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A novel by K.W. Jeter (1998, Bantam Spectra)
Book 1 of The Bounty Hunter Wars
During Return of the Jedi (and flashbacks immediately after A New Hope)

Boba Fett is rescued from the Sarlaac, and faces the wrath of his enemies, while recalling a past where he helped pull apart the Bounty Hunters Guild.   



1 star

Read June 6th to 12th, 2000  
    Boring, the book ignores a lot of what has already been established in either the Tales, or other lore, and the characters are all snarling replicas of each other.

From the moment Dengar found Fett, and Neelah showed up, and they sounded the same, both in attitude and in dialogue, I knew I was in trouble.  Neelah has some connection to Fett's past, one that hasn't been resolved yet. 

The book takes place both in the present (right after Jabba's death in Jedi), and in the past (immediately after the Death Star destruction in A New Hope). 

In the present, Fett heals, with help from two droids (annoying, where I suspect they were supposed to be cute, like R2 and 3PO) that Dengar stole from the late Hutt's palace. 

A mysterious person named Kuat of Kuat Drive Yards (a major builder of starships) wants to make sure the Fett is dead, so he orders the surface around the Sarlac bombed beyond recognition.  Of course, Dengar, Neelah and Fett escape, even in the condition that Fett is in.  Later, a couple of bounty hunters from Mos Eisley show up, and Fett lands his ship on them.  At the end, Bossk shows up, and supposedly destroys Slave I.  Are we really supposed to believe that Fett was killed?  That assumes we know nothing about the future.  Better to have avoided the possibility at all.  But I guess it does make us wonder how Fett cheated death, and go on to the next book.

As I recall (and I no longer have those books), Bossk was killed by a Wookie bounty hunter and his female friend during Empire (see the Tales of the Bounty Hunters for exact details).  It is possible the he was only handed over to authorities and then escaped, but I don't think so.  Second, Slave I was supposedly impounded on Tatooine, not left orbiting.  Next, there are two different versions of Fett leaving the Sarlac.  Both of them have the Sarlac alive.  In one (Dark Empire Sourcebook), Fett uses explosives after he is cured.  In the second (Tales), Fett uses his ship's engines to fry and torture the Sarlac for years to come, never quite killing it.

But either of those scenarios could still come to pass, as it is left confusing as to whether the Sarlac is actually dead or not. 

As for the events that occurred in the past, they were a lot less interesting than the above, which was quite dull to begin with.  We get to meet with all the bounty hunters from Empire (except 4-LOM).  And they all sound the same.  They all wax philosophically, and spew out pages and pages of conversation.  And they all use the word "barve".  What's going on? 

The plot revolves around some mysterious entity (similar to Kuat of Kuat, but this one is spider-like) who pays Fett to join the Bounty Hunter's Guild, in order to destroy it. 

He plots with several of the characters, most importantly Bossk, son of the Guild's leader.  Once a "job" comes up promising big money, Fett leads the team.  He ends up killing a bounty hunter whom I can't figure out why he came along, and he knew ahead of time that the target was already dead.  All of this was to destabilize the Guild?  I can't figure it out. 

The action in the Shell Hutts' palace was boring, and poorly written.  All the plotting plodded along.  For some reason, Fett's plan works, and Bossk kills his father, splitting the Guild into two factions.  That will, inevitably, split until it is every hunter for himself. 

As I mentioned, every bounty hunter sounds exactly the same!  It doesn't matter what they are talking about, they use the same types of words, the same phrasing, and every one of them uses the word "idiot" way too many times.  It stands out.

Never before have I been so despaired by the opening book in a trilogy.  The end piqued my curiosity, because I want to know how Fett gets out of the situation.  But I don't care about the rest of either story. 

And I don't like where the story is going, either.  It introduced Xizor, and implicated him in things that he couldn't possibly be responsible for -especially since nothing important was going on at the time.  His endless ramblings to the Emperor should have put the monarch to sleep, or it should have gotten himself killed. 

Either way, I am not sure whether I want to refrain from reading the next book too soon, or read it quickly, to get it out of the way.


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