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Slave Ship (Star Wars: The Bounty Hunter Wars, Book 2) Mass Market Paperback – October 6, 1998
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"How many times, wondered Boba Fett, could he die--and yet not die? Someday it would be all over for him..."
Fett fans take note: Star Wars: Slave Ship features the (in)famous bounty hunter as he chases after the largest bounty ever offered--by tracking down renegade stormtrooper Trhin Voss'on't. The story, book 2 in The Bounty Hunter Wars series, jumps back and forth between the time of Star Wars: New Hope and Return of the Jedi in a series of convoluted plot twists that involve everyone from Emperor Palatine and Darth Vader to Zuckuss and Bossk. Written by well-known SF writer K.W. Jeter (whose first novel, Dr. Adder, was praised by Philip K. Dick as "stunning"), Star Wars: Slave Ship is in many ways a perfect serial novel--it raises as many new questions for the next installment as it solves from the previous one. Neelah's identity is finally revealed, but how did she end up in Jabba the Hutt's palace? You'll have to wait and see. --C.B. Delaney
A ruthless enemy threatens Boba Fett with a fate worse than death. . .
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Characters are introduced with care, and not just throwaway units. Each is given a meticulous outline, parsed for value, and utilized in the capacity for which they were designed. Overall, it's a story of a single man fighting to survive a conflict between superpowers, which seek to either destroy him, or use him for his unique skills -- which is simultaneously ridiculous on the surface, and oh-so-typical of massive organizations.
Wish there were more Fett books like this outside of the Trilogy.
The storyline proceeds with Boba Fett rebuilding himself and his schemes as the Rebels mass for a final attack on the Death Star II at Endor. Simultaneously, we read flashbacks continuing the older story of the Bounty Hunter Wars and how Fett was able to destroy the old Bounty Hunter's Guild. Xizor's schemes to eventually take on Darth Vader and the Emperor are central to the plotline, and we spend more time with Kuat of Kuat, although his agenda and importance remain unclear.
The most entertaining segment of Slave Ship is set in the Episode IV timeframe and depicts Boba Fett teaming up with Bossk to capture the rogue stormtrooper Voss'on't (Jeter really has a thing for apostrophes!). The Emperor has offered an obscenely large bounty for Voss'on't, and even though he smells a rat, Fett still wants the cash. Like the Shell Hutts flashback tale in the first book, this flashback to an old bounty hunt provides the best action of a very talky novel.
One problem that comes to light as I proceed through this trilogy is the essential deification of Boba Fett and corresponding dumbing-down of all his peers. Bossk is always trying to get the best of his archrival Fett, but no matter how hard he tries, he can't stay ahead of Fett's complete perfection in all things bounty-hunting. Dengar is a bumbling idiot who doesn't seem to be able to handle anything well, IG-88 is powerful but easily tricked, and Zuckuss seems like a naive kid playing at war. If Fett was really so all-powerful, how does a blind man with a stick manage to take him out in Return of the Jedi? Granted, random things can happen even to the best, but it doesn't even seem to bother Fett that a nearly BLIND Han Solo could defeat him with no problem. Fett's a cool-looking character and a fun one to collect, but the EU goes overboard in making him something Lucas did not seem to have in mind.
Overall, Slave Ship is very much like the first book, and I continue to have the feeling this trilogy should have been condensed into one book.