Star Wars Galaxy of Fear #9
by John Whitman
Published by Bantam
Scott's Rating: 3.5 out of 4
Tash, Zak, and Hoole must make an emergency landing on Ithor, the home planet of the Hammerhead aliens. They need a certain mineral component for their hyperdrive. In order to get it, they catch a ride with an Ithorian to a nearby asteroid mining operation. That Ithorian happens to be the wife of Momaw Nadon, the Hammerhead creature from the Mos Eisley Cantina. While there, the miners show them a strange old Ithorian crypt hidden in the asteroid that holds an unknown secret. Well, it's the Spore, of course. Soon the Imperials arrive to take it from them, led by Jerec. You might know Jerec, the Dark Jedi from the Dark Forces video game and graphic novels. Soon, everything goes down the toilet as Spore begins to take over the bodies of everyone around it. If it reaches the planet of Ithor, everyone will be possessed by it.
This is one of the better stories in the series because it breaks the usual pattern of the books. While the story is not spectacular, it's not bad either. It was well paced and the descriptions of the mining operations and their space suits was interesting. There was also a good scene where some asteroid space slugs (like in ESB) attack an Imperial Star Destroyer. Great stuff! And I like the direction Tash's sensitivity to the Force is developing. It was also cool to see a little bit of Jerec, though he did not have a large part in the story.
I don't think there was any need to make the Ithorian character the wife of Momaw Nadon. It had no relevance to the story and was obviously done to make some connection to the films. The space slugs in the book also shot in and out of asteroids like snakes or something. If they were that active, how come the Millennium Falcon was able to fly into one untouched?
Spore taking over a host body. Kind of like the black ooze from the X-Files movie, eh?