Last week I reviewed the newest Star Wars novel by Timothy Zahn, Scoundrels. A couple days ago I finally got the chance to read the ebook novella he wrote as a prequel, Winner Lose All. It was enjoyable, on the whole, and if you’ve already read Scoundrels you should give it a shot. However, while it was released before Scoundrels and happens before Scoundrels, it was clearly written after Scoundrels and would be best read after finishing that excellent novel. Why? Because it features several of the characters Zahn created for that novel, and the novel serves as a better introduction to them than this shorter work does. Also, and I hate to speak ill of a Zahn story, this story moved a bit slowly for me in places. Just my opinion though. Scoundrels is set in the first couple months after the destruction of the Death Star. Winner Lose All is set an indeterminate amount of time before that–probably about a year, give or take, but it never says. Don’t worry about it, the timeframe isn’t really that important. EDIT: You should also check out the short story Heist if you can find it.
Lando Calrissian is in need of money once again. This time his scheme to get rich quick centers on winning a seat in a high-stakes sabacc tournament being hosted by a local gambler and casino owner. The first crack in these plans shows up when he spots old friends in attendance at the tournament–Bink & Tavia Kitik, along with their partner Zerba Cher’dak. Wherever they show up valuable objects go missing…objects like the ultimate prize at the tournament, a priceless sculpture of mysterious origins. Lando is somewhat mollified by their reassurances that the sculpture isn’t their target, but soon enough things go south once again. Murder, frame-ups, gambling, conniving and thievery, it’s all here!
Content: PG language and violence.