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Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all it's still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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The Icarus Hunt Mass Market Paperback – July 5, 2000

4.2 out of 5 stars 131 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Jordan McKell thinks he's pretty unlucky, but most of us would gladly trade places with him. He's a freelance star-freighter captain who plies the hyperspace folds between worlds, trading exotic goods and meeting bizarre aliens. His latest job, to pilot the Icarus and its sealed cargo to earth, seems simple enough, but it rapidly turns into a crisis of interstellar proportions. The man who hired him goes missing, governments and the underworld alike put a price on the Icarus and on McKell's head, and one of his crew is murdered. He'll need to call upon his wits, his courage, and even a few tricks if he wants to survive.

Space opera veteran Timothy Zahn, a Hugo award winner and author of the bestselling Star Wars Thrawn trilogy, brings us a tale that's as convoluted and complex as a hyperdrive motor. Although there's plenty of action both in space and on the ground, The Icarus Hunt is primarily a murder mystery. Chapter by chapter, even page by page, the list of suspects and their motivations grows and evolves, constantly shifting as McKell relentlessly cuts through webs of deception and subterfuge. But the murder is only the opening move in a game that could alter the power structure of hundreds of solar systems. Zahn always provides an entertaining ride through the galaxy, and readers will find him very much in his element with this book. --J.B. Peck --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

Independent space shipper (i.e., smuggler) Jordan McKell accepts a contract to deliver a sealed cargo to Earth aboard a ship of unknown origin and dubious quality. After the suspicious death of a crew member and several attempts to "acquire" his cargo, McKell realizes that he has become the center of a conspiracy that pits him against a powerful race of aliens who control galactic trade and aspire to even more. The latest sf adventure by the author of the Star WarsTM Thrawn trilogy features fast-paced action; a tight, no-frills plot; and a quick-thinking, resourceful hero. A good choice for most sf collections.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Spectra; Reissue edition (July 5, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553573918
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553573916
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 1.2 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (131 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #683,491 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I don't know how many cross-over fans there are between the sci-fi and mystery genres, but the fewer there are, the fewer who will truly appreciate this book for what it is.

I am more solidly a mystery fan (Zahn is one of extremely few sci-fi authors I enjoy), and as such I was able to truly marvel at what Zahn has accomplished in this one extremely entertaining novel. It will not escape most people's notice that the plot of this novel is a whodunit, and that the sci-fi is only a backdrop. What most people won't realize is that there exists, or once existed, a small sub-genre of whodunits called the "cozy." In order to be properly classified as a cozy, a novel has to have a remote setting with a limited number of players, one of whom is murdered, all of whom are suspects, and a detective who calls them all together at the end for the revealing. Agatha Christie is of course the most famous author of cozies.

I was delighted to find that The Icarus Hunt, despite all improbability, fits very neatly into the catagory of a classic cozy.

Of course this type of book might not necessarily appeal to sci-fi fans who are unfamiliar with the genre of whodunits or the sub-genre of the cozy, but Zahn goes out of his way to make The Icarus Hunt appeal to as wide an audience as possible. Jordan's first-person narrative is often hilarious - to tell a complex story from a first-person perspective is challenging enough anyway, and Zahn triumphs.

Of course there's the typical Zahn - exotic places and bizarre aliens (and plenty of strange-sounding names thrown in just for fun), and the classic Zahn knock-your-socks-off surprises.

All of which makes for one of the most highly enjoyable books I've ever read. I seriously doubt there's another book like it in existence. Highly recommended to fans of any genre!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
All I can say is that Timothy Zahn is perhaps among the best sci-fi authors out there, next to Isaac Asimov. His stories are all complex and detailed, the plot jampacked with twists, turns, surprises, and shockers. "The Icarus Hunt" is certainly no exception.

"The Icarus Hunt"'s main character is Jordan McKell, a star-freighter pilot who plays the role of a poor yet honest private contracter, considering that in reality he is a smuggler working for a huge crime organization. Things couldn't get worse he supposed. Or so he thought...

When he takes a job flying a strangely put-together antique ship called the 'Icarus' with a ragtag crew, little does he know that he has just landed himself in the middle of a huge conspiracy. Jordan is immediately thrust into events spiraling out of control: one of the crew is murdered, his employer seems to have disappeared, an unknown saboteur is on board, and the 'Icarus' is being wanted by the oppresive Patth who have monopolized all trade in the galaxy.

It's up to Jordan and his mechanic partner Ixil, a Kalixiri with his two ferret 'outhunters' Pix and Pax, to figure out what's going on while struggling to stay alive. The hunt for the 'Icarus' is on!

If you thought my summary was complicated, wait until you actually pick up the book! There are so many other subplots that are too numerous too count and besides, most of them are the twists and turns this book has to offer. But though seemingly 'complicated', Zahn's expertise is put to use as he deftly weaves a tale with numerous 'threads' yet makes up one intricately woven 'tapestry'. There is not one moment where the action and suspense slows down; instead, we are taken on a ride where you have no clue where it'll end!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I was expecting something completely different picking up this book by Zahn. He is an extremely good author who knows the right combination of action and plot to seize his readers in a death grip. This book is no exception from his writing style.
However this time he has married a cloak and dagger/who-dun-it to the science fiction genre. I read this book in 2 days and it was extremely hard to put down as it took you from one event to another in a light speed fashion. He left you at the edge of your seat wondering/trying to figure who had done it but to no avail. The ending was very unpredictable and there was closure! A truly good story told by no other than Zahn.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
It's obvious from the review comments that the vast majority of people reviewing this book (both those who liked it and those who didn't) have no idea what they are reading. This book is, plain and simple, an homage to Alistair MacLean.

Furthermore, it is right up there with the best of the MacLean thrillers (Circus, Breakheart Pass, Where Eagles Dare, Guns Of Navaronne). The plot twists and hidden identities follow the MacLean patterns exactly, as does the intentionally ambiguous first-person narration, in which the main character tells you he is hiding something from you but does not tell you what it is.

Zahn's later novel Night Train To Rigel is similar, but the MacLean influence is toned down a bit and elements of Hitchcock, Noir, and horror films are woven in as well.

However, taken as a whole, The Icarus Hunt works somewhat better than Night Train To Rigel.
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