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A novel by K.W. Jeter (1999, Bantam Spectra)
Book 3 of The Bounty Hunter Wars
During Return of the Jedi (and flashbacks immediately after A New Hope)

Boba Fett confronts the people intent on killing him, as the Rebel Alliance deals a crippling blow to the Empire.



1 star

Read June 26th to 30th, 2000  
    As with the first two books, the first word that comes to mind is Boring.  Then I have to say that the characters still didn't have distinct personalities.  And finally, the ending was really quite a dull affair.  I wonder where the climax went to.

  I was happy that the story told about the past, the breakup of the Bounty Hunter's Guild, barely took up any space at all in the book.  It was over in the first few chapters.  Boba Fett, of course, survives his confrontation with Xizor.  But the author spends an inexplicable amount of time describing Fett's efforts to stay alive and save his "merchandise"  when his ship is falling apart around him.  That part could have been condensed considerably.

  When Xizor spends too long in contemplation, Fett almost gets away, and manages to crash his ship into Kub'ar Mub'at's web-like lair, which seals itself around the ship.  That's when Xizor changes his mind, and lets Fett live, because Balancesheet, a progeny of Mub'at, has convinced him that Fett is worth more alive than dead.  Can't figure that one out.  Nothing's changed between Fett and Xizor since before the battle.  Regardless, the inevitable comes to pass: Balancesheet allows Xizor to kill Mub'at, and takes over his business.  Fett leaves, and, as it says in the text, in an extremely subtle manner.. "the story was over."

  Thank God!

  There is an early part of the book that takes place in a cantina where Zuckuss and 4-LOM take on a deal.  It was kind of interesting, but seems to serve as a way for Dengar's love to make some money for them so he can get out of the bounty hunter trade once and for all.

  Fett and Dengar bring Mub'at back to life trying to get information about the faked evidence (regarding Xizor's involvement in the raid on Luke's farm in Star Wars), and about Neelah.  But they are unsuccessful. 

  I was correct about the Kuat royal family business in the last book.  It served only to get Kodir into a secure position, where she could both find Neelah, and learn more about Kuat Drive Yards.  Kuat himself goes stupid, as he says again and again, as if trying to convince the readers, that he trusted her implicitly.  But it was all an act. 

  Through a sequence of increasingly unbelievable routes and circumstances, Fett and Dengar make their way to Kuat, where Neelah discovers all she needs to know from her sister Kodir.  Everything was part of a setup, so that Kodir could take control of the Yards. 

  There is a sub-plot involving the Rebel Alliance, who want to take control of the new Imperial ships that the Yards have finished building, because after Endor, both sides might need those ships.  But Kuat decides to take it all away from them, by destroying the complex.  He succeeds in blowing up less than a quarter of it though, before he is finally killed.  Fett manages to escape on a Star Destroyer that he pilots out by himself! 

  And in the end, he takes the faked evidence to Black Sun, because they have guaranteed him his death if he doesn't bring it to them.  I don't believe that for a moment.  Fett has had enemies on him before, and could easily stay ahead of Black Sun.  I never thought that Black Sun was the type of super-organization that either Shadows of the Empire or any other book claimed it to be.

  The worst part about the books, however, was the endless contemplation and dialog.  Fett takes time to tell the others his plan.  Balancesheet tells Fett and Dengar his plan.  Kodir explains everything to Neelah, and Kuat explains himself to Fett.  Those were the most intrusive parts.  But everybody seems to have developed the need to talk on and on, and to explain themselves to everybody else, even when pages before they said that they wouldn't. 

  And in the end, Manaroo rescues her love, Dengar, and they live happily ever after.  Except that the editors must have told the author about Dengar's bounty hunting exploits in the Rise of the Diversity Alliance series, because he suddenly adds onto the last few paragraphs that he might take on the odd job now and then.  Typical of this series of books. 

  It did occur to me that maybe I've become saturated with Star Wars books.  Perhaps I should take a nice long break from reading any others.  Maybe.


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