Han Solo rounds up a crew of shady characters in “Star Wars: Scoundrels,” the latest “Star Wars” adventure by Timothy Zahn. Zahn launched the entire “expanded universe” of “Star Wars” novels back in 1991 with “Star Wars: Heir to the Empire.”
In “Scoundrels,” Solo is looking to raise funds sometime after the events of “A New Hope,” the first “Star Wars” film, released in 1977. A man who says he was shaken down by the criminal organization Black Sun approaches Solo. The man has information about millions of illegally seized credits that he’d like returned. Solo has questions, but the payoff — and a possible resolution of his problems with Jabba the Hutt — motivate Solo to round up a team, including Chewbacca and Lando Calrissian, to attempt the heist.
The heavily armed fortress of a crime boss is the location of the credits. Solo plans to use an upcoming festival to cover for his infiltration. But soon he learns the credits aren’t the only thing in the vaults — the blackmail files of the Black Sun organization are also being held on the site.
A sort of “Solo’s 11,” the melding of the Star Wars universe and a heist story makes for a thrilling caper with plenty of twists, turns and action. While a few of the characters have ties to other “Star Wars” books, it’s not necessary to have seen anything more than the original “Star Wars” — if that — to follow the book.
The audiobook version of “Scoundrels,” narrated by Marc Thompson, is enjoyable throughout. Thompson does a great job reflecting the voices of the characters we know, and differentiating among the many characters in the book. Outstanding sound effects work makes the re-creation of the “Star Wars” universe in audio form even more complete. With the large mix of locations, plots and characters, the audiobook is a great way to enjoy “Scoundrels.”
— Matthew Price
From Friday’s The Oklahoman