Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Icarus Hunt by Timothy Zahn

Jordan McKell has a problem with authority. Unfortunately for him, the iron-fisted authority of the powerful Patthaaunutth controls virtually every aspect of galactic shipping. In order to survive, Jordan ekes out a living dabbling in interstellar smuggling for outlaw concerns that represent the last vestiges of free trade in the galaxy. So when Jordan and his partner, Ixil--an alien with two ferret-like "outhunters" linked to his neural system--are hired by a mysterious gentleman to fly a ship and its special cargo to Earth, they jump at the job.

Caution has never been one of Jordan's strong suits. But this time he may have taken on more than even he can handle. The ship, Icarus, turns out to be a ramshackle hulk, the ragtag crew literally picked up off the street, and the cargo so secret, it's sealed in a special container that takes up most of the cramped and ill-designed ship. As if that weren't bad enough, it looks like the authorities already suspect something is afoot, there's a saboteur aboard, and the Icarus appears to be shaking apart at the seams.

It doesn't seem as if things could get any worse. That is, until a beautiful crew member helps McKell uncover the true nature of the cargo he's carrying. With his enemies closing in on the lumbering Icarus, the unknown saboteur still aboard, and authorities on Earth pressured to turn them in, McKell and Ixil become fugitives. Their only chance is to stay one step ahead of their pursuers as they try to make it home.

3.5 out of 5 stars

I'm not one for reading science fiction in general, let alone military science fiction. I just find it really boring for some reason. I had already read a few other of Timothy Zahn's books by the time I picked this one up and had found his pervious books entertaining (he has fantastic plot) but really boring because his characters have a lot of long conversations I don't really want to read about and he spends an excessive amount of time explaining the design of a spaceship. But my brother had been raving about how amazing The Icarus Hunt was and so I decided to give Zahn another try. The beginning was interesting, but near the middle I reached the same problem I had before with his other books... it was boring! But I stuck to it because my brother was so excited I was reading it. And then I got to the end where all the mysteries were solved... and it quite blew my breath away. The Icarus Hunt has probably one of the best endings I have ever read in terms of solving the mystery, wrapping up the plot while leaving it open for future adventures with the characters, and deep satisfaction. Even if you're not into military science fiction or science fiction in general, I'd consider giving this book a try. The ending is TOTALLY worth it.

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