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Publisher's Summary

From Timothy Zahn, Hugo Award winner and New York Times best-selling author of two landmark Star Wars® series, comes an original new tale featuring a renegade space pilot, his unusual alien partner, and an unknown cargo that can change the course of galactic history.

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.

A bold and epic novel filled with unrelenting action and a good dose of humor, The Icarus Hunt is a wild hyperspace romp through the galaxy.

©2022 Timothy Zahn (P)2022 Random House Audio

What listeners say about The Icarus Hunt

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Space Opera at its most satisfying ...

I've loved this novel since I read it in paperback, and am so delighted to have it in audio format. Timothy Zahn is a master storyteller, a creator of worlds and aliens and space drama of the highest calibre. I found the narrator's ability to create so many different species voices to be truly astonishing. I did increase the narration speed to 1.1, and found that fitted my listening preferences perfectly.

5 people found this helpful

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I have been waiting for this to make it to Audible

I first read this as a kid maybe 13 years old. I LOVED it, off and on I look for it on Audible and I am so glad they finally added it.
Timothy Zahn is a fantastic author, the original creator of Grand Admiral Thrawn and many other great books. To me the Icarus Hunt is one of the most enjoyable books I have ever read.

3 people found this helpful

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I've been waiting a long time for this.

First listened to this book on cassette tape probably 20 years ago.

I never forgot it, and have been checking at least once a year for a decade hoping it would come to audible.

This is a great, oldschool sci-fi adventure story. Aliens, guns fights, mystery, humor, down on their luck space pilots....the good stuff, before it all became about "ThE mEsAge." Its not part a series....which is too bad as I'd like another book in this universe, but also means there is no grand commitment here. Just what people used to call a good book.

Unfortunately, the reader likes his job a bit too much. He really turns it up to 11 when doing the alien voices. Enough to make you jump if your trying to listen to the story while drifting off to sleep.

3 people found this helpful

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excellent storytelling, lacking in worldbuiling

as always Zahn really masters the craft of telling a story. Very captivating story flow, compelling characters, and good environmental and action descriptions.

where it falls a bit flat however, is the world building. It is very much there, but feels cardboard thin. Pretty much every alien race is described in a bit of detail, and in some story critical way the differences matter in some small way. But for the most part it merely feels like a human wearing a different moustache for each scene because none of the alien races get much in the way of culture, nor unique behavioral traits. Thompson's voice acting did an excellent job making things more diversified, but it w as not enough to cover that up.

There are also some aspects of the some characters' backstory which I feel should have been more properly alluded to much earlier because the end twist feels a bit out of the blue. Similarly the crime syndicates introduce feel more plot device-y because they just kind of exist and are not really given character, and only really appear one the plot demands it, because its the only way to fix this for the character. Essentially it just felt like a "aww shit I wrote myself into a corner again... better bring out th get crime!" method.

In the end it kind of feels that Zahn suffers a bit with independent IP because he has been used to star wars and just being able to wink and nod to things since so much is established already.
Still, it was enjoyable and very on brand for Zahn. if you enjoy his other work, you will probably like it well enough that you dont regret buying it. I think things will improve in a potential sequel.

1 person found this helpful

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Fun, escapist sci-fi mystery

This is a fun read, one of Zahn’s best works. Yeah, there are a few holes or weak points in the plot if you stop to think about it (e.g. the “Uncle Arthur” portrayed off and on in the story doesn’t seem to line up with who he turns out to be) but the story is engaging and coherent. It starts out in a “taverno” that sounds a lot like the Mos Eisley Cantina, then bounces around the galaxy in a kind of sci-fi “whodunnit” story. McKell is a rough-and-tumble smuggler, and I initially imagined him as a Han Solo type but the character is developed well enough that he’s not a carbon copy by any means.

Best of all, there’s zero woke politics or lurid sexual themes…just fun, escapist sci-fi / mystery.

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Masterfully written whodunit in space

Timothy Zahn continues to write books that give me such a euphoric high after finishing them. How you can get so addicted to reading/listening to a book and yet feel complete satisfaction with the ending is a testament to the ability off the writers skill. A+ or so I’m going to say overall. The only thing lacking in this particular story, in my opinion, is a slightly more compellingly written heroine. Otherwise an excellent read.

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My first as a kid

This was the first full sized chapter book I read as a kid and quite enjoyed it, launched me into then Thrawn Trilogy.
Timothy Zahn is great, always delivering a well told and complex story yet in a simple format and with language that is easy to follow. Perfect for audio books that won’t distract you from your work.

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Fantastic!!!

this is one of my favorite books. the storyline is intriguing and engaging at the same time.

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Amazing voice performance.

High quality, enjoyable voice acting by all. Add that to the amazing sci-fi murder mystery story, and I was very sad when the story was over. Would recommended to anyone!

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Boring and disjointed audio

Boring story and disjointed audio. Every sentence has the narration, a long pause, then "I said". Or some variation. it's clear to me that the audio was recorded in broken phrases and segments and then pieced together. It does not flow.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-20-22

Clever space thriller that keeps you guessing!

I've read the book many times, and although it's far from perfect, the continuing twists and turns and seemingly unconnected incidents keeps you guessing to the end.

Follow the crew of Icarus as they flee across the galaxy trying to discover exactly why they are being chased and what each others motivations are for being aboard in the first place...

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  • mygrandmawasdot
  • 03-24-22

Loved it! Space swashbuckler whodunnit

Such a good book!!! Great story and characters. I was enthralled. The narrator is so good, really helped bring the words to life in my mind.

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  • G Kininmont
  • 04-20-22

Aimed at a younger audience

I found the writing of this text a little basic and empahsised the wrong details. The ending was also a little flat. This book is a whodunnit in space and follows the internal monologue of the protagonist well.

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  • Stuart J Barton
  • 02-18-22

Worth the Wait

I read this years ago and was blown away! He must've written it backwards to make the intrigue, suspense and cat & mouse work. I didn't remember much so it was still thrilling and the voices just made it even better!
I want this to be a 1 season TV series!