by K.W. Jeter
Published by Bantam Publishing
Daivd's Rating: 1.5 out of 4
Scott's Rating: 2 out of 4
Not a whole lot actually happens in this book. Flashbacks and characters thinking about what they've done take up the majority of it. Mostly, this novel fleshes out the story from the Mandalorian Armor, and gives us little glimpses of things to come. Boba Fett kills some people, collects some bounties, and manages to be the crux of the entire story without really doing anything.
If you are an absolute die-hard Boba Fett fan, then this is the book for you. As well, Jeter manages not to screw up the continuity (no small feat in the congested expanded universe). The character of Kuat of Kuat is fleshed out some more, and he turned out to be my favorite part of the novel. Unfortunately, he starts to get a little repetitive towards the end. He's worried about Kuat Drive Yards, and feels the crushing weight of his responsibilities. For the absolute SW completist, this book also offers a look into the internal politics of the ruling families of Kuat.
I agree with David. The history and framework of the Kuat Drive Yards was interesting. And the revelation scene where Kuat confronts one of the other council members was pretty clever. I think you'll find the conclusion interesting. I also liked the anti-bounty hunters. You know, the ones that guarantee safe passage. I thought the Rebel dropout pilot was pretty cool. I also liked the leadup of Boba Fett pursuing the renegade stormtrooper. As I was reading it, I was thinking, "Now it's gonna get good." Unfortunately, the build-up was better than the conclusion.
As you could probably tell, I was searching a bit for good things to say about this book. It all comes down to one simple thing: Characters. The SW universe is essentially a character driven universe. The best SW authors are the ones capable of creating believable, enjoyable characters. It makes no difference weather we hate them or love them; a good character makes a good book. Jeter reduces all the characters to one dimension. Fett, instead of the complex character with a strict moral code, is an arrogant, cold killer interested only in credits who seems to give little regard to stabbing a partner in the back. Every other bounty hunter other that Boba Fett is apparently a grade 'A' moron or a gullible fool, Kuat of Kuat is weary, etc., etc. The apparently complicated, the plot is actually fairly simple and easy to predict. Jeter has a nasty habit of making it obvious what's going to happen next, then trying to keep you in suspense, which just leaves you wishing the book moved faster. If Jeter had taken the time to read Tales of the Bounty Hunters, and other stories involving the various bounty hunters, the book would have been instantly better. As it is, the bounty hunters, Dengar and Zuckuss especially, seem to be total opposites of earlier portrayals. While this is the author's decision, it is nice to see characters remain consistent throughout the continuity. Perhaps worst of all, Jeter's habit of repeating words has returned stronger then ever.
First up, why is an R5 unit on the cover? There wasn't one in the novel. Oh, well. As for the writing, David has summed up my thoughts pretty well. I guess Jeter's style is not really to my taste. Throughout the novel, a character will say one line, then have two pages of dialogue thinking about what was just said, the past, or some odd tangent. Then, at the end of that, they'll resume their next sentence. It really made the scenes drag on. I kept thinking of Lucas' directing comments. "Faster! More intense!" And at the end of each action scene, one of the characters had to explain exactly what they did and how they did it. Again, not always necessary. I also felt that Boba Fett was out of character. Yeah, he's a bad dude, but he seems to have a certain code he follows. Screwing another hunter out of a deal they agreed on does not seem to be Fett's style. Finally, nothing really happened. This book has "Bridge Syndrome" written all over it. That's when there's a trilogy where the first book sets up the story, the last book wraps it up, and the middle book is there just to be a middle book. I believe you could pick up the next novel and not have missed anything.
Ever hear a word so many times, you begin to unconsciously skip it when you're reading?
Kuat of Kuat.
Kuat of Kuat had to protect the Kuat Drive Yards, in orbit around Kuat.
Kuat Kuat Kuat Kuat Kuat Kuat Kuat Kuat Kuat Kuat.
The member of the Kuat council trying to "get ahead". (It's a pun. Sorry.)