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The Mandalorian Armor (Star Wars: The Bounty Hunter Wars, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 1998
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"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Pre-order today
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A ruthless enemy threatens Boba Fett with a fate worse than death. . .
From the Inside Flap
t feared and successful bounty hunter in the galaxy. He is Boba Fett, and even the most hardened criminals tremble at his name. Now he faces the deadliest challenge of his infamous career--an all-out war against his most dangerous enemies.
As the Rebellion gathers force, Prince Xizor proposes a cunning plan to the Emperor and Darth Vader: smash the power of the Bounty Hunters Guild by turning its members against each other. Only the strongest and most ruthless will survive, and they can be used against the Rebellion. It's a job for the fiercely independent Boba Fett, who jumps at the chance to destroy his rivals. But Fett soon realizes the game is rigged, as he finds himself the target of murderous factions, criminal conspiracies, and the evil at the Empire's dark heart. Boba Fett has always finished first. And in this game, anything less is death.
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A classic that should not be missed.
The story seems intriguing, and has a fresh concept for the Star Wars universe: basically a story NOT revolving around Luke, Leia, Han and Vader.
To me the story was a bit long winded at times. Certain events just seemed to drag on with no clear ending in sight. I thought a few of the stars were out of character as well, including Fett. Fett has always been a man a few words, but there are a few times he seems just as verbose as C-3PO would be. Zuckess seemed out of character from the one portrayed in 'Tales of the Bounty Hunters'.
There was also a lot of scheming. Though plausible knowing these characters, for the new reader one can get lost in all the double, and triple crossing. Keeping note of whose loyalty belonged to whom became difficult at times.
The last thing I had a problem with was the time frame constantly shifted from chapter headers "NOW" and "THEN". Very tiresome too switch your mindset between events that happened years ago to the present then back again.
I do plan on reading the next two installments, because the story did hook me, but I believe the same 387 page story could have been told well in under 300.
In the Expanded Universe, Boba Fett survives immersion in the Sarlacc and in fact has a great many more years of adventures. We get an extensive look at the process by which he was healed of his grievous injuries with the assistance of Dengar, Neelah, and two drolly amusing medical droids. Soon enough, Fett is back on his feet and ready for action. Jeter's version of Fett is an incredibly talky character: rather than issuing a few terse statements and swinging into action, Fett tends to speak in long monologues, explaining many things at great length.
This brings us to a real issue throughout the book. Not just Fett, but all the characters tend to speak with the exact same tone and every single one is ready to break out into a long monologue at any given moment. These bounty hunters could capture their quarry by boring them into surrender! There is a phenomenal amount of time spent with the characters detailing their every thought and move aloud. Actual action sequences are few and far between. Now, I'm all for getting into character motivations, but so many of these conversations simply recap things we've already read. Additionally, Jeter tends to continually restate things we already know in his descriptions. For instance, every time we meet the arachnoid assembler Kud'ar Mub'at, we are reminded that he is an assembler, that he has the characteristics of a spider, and that his full name is Kud'ar Mub'at.
Speaking of assemblers, the race is a neat concept. The arachnoid assembler Kud'ar Mub'at has spun a living web in space essentially consisting of extruded sub-assemblies from himself and rounded out with his collection of objects such as spacecraft. Jeter does a good job in introducing an intriguing new alien race with Kud'ar Mub'at, something that's not always easy in the crowded Star Wars universe.
There's a prolonged flashback sequence involving a bounty hunt on the Shell Hutts' world of Circumtore. Fett once crossed one of the Hutts named Gheeta, and Gheeta is enthusiastic for revenge, to put it mildly. Kudos to Jeter for putting a unique spin on a common Star Wars race: these Hutts wear armor suits and float around thanks to powerful repulsorlifts. We also meet D'harhan, essentially a bounty hunter with a gigantic cannon for a head. In general, imagining new concepts is a strength of Jeter's, helping to counterbalance the talkiness and repetitiveness of the novel.
I suspect that this trilogy should have been condensed into one book, something I will confirm as I read the other two. There's too much time spent in lengthy conversations and repeating descriptions, too little spent advancing the story.