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on 22 December 2013
This book is a good read. Its not exactly deep, but it is a fun experience. There are some things I really liked and appreciated as a Star Wars fan, like showing the Ord Mantell encounter Han has with the bounty hunter quoted in TESB. And a good few other things, like Winter being a character and really getting inside her head following Alderaan's destruction in ANH. The book also deals with Lando and Han's distrust and falling out they had with each other, and how its repaired. Oh, and theres a twist at the end of the book which I don't think anyone will see coming... I know I didn't.

I'd probably give this book a 7/10.
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on 11 February 2016
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on 3 February 2014
Its a good fun romp but feels a little 2d at the end of the day, this is not to say I didn't enjoy it
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on 21 March 2014
So much fun reading this, although I wish the Falcon had been in it more. Like all the new characters, and that they were given depth.
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on 4 June 2013
not a bad book, not one of the authors best . but not bad.took me a while to get through,and thats not easy as i love the star wars novels.
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on 3 February 2013
As a book it's fairly well written and enjoyable as it's basically Oceans 11 in Starwars. Sadly its ultimately rather emotionless and rather shallow which stops it being truly great. It's a shame as there was huge potential with Winter and dealing with her whole planet being destroyed, but that is only lightly touched on and incidental to the plot.
So yes its fun but hardly great and certainly not as good as Zahn's original Heir to the Empire trilogy.
3 people found this helpful
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on 24 April 2014
Scoundrels is in my opinion the Worst SW book in a long time and considering that Zahn is one of the key creators of the EU just makes it worse.The story is essentially a crime caper and the only key SW stalwarts are Han,Chewie and Lando all though none of them really do anything or stand out in this tale.One of the biggest issues with this book is we know from the outset that the heroes are in no danger and are so poorly fleshed they could easily be switched out for other characters.By the end of the book nothing much has been achieved and my time spent reading it felt wasted.
There is no need to read this book as it adds nothing to the greater story and adds nothing to the history of its main players.
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on 2 January 2013
OK, it's an obvious comparison to make but this is basically Ocean's Eleven in Star Wars. They even have eleven people pulling the heist. The basic plot is that a victim of Black Sun comes up to Han with an offer. His father was killed and his credit chips stolen. Only he can get the full value for those chips, but if Han can get them back for him he'll split the total with everyone. It's just after the battle of Yavin so Han is desperate for money to pay off Jabba. The only problem is that the chips are stored in the vault of a highly dangerous Black Sun agent and his guest one of Xizor's vigos (his nine top men). You've all seen this before so you know what's going to happen: everything is going to go wrong but our heroes outwit the villains anyway. But it's not about the destination but the ride. And what a ride it is. Zahn's last few Star Wars novels have felt rather bland. It's nice to see him at his best again. He is helped in this because unlike those other novels he doesn't feel the need to drag in every single character he ever created. It's just Han (the man with the plan), Chewie (the muscle), Lando (front man), Winter (odd jobs), Kell (explosives/demolition), and a few new characters: Rachele (local contact), Zerba (costumes), Bink (ghost burglar), Tavia (electronics specialist), Dozer (ship thief), Eanjer (employer). It's quite an odd list but it works well.

The characters are all at different points than we're used to seeing them. Han is still trying to convince himself that his alliance with the Rebellion was just a one off thing. He can quit whenever he wants. Lando is still angry at Han for shafting him repeatedly. Winter is trying to control her anger and emptiness from the recent destruction of Alderaan. She doesn't know if Leia is still alive. Kell (borrowed from Allston's X-Wing novels) is... Kell. He's just younger and still concerned that he'll crack under pressure. I have to say that none of the new characters left that much of an impression on me except for the twin thieves Bink and Tavia. But even there you don't get to know them well. Zahn does take time for character development, but this is a huge ensemble. He can't get too detailed with everyone. I have to say that it's strange seeing the characters like this. Especially Lando, who is in a bit of a dark place where Han is concerned. I almost want to say that he's tortured, but we all know that Lando isn't like that. He leaves all the being tortured for Han.

The villains are pretty good, even if the big bad doesn't show his face often. He's a Falleen called Qazadi and he uses his pheromones much more effectively than Xizor did. It's nice to see the Falleen utilized again. I always thought they had potential. Villachor is the sector chief and owner of the house they'll be robbing. He's a fairly typical villain, but the level of paranoia created by having a vigo present and schemers circling is amusing. The book has its fair share of twists and surprises and things going wrong. These are generally quite gripping. As much as I love the concept it does seem slightly forced that Han would be involved in something like this, no matter how desperate he is. The ending, specifically the way in which he doesn't get to keep his money (because you know he can't or he'd be free of the Rebellion), is also a bit forced with a character reveal that doesn't really make sense. But like I said, it's about the ride not the destination. And this is one fun ride!
3 people found this helpful
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