Lando Calrissian and the Starcave of ThonBoka
by L. Neil Smith
Published by Ballantine / Del Rey
David Ziebart's Rating: 1.5 out of 4
After narrowly escaping death in his last harrowing adventure, Lando comes across an errant Oswaft. The Oswaft are a species that have evolved in a giant nebula. Besides being able to live in outer space (itself no small feat) they posses the ability to some how move through space, travel short distances through hyperspace, create precious gems from component molecules gathered in the nebula, almost instantly translate any language or code, and can fire beams of microwaves powerful enough to destroy Imperial frigates. Naturally, the Empire (called the centrality in this trilogy) considers such creatures a threat and attempts to destroy them. Lando heads off with his droid sidekick, Vuffi Raa, to try to do what he can, which mostly boils down to playing cards. Who should then show up, but Rockur Gepta, the last sorcerer of Tund. He reveals his plan to eliminate all life in the nebula using his electromagnetic torpedoes. These are small green things that apparently have an unlimited capacity to destroy living matter. To complicate matters further, Vuffi Raa's father (a gigantic, space going, sentient droid/spaceship), shows up along with a fleet of similar beings to bring him back home. What will happen when Lando confronts the Imperial Navy, a fleet of giant robot spacecraft, and his nemesis Gepta?
To be completely honest, this book would be all right if only it wasn't making a pretense at being a Star Wars novel. If you scrapped any reference to Star Wars and Lando Calrissian, the entire trilogy is about ten times better. As it stands, the Oswaft are actually a fairly interesting idea, but they're a little too farfetched for the Star Wars universe. And, as with all the Lando books, the Sabacc scenes are pretty cool. If you're looking for a quick book to read that doesn't make you think or try to teach a single thing (the morale of the story is: evil sorcerers are bad news), then this is the book you're looking for. A quick, easy read for the bored fan, and a must for the die-hard fan, simply because of it's historical value as one of the novels written before ROTJ was released.
I think my review pretty much sums up the problem with this book. It reads like a soap opera or a bad comic series. In addition to everything mentioned there, we also have the super-secret origins of Rockur Gepta and Vuffi Raa thrown in! The whole thing is just too whimsical, even for a fantasy universe. It's not the nit-picky details; it's the overall plot.
Lando using the phrase "You old (insert clever nickname here, like 'toaster' or 'appliance') over and over and over again.