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
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
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.