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A novel by K.W. Jeter (1998, Bantam Spectra)
Book 2 of The Bounty Hunter Wars
During Return of the Jedi (and flashbacks immediately after A New Hope)

Fett begins tracking his potential assassin, while teamed up with Dengar and an unknown woman from his past.




Read June 20th to 24th, 2000  
    The only reason this book gets a passing mark is because of the new political angle in the end chapters.  Otherwise, this book was little better than the first one. 

  I was hoping the second book would bring some lively action or interest to the series, but it was more of the same things. 

  Once again, the book was dull, the characters way too wordy, and much too introspective when they weren't wordy.  Again, all of the characters were written as if from one mold.  They had barely any personality, and very few differences, if any, in the way they held themselves and thought.  The worst offences come with Bossk and Fett.  Bossk doesn't talk so much, because his mouth is not meant for speaking basic.  All we heard from him in Empire was a snarl.  Fett doesn't talk much because he doesn't feel the need.  But in this book, both of them spew out pages of dialog, waxing philosophic, and then explaining why they are explaining things.  A waste of characters and pages, I think. 

  The other problem with this is the story within a story framework.  This problem was probably brought up by the editors, because it is even referenced by the character Neelah.  She tells Dengar that he could not have known what was going on inside the Emperor's throne room, and he responds that he has his methods.  Pretty lame excuse, and it looks like an excuse. 

  Nothing really happens in either story.  In the past, Bossk hunts Fett down to offer him a partnership, to go after a renegade elite stormtrooper.  Fett gives several pages of excuses why the bounty on him is so high, and why they have to be quick.  Bossk pretends to double-cross Fett, to try and gain the trooper's confidence, but it goes awry.  Fett, however, has all this planned, and has managed to pay off the locals of the planet, so they no longer protect the man.  They almost lose, however, when one last trick is played, and some machinery almost swallows them up whole.  I was so bored during this sequence that I thought it might be better if they did get swallowed!

  Fett double-crosses Bossk, however, and sends him packing in an escape pod, aiming to get all the bounty for himself.  While I'm sure Fett likes credits, I don't know if he would actually stab a bona fide partner in the back like that. 

  Two things are happening outside Fett's sphere of influence.  Xizor has manipulated him into taking this bounty, and is waiting for him to show up at Kud'ar Mub'at's nest, and plans to destroy him.  For somehow, this will destroy the Bounty Hunter's Guild once and for all.  The large bounty posted on this renegade stormtrooper was designed to rip the Guild apart at the seams, but I can't figure it out.  So once again, Fett is supposed to be facing an inescapable death when we leave off.

  Back in the "present", Fett managed to detect Bossk's explosives, and plan a switch -and trick Bossk out of his own ship with a fake bomb.  Slave I is too well known, so Fett takes Hound's Tooth wherever he is going.  Both Neelah and Dengar try to find out their destination, but fail.  They both have some philosophical discussions with Fett, and leave unsatisfied.  So Dengar tells her the story of the Guild's breakup.  Bedtime story, as far as I'm concerned.  I'm surprised both Neelah and I didn't fall asleep.

  The only interesting part came in the form of Kuat Drive Yards politics.  Here was some interesting stuff.  Unfortunately, it only took up a single chapter -a long one, but only one.  It shows how strong Kuat is, and how he measures up to more than the equals of the other families, who want to take power away from him. 

  Unfortunately, I think the only reason it was there was to bring into the story Neelah's sister, who becomes Kuat's new security chief.  Now Kuat has a reason to look for Neelah, and I'm sure the last book will converge at Kuat.

  Also unfortunate is how long the books take to get there.  Or anywhere.


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