” d’Ashewl countered. “Assuming we could find him in that rat hole in the first place.” He gestured toward the viewport. “And don’t think it would have been that easy to pluck him out of space. Think Xizor’s Virago, only scaled up fifty or a hundred times, and you’ll get an idea what kind of nut it would have been to crack.”
“All nuts can be cracked,” Dayja said with a shrug. “All it takes is the right application of pressure.”
“Provided the nutcracker itself doesn’t break in the process,” d’Ashewl said, his voice going suddenly dark. “You’ve never tangled with Black Sun at this level, Dayja. I have. Qazadi is one of the worst, with every bit of Xizor’s craftiness and manipulation.”
“But without the prince’s charm?”
“Joke if you wish,” d’Ashewl rumbled. “But be careful. If not for yourself, for me. I have the ghosts of far too many lost agents swirling through my memory as it is.”
“I understand,” Dayja said quietly. “I’ll be careful.”
“Good.” D’Ashewl huffed out a short puff of air, an affectation Dayja guessed he’d picked up from others of Imperial Center’s elite. “All right. We still don’t know why Qazadi is here: whether he’s on assignment, lying low, or in some kind of disfavor with Xizor and the rest of the upper echelon. If it’s the third, we’re out of luck.”
“As is Qazadi,” Dayja murmured.
“Indeed,” d’Ashewl agreed. “But if it’s one of the first two . . .” He shook his head. “Those files could rock Imperial Center straight out of orbit.”
Which was enough reason all by itself for them to play this whole thing very carefully, Dayja knew. “But we’re sure he’ll be staying at Villachor’s?”
“I can’t see him coming to Wukkar and staying anywhere but the sector chief’s mansion,” d’Ashewl said. “But there may be other possibilities, and it wouldn’t hurt for you to poke around a bit. I’ve downloaded everything we’ve got on Villachor, his people, and the Marblewood Estate for you. Unfortunately, there isn’t much.”
“I guess I’ll have to get inside and see the place for myself,” Dayja said. “I’m thinking the upcoming Festival of Four Honorings will be my best bet.”
“If Villachor follows his usual pattern of hosting one of Iltarr City’s celebrations at Marblewood,” d’Ashewl warned. “It’s possible that with Qazadi visiting he’ll pass that role to someone else.”
“I don’t think so,” Dayja said. “High-level Black Sun operatives like to use social celebrations as cover for meetings with offworld contacts and to set up future opportunities. In fact, given the timing of Qazadi’s visit, it’s possible he’s here to observe or assist with some particularly troublesome problem.”
“You’ve done your homework,” d’Ashewl said. “Excellent. Do bear in mind, though, that the influx of people also means Marblewood’s security force will be on heightened alert.”
“Don’t worry,” Dayja said calmly. “You can get through any door if you know the proper way to knock. I’ll just keep knocking until I find the pattern.”
According to Wukkar’s largest and most influential fashion magazines, all of which were delighted to run extensive stories on Avrak Villachor whenever he paid them to do so, Villachor’s famed Marblewood Estate was one of the true showcases of the galaxy. It was essentially a country manor in the midst of Iltarr City: a walled-off expanse of landscaped grounds surrounding a former governor’s mansion built in classic High Empress Teta style.
The more breathless of the commentators liked to remind their readers of Villachor’s many business and philanthropic achievements and awards, and predicted that there would be more such honors in the future. Other commentators, the unpaid ones, countered with more ominous suggestions that Villachor’s most likely achievement would be to suffer an early and violent death.
Both predictions were probably right; the thought flicked through Villachor’s mind as he stood at the main entrance to his mansion and watched the line of five ordinary-looking landspeeders float through the gate and into his courtyard. In fact, there was every chance that he was about to face one or the other of those events right now.
The only question was which one.
Proper etiquette on Wukkar dictated that a host be waiting beside the landspeeder door when a distinguished guest emerged. In this case, though, that would be impossible. All five landspeeders had dark-tint windows, and there was no way to know which one his mysterious visitor was riding in. If Villachor guessed wrong, not only would he have violated prescribed manners, but he would also look like a fool.
And so he paused on the bottom step until the landspeeders came to a well-practiced simultaneous halt. The doors of all but the second vehicle opened and began discharging the passengers, most of them hard-faced human men who would have fit in seamlessly with Villachor’s own cadre of guards and enforcers. They spread out into a loose and casual-looking circle around the vehicles, and one of them murmured something into the small comlink clip on his collar. The final landspeeder’s doors opened--
Villachor felt his throat tighten as he caught his first glimpse of gray-green scales above a colorful beaded tunic. This was no human. This was a Falleen.
Excerpted from Scoundrels: Star Wars by Timothy Zahn Copyright © 2013 by Timothy Zahn. Excerpted by permission of LucasBooks, a division of Random House, Inc.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Meet the Author
Timothy Zahn is the author of more than forty novels, nearly ninety short stories and novelettes, and four short fiction collections. In 1984, he won the Hugo Award for best novella. Zahn is best known for his Star Wars novels (Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, The Last Command, Specter of the Past, Vision of the Future, Survivor’s Quest, Outbound Flight, Allegiance, and Choices of One) with more than four million copies of his books in print. Other books include the Cobra series, the Quadrail series, and the young adult Dragonback series. Zahn has a B.S. in physics from Michigan State University and an M.S. from the University of Ilinois. He lives with his family on the Oregon coast.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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A heist story set in the Star Wars Universe using the biggest loveable rogue of the series as the main character? How could this go wrong? It can't really. It would have taken a total, unexpected disaster to screw this up. And yet, just as with any heist story, I don't think it went as smoothly as the intended plan. My issue with it is that I don't feel like the author got Han quite right. It is Han, but it's the older Han in my opinion. He's the authority figure. The leader that's concerned about the people working under him. This didn't feel like a Han that would banter with Leia before charging a squad of stormtroopers on his own. I think it would have worked better if Han and Lando had been switched. Otherwise, I did enjoy the story. And I'll give it some credit for making a "Han didn't shoot first" joke that needed to be made.
This book was awesome! Think Ocean's 11 (the original one with the Rat Pack) with a Star Wars flare. It has you turning pages eager for the next turn. And you don't have to have read every book in the genre to be able to appreciate it either. You don't even really have to have seen the movies to get it. It's great for those who like heist/intrigue type books. For the fans who have poured over every book ever written it give a little extra background detail to many characters you know and love. It's well worth the read. I loved it!!
Han Solo has to gather a who' who of criminals to pull off the ultimate heist in order to pay off Jabba the Hutt. This story takes place between A New Hope (the original Star Wars) and Empire Strikes Back. It is an exciting caper that was brilliantly told by Timothy Zahn, the author of the well-known Thrawn Trilogy. This book would appeal to more than just the Star Wars fan. It is for anyone who likes a good criminal caper story.
Timothy Zahn's Star Wars books are some of the best works of this particular genre. Intricate schemes, plot twists, surprise endings- what's not to like? This one offers a fascinating look at the world of crime, Star Wars style. Han Solo and the faithful Chewbacca round up at team of elite scoundrels, including the always dashing Lando Calrisian, to crack a crime syndicate's 'unbreakable' security system. Thieves, pickpockets, hackers, con men, gamblers, explosive experts- reminds you of Ocean's Twelve, doesn't it?
I am a fan of Zahn and the Star Wars universe...but this was just not good. Honestly it felt more like a fan fic off the internet than a Zahn Star Wars novel. It passed the time, but I can't say I enjoyed anything about it.
It's simple, but the author does a great job of making a heist novel fit into the Star Wars universe. Highly recommended if you want an excellent, light read.
No jedi action, but still a great read!
Jabba’s raised your debt marker. Now here is a great idea: A Star Wars spin on Ocean’s Eleven starring Han, Chewie and Lando! If you love Star Wars and heist movies you should be all over this one, it’s just as enjoyable as it sounds. I don’t know if Timothy Zahn can ever top his fantastic opus of the three Heir to the Empire novels which revitalized Star Wars literature from the grave, but man this is a fun story. After Episode IV, Han has played a key role in blowing up the Death Star, but is still in crushing debt to Jabba, which is where this story comes in. Did you forget how fun Star Wars can be? This is your book.
It may not have been everything I had wanted it to be (being from the same author who wrote the incomparable Thrawn Trilogy), but this novel is a fun exploration of Han Solo and a suppporting cast of riveting criminals. Think, Ocean's Eleven with Han Solo taking the part of Georgr Clooney.
I love Timothy Zahn and his Star Wars books so it was with great anticipation that I finally was able to read this title. I have read all of his other Star Wars novels as well as much of his other fiction so I expect a well crafted story with believable characters and a complex yet completely understandable plot. I also know that he can "get" the Star Wars characters right. I would say that this book delivers on 85% of my expectations and falls a bit short on a few others. To be specific, the story was extremely well crafted and I enjoyed the plotline. It especially got going for me in the latter half of the book when the threads that were so carefully woven in the first half started to pull together. I enjoyed the general depiction of the Star Wars galaxy at this book's place in the timeline and I enjoyed see "prequels" of several other Timothy Zahn Star Wars characters that play larger roles in other books. Where I thought this book stumbled a bit was in the shear volume of characters involved, thus making it impossible to truly get to know them well. It was an Ocean's 11 type of cast with that many GOOD guy characters. This is not to mention the volume of bad guys who were also involved. As a result, I found that I didn't care much for any particular character and the stakes (for me) weren't high enough to add any true jeopardy. I also found myself having an extremely difficult time at the beginning keeping the characters and their names straight. This was especially true amongst the Imperial characters and the Black Sun characters along with the main antagonist on the planet. However, I won't say that I didn't struggle a bit with the heroes and their names as well. I found that by the second half of the book, I didn't have to continually flip back to double check who the characters were again, but I was definitely doing that for the first 100 pages. The only other small complaint I had with this book (which would have been true no matter the plot, author, etc) was that I don't care for Han in a starring role. He is and always will be a secondary player who provides humor, muscle, romance, and action but that has always been in the context of the greater story. In the movies, it is in the context of Luke's journey or, more correctly, in the story of the redemption of Darth Vader. Similarly, Han's role in the context of the Thrawn trilogy is supportive to the story of the New Republic and its response to the lingering threat of the Imperials, Therefore, in casting Han as the main player in Scoundrels, it is by necessity that a large part of the book does not directly involve him. However, since Han and his caper was the driving force for the book, it just didn't click. Would I still recommend this book to fans of Star Wars and Timothy Zahn? Yes. Would I say that this book was his finest work, no. Still, it was a good read and overall I enjoyed the book.
I ordered this book from Barnes and Noble's website but never received it. Their website glitched and selected my old address for shipping. When I contacted them to correct the issue they said there was nothing they could do, but I was welcome to go to the website and order the same book again. They also provided lots of helpful information on how to return the book I never received. Needless to say I'll never order from there again.
I remember reading the Thrawn Trilogy back in the day and being amazed. Later I read the Hand of Thrawn Series and the two Outbound Flight books, which were also quite good. Scoundrels being the first Zahn book I have read since then I had high hopes, but was let down. While this is suppose to be Ocean's 11 meets Star Wars it definitely didn't keep me interested the same way one of those movies might. It was a 400 page book (hardcover), but the actual heist did't really take place until the last 100 pages. Before that there was an attempt to develop all the secondary characters, which none of them I really cared for much. This is to bad because Zahn was able to do this very well in his previous Star Wars novels. There was also a lot of rescuing individuals from the bad guys, over and over again. I found it very difficult to visualize where things were in relation to each other as the character's spent a lot of time in different parts of the same complex. One method of sneaking around was through the "between-floors gap", a term that was mentioned repetitively. This must be referring to the interstitial space above a dropped ceiling (for mechanicals, ducts, etc.). Just call it what it is, every other "real world" term was mentioned in this book except for cigar which was called "cigarra". Anyways you would think the greatest criminal organization in the galaxy would house their vital secrets and information in a building that was designed to be a little more secure. It was like the Death Star exhaust port times 10. The best part about the book is the ending, which you must be careful not to look at the last page. Many people were spoiled this way.
Starwarsguy send me your character please
Han was a little "off," but still a great read.
"You like me because I'm a scoundrel. There aren't enough scoundrels in your life. " - Han Solo It's surprising how well this novel epitomizes this quote from Episode 5. Not only has author Timothy Zahn created a thrilling, fast-paced, heist adventure novel, he has also fitted it perfectly into the Star Wars universe, a universe where such stories are few and far between. Indeed, there aren’t enough books like Scoundrels in Star Wars. After losing the reward money Han got from the Rebel Alliance, our favorite smuggler seems to be out of luck. That is until a mysterious bandaged man approaches him with a job: break into a Black Sun crime syndicate stronghold and steal the contents of its seemingly impenetrable safe. If he succeeds, the reward from this job would be enough to pay off his debt several times over. Enlisting the help of gamblers, con artists, and thieves, Han gets ready for perhaps the most thrilling ride of his life. The basic concept of the story is enough to turn heads. In a universe dominated by grand space battles, lightsaber duels, and classic good-vs-evil themes, it’s quite refreshing to find a story that epitomizes none of these. Instead, what we get is a smart adventure book that focuses more on the interactions between characters and what goes on through their heads. Throughout the novel, we get to see the heist from both sides with each constantly trying to outwit the other. Is this trap? Who’s really behind this plot? How will my enemies react to this or that? Characters frequently ask themselves these questions throughout the story and oftentimes incorrectly. This psychological warfare makes for one of the most entertaining parts of the plot. However, not only are the characters left in the dark, Zahn intelligently leaves the reader out as well. Using the classic “show don’t tell” method of storytelling, sometimes not even the reader knows the entire story behind the heist and must piece it together as it goes along. When Zahn finally reveals the last piece of the puzzle, the payoff is extremely rewarding. Add to that a slew of distinct characters with fleshed-out backstories and you’ve got yourself a real page turner. Might I also add the incredible plot twist at the end that is by far the greatest one I’ve ever read? To fully enjoy this book, one really has to go in with an open mind. If you read Star Wars novels only for lightsaber duels and space battles, you’ll find none of them here. However if a story about a group of crooks effectively stealing from the mafia sounds interesting, give this book a go.
This is more of a heist with Star Wars Characters. It wasn't a bad read, but it wasn't what I would consider a true Star Wars book.
Yes, you've heard it already. Ocean's Eleven meets Star Wars. That's the quick and dirty summary of this book. But don't let that stop you from reading it. Scoundrels is the most fun thing that's happened to the Star Wars Universe in ages. Han and Chewie gather a string of specialists for a really big job - most of whom are new names - and despite the rather large cast of characters, I didn't find it confusing to follow. It's truly an ensemble adventure and everyone has their role to play. It helps, of course, that Han Solo (my admitted favorite character) is the "star" here, and that this the first Zahn-penned Star Wars novel I can remember that hasn't featured his pet creation, Mara Jade (not one of my faves). And it helps even more that this book falls into the "original trilogy" time period, which doesn't see a lot of EU action. I'm not going to spoil the story by going into too much detail but this book is a carefully crafted work of art. Zahn knows just where to toss in the humor and sly references, and just when to have everything fall to pieces. And when to drop a total and complete stunner into your lap. They picked him to write the first EU novel 20+ years ago for a reason. Scoundrels proves he's still got it.
Its ok truely