I bought this book as a Christmas gift for my husband. Timothy Zahn is practically a god in the world of Star Wars fiction and my husband was a big fan of his earlier works – especially Heir to the Empire. How disappointed was I when this one didn’t live up to his expectations?
Of course, then he challenged me to read it. Now, I haven’t read any other Star Wars fiction but am a HUGE fan of the movies. What did I think? Meh at best.
This is purely Oceans Eleven in space with Han Solo as Danny Ocean. It takes place not too long after the first death star is destroyed and before they setup their base on the ice world of Hoth.
My first issue is the timeline. I know I’m a stickler but this just seemed like it wouldn’t work. So, Han goes out with Chewie (not Luke, Leia or the other rebels) to try to get a smuggling job that will pay off his marker with Jabba the Hutt. Lando meets up with them when they take on a different job to break into a vault. OK, for those of you that are fans – you will remember Lando’s greeting to Han at Cloud City in Empire Strikes Back. There clearly had been some tension between them (that’s referenced here) but it seemed like a good bit of time had passed since they saw each other. If they did this job together, it hadn’t been that long and it doesn’t make sense.
Next is the whole Oceans Eleven thing. I’m assuming the author cleared that with whoever owns the rights to that story. It is almost exactly the same. Eleven people with different skills working to break in to a vault for $163,000,000. Seriously? I feel like the author could have done some sort of homage but it’s almost like he used that as the blueprint and just cut and paste in the new names, added some space references and made it even more convoluted.
And, therein lies my biggest issue, the writing itself. The details of the heist are just not believable. I was rolling my eyes at every turn. And, Mr. Zahn has never met an adverb he didn’t like. All adverbs. All the time. Plus, this is space. A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Do I believe they play pool or drink cognac? Nope. What I believe is that the author was too lazy to fully build the world.
What a bummer that I have to give my first Star Wars read 2-stars.