The Icarus Hunt
by Timothy Zahn
Published by Bantam Publishing
Scott's Rating: 3 out of 4
Just to make things clear to you, this is NOT a Star Wars book. However, because it is written by Timothy Zahn, one of the fans' favorite authors, this might be of interest to you.
In the distant future, smuggler Jordan McKell is hired by a rich archaeologist to fly a ship called Icarus and its cargo to Earth. Jordan agrees to take the job and soon joins up with the hastily gathered crew. He soon realizes that they are being pursued by the Patth, a race that holds a monopoly on hyperspace shipping in the galaxy. To make matters worse, McKell also realizes that there is a saboteur on board attempting to stop their mission. Why do the Patth want Icarus? Who is the mysterious murderer on board? Will they make it to Earth? That's all of what this Sci-Fi mystery is about.
If you're expecting a Star Wars type book here, this is the wrong place to look, but it's definitely good to escape out of the Star Wars Universe every once in a while. Make no mistake about it, this is more of a mystery than a science fiction novel. You'll be kept guessing up till the very last few pages. Zahn has created a cool universe with some unique aliens. Nothing super amazing or anything, but enough to keep you interested. Overall a good quick story to read, but not the galactic, sweeping space opera epic that you might be expecting from him.
Halfway through the book, I realized that Jordan McKell was almost exactly like Han Solo. Both are smugglers. Both have alien sidekicks/co-pilots. Both work for vile gangsters. Both are guys with gruff exteriors but hearts of gold. Both are hotshot pilots who survive on luck. Both were kicked out of the Academy or Earthguard. This was a bit distracting, but I got over it. But this could have easily been a Han Solo story. Towards the end I found a couple of things predictable, but overall it was a good story. However, I'd recommend you wait for the paperback. It's a good Timothy Zahn story, but not his best work ever. I'll still keep buying his books as soon as they hit the shelves, though. :)
French Fried aliens hit by plasma bolts.