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Hard Merchandise (Star Wars: The Bounty Hunter Wars, Book 3) Mass Market Paperback – July 6, 1999
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A ruthless enemy threatens Boba Fett with a fate worse than death. . .
From the Inside Flap
Boba Fett fears only one enemy--the one he cannot see....
Feared and admired, respected and despised, Boba Fett enjoys a dubious reputation as the galaxy's most successful bounty hunter. Yet even a man like Boba Fett can have one too many enemies....
When Boba Fett stumbles across evidence implicating Prince Xizor in the murder of Luke Skywalker's aunt and uncle, Fett makes himself an enemy even he fears: the unknown mastermind behind a monstrous deception, who will kill to hide his tracks. Fett also finds himself in possession of an amnesiac young woman named Neelah, who may be the key to the mystery--or a decoy leading Fett into a murderous ambush. Fett's last hope is to run through the list of Xizor's hidden enemies. And since Xizor's hidden enemies are almost as legion as Fett's, the chance of survival is slim--even for someone as skilled and relentless as Boba Fett.
(c) 1999 Lucasfilm Ltd. and TM. All rights reserved. Used under authorization.
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I haven't mentioned much in my other two reviews of this trilogy about Neelah, the escaped slave from Jabba's Palace. This is partially because her story unfolds painfully slowly, and it's only in this volume that she gets any answers about her mysterious amnesia. When she does get them, they're not particularly revelatory. We also find out the extent of Kuat of Kuat's plotting and why he is so keen on having Fett eliminated.
The theme of Boba Fett as super-human bounty hunter continues even more strongly in this book. By the end, he's piloting a Star Destroyer by himself! His gaining the upper-hand in almost every scene becomes boringly predictable, and even when it appears he might have been bested by Black Sun at the climax, it's almost certain that he'll win when he takes on the entire organization, based on his characterization here. It's lucky for Dengar that he plans to retire, based on the competency level Jeter grants him.
I simply felt worn out at the end of this trilogy from the endless repetition of names, descriptions, dialogue, and character motivations. There are some entertaining sections and the kernels of a good single book lurking in here, but the trilogy is too drawn out for me to recommend.
Each of the novels follows a galaxy-spanning conspiracy hatched by sinister forces that ensnares Boba Fett and the other bounty hunters in various ways. It takes place alongside the events of the original Star Wars trilogy of films. This third book is the conclusion of the series, and it is a satisfying one.
KW Jeter is an excellent writer and one of my favorite authors that I've discovered while reading the Star Wars expanded universe novels. This book will not disappoint fans of both Star Wars and thoughtful science fiction.
For the first time I can say that reading a book was painfull and uncomfortable.