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A novel by Terry Bisson (2002, Scholastic Books)
Young Boba Fett, Book 2
22 years before Star Wars: A New Hope

Boba Fett escapes Dooku's grasp only to be taken by the Republic forces as a war orphan, where he meets up with Aurra Sing.




Read March 17th to 18th, 2007  
    Not nearly as good as the first book, it was still enjoyable, and the main character learns a great many things.

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.


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