||Not nearly as good as the first book,
it was still enjoyable, and the main character learns a great many
The Count Dooku plot
seems like a great distraction. Why did Jango send his son to find the
man? The Count has nothing to offer the boy. He thinks he might train
him, but apparently decides he doesn't want to. Instead of seeing Boba
as a resourceful boy, he ridicules him and calls him nosy. I think Boba
has already reached self-sufficiency, to some degree. He was able to
break the rules at the Geonosians lair fairly easily and get away with
it -mostly. Here, although he gets away with going outside to the dig
site (where the Count is looking for some sort of force-enhancer), when he is
finally caught, he is sentenced to death.
Instead, the Republic attacks, so he is
saved. Without his ship, he cannot escape the way he did after the
battle of Geonosis. The troopers find him, and he is mistaken for a war
orphan, so he is placed with twenty other kids. I like the way he joined
the clones in firing on the droid army, and they accepted him until the
battle was over, after which they simply took the blaster away from him.
I found it a little strange that the clones wouldn't recognize him;
after all, there was a huge group of young boys exactly his age and with
his face, in the same city on Kamino. I find it hard to believe they
never interacted. They did kind of recognize him in the last book on the
battlefield of the Geonosian arena. but I suppose he dresses differently
now and is not as perfect. Plus, a key to recognition is the expectation
to see somebody. They didn't, so they thought nothing more about him.
The second half of the book deals with
making friends. Boba never had friends, living alone, and his father
discouraged them anyway. Attachments, like among the Jedi, were more
like distraction likely to get him killed. But for the brief time on the
ship, he makes a friend, Garr (who doesn't become male or female until
puberty -a great lesson in acceptance). They get to roam the Republic battle
cruiser, which is not as ridiculous as it sounds. The young Padawan in
charge of the orphans was very busy with the younger ones. The clone
troopers didn't notice kids running around corridors. And the officers
figured that if they were there, they were allowed to be there -the kids
were not their responsibility. Plus, they spent most of their time in
the observation bubbles. The author says something strange at this
point: that there were not planets in this system- only gas giants (those
are planets too).
Boba and Garr also visit the
starfighter bay, which is a little less credible (shouldn't it be
security coded- or is Boba so good at cracking codes and the Republic
codes so poorly made?). There, they find an airlock for which Boba could
easily crack the codes, and they make their way outside the ship to take
a look at the bridge. Cool, but then we get the moment of jeopardy, the
race to get back in the ship before it jumps to hyperspace! Of course
they make it, but only using Boba's ingenuity -his air tank as a jet
pack, blacking him out, though Garr got them back inside in time.
The most frustrating part of the book
was the Jedi's inability to see through Boba's lies. I doubt these are
poorly trained Jedi. But they simply accept Boba's lies without
question. Count Dooku knew when he was lying -but again only sometimes,
when it was convenient for the plot.
When they get to the drop-off point at
Cloud City in Bespin, Boba takes off, and runs directly into Aurra Sing.
I have to say this character is written better, so far, in this series
than she was in the comics. She wants to give Slave I back, but wants
fifty percent of Jango Fett's fortune in exchange. Since he will never
get that fortune (he didn't even know about it) without her help (since
she knows the locations), he has to agree. But not before Garr finds out
the two have met, and tells the Jedi, who show up at their meeting
point. Sing then thinks Boba betrayed her, and leaves. He spoils her
sneak counter-attack on the Jedi, but accepts him back on board anyway-
she really wants Jango's fortune!
There were a number of points to like
in this book. First, it didn't have the condescending tone the first
half of the Fight to Survive did. Second, once again, things often go
wrong for Boba Fett. He doesn't quite know how to live by himself and
whom to trust. When he decides to jump from the cloud car to Slave I, he
actually misses. Fortunately, Aurra Sing really wanted him alive.
The problem with the book is that it
didn't advance the story or the character too much, and it seemed
aimless. The point of the story, I think, was to give Boba a friend in
his life, at least once -a true friend. But the time on Raxus Prime did
little, and the time with Garr was not nearly as interesting as Boba's
adventures on his own in the last book. The time at Bespin was fine, but
didn't do much for me, either.
I like it when the characters grow, but
especially when they grow while doing something. Still, I remain
impressed with this series, and look forward to continuing it.