Though I’ve been a fan of the Star Wars movies as long as I can remember (admittedly more 4,5 and 6 then 1,2, and 3), I’ve never ventured into the expanded universe detailed via the written word. Until now. I was fortunate enough tor receive an advanced reader copy (ARC) of Star Wars: Scoundrels by Timothy Zahn through the Goodreads First Reads giveaways. Naturally, being an avid reader I took advantage.
Somehow, don’t ask how, I am actually familiar with Timothy Zahn (though I’ve never read any of his books before) and have heard that he is great at what he does. That and the cover (which sadly I don’t have on my ARC) would likely have been enough to make me pick up this book. Couple that with the fact that this book takes place between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back – the part of the Star Wars universe I’m most familiar with – and I was excited to read my first Star Wars books.
It didn’t disappoint! Scoundrels is essentially an Ocean’s Eleven type heist/caper plot but with a cast of familiar (Han, Chewie, and Lando) and unfamiliar Star Wars characters (Bink, Tavia, Winter, Zerba, and more). The cast of characters is quite large and difficult to keep straight until about a quarter of the way through the book. But there is a handy ‘dramtis personae’ guide in the beginning of the book. And I’ll admit to flipping back to that a few times. You learn character background and details sparingly as the book moves forward, but I find that to be intriguing and just one of many factors that kept me interested and quickly reading through.
Another reason I kept reading, the plot pacing while quick was not frenetic. To me it seemed perfectly suited for the activities unfolding. Early on in the book, a scene unfolds in a cantina with Han that is clearly a nod to the ‘Han shot first’ debate that continues between fans and George Lucas. If I wasn’t sold on enjoying it before, that certainly helped. I can’t say much else about the plot and story without spoiling the book, but hopefully I’ve convinced you it is worth a read anyway.
I really enjoyed this book. I may even pick up another Timothy Zahn Star Wars book to explore. Any Star Wars fan (with limited or expanded knowledge) is likely to enjoy the book. I’d venture it’s possible even a non-Star Wars fan may enjoy it, but it is a lot of fun to read it picturing Harrison Ford and Billy Dee Williams. Go read Timothy Zahn’s Star Wars: Scoundrels and see if you agree!