AVERAGE REVIEW SCORE:
3.3 out of 5
Star Wars: Boba Fett - A New Threat
19 BBY. The fifth book in the series jumps ahead about two years from 'Hunted', to late in the Clone Wars. With this book Hand finally justifies the 'A Clone Wars Novel' that appears on the cover (the war is hardly mentioned in her previous two books), as Boba finds himself having to infiltrate a Separatist fortress as it is besieged by Republic forces.
So, it's pretty much action all the way after that and the book culminates brilliantly when Boba finds himself face to face with General Grievous (this was actually Grievous' first ever appearance). It goes without saying that Grievous then proceeds to kick seven shades of you know what out of our hero!
One problem I did have with this book is that at the beginning Boba has just killed a Noghri (some of the deadliest fighters around), which is hard to believe when you consider that he's still only twelve.
Followed by 'Boba Fett: Pursuit'.
4 out of 5
Star Wars: Boba Fett - Hunted
22 BBY. In the fourth book of the series Boba travels to Tatooine to enlist in the employ of Jabba the Hutt. However, the Hutt decides to set a test for his skills; to kill the Separatist leader Gilramos Libkath. Boba's quest is made all the more difficult by the bounty hunter Durge (the armoured guy who fights Obi-Wan in the original Clone Wars cartoon), who is also after Libkath and has a pathological hatred for Mandalorians such as Boba.
Although it's interesting to see Boba's first meeting with Jabba, there are a few major flaws with this book. The most obvious one is that, as the hero of a children's story, Boba can't really be the ruthless killer he's supposed to be. This means that Boba's quest ends in a dreadfully contrived death for Libkath. On the same theme is that Hand never seems to note the fact that Boba is actually only ten; a bit young for a deadly bounty hunter. The final annoyance is that Boba openly wanders around without his helmet on in Jabba's palace, which is a complete betrayal of the character.
Followed by Karen Traviss' 'Republic Commando: Hard Contact'.
3 out of 5
Star Wars: Boba Fett - Maze Of Deception
22 BBY. The third book of the Boba Fett series aimed at younger readers (the previous two, 'The Fight To Survive' and 'Crossfire', were written by Terry Bisson). This book tells the story of how the recently orphaned Boba attempts to lay hands on his father's fortune whilst attempting to escape from the fellow bounty hunter Aurra Sing.
Boba's adventures on the banking planet of Aargau aren't particularly exciting and since the writing quality suffers from its young target audience, this book won't be much good to an adult reader. In fact, even the younger readers might find it a little tedious.
Followed by Steven Barnes' 'The Cestus Deception'.
2 out of 5
Star Wars: Boba Fett - Pursuit
19 BBY. The sixth and final book of young Boba Fett's adventures. Having clearly learned her lesson that these books need to be action action action if they're to keep readers interested (the writing lacks the depth to be worth the time in and of itself), Hand delivers just that.
The books begins with Boba escaping the predicament of the last book's ending, after which he enters into a dogfight with the Dark Jedi Asajj Ventress and Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker. There follows a brilliant moment where Anakin helps Boba to repair Slave I and they develop a grudging admiration of each other, which is particularly poignant considering Boba becomes Darth Vader's favourite bounty hunter. Boba then travels to Coruscant and encounters his hated enemy Mace Windu (who killed Jango Fett, don't forget). This book is worth its money just for the Boba vs Mace moment really.
Boba then informs Chancellor Palpatine that Count Dooku is also Tyranus, who created the Republic's clone army. But, as we know, Palpatine already knows this. Boba ends the story with enough money to win free of service to Jabba and a burning desire to become the best bounty hunter in the galaxy.
This book is definitely the best of the entire series, not only because of its great story moments, but also because it is the most adultly written. Still, only adult Star Wars fans should read it, other adults just dabbling will find it too childish still and should stick to the full-length novels.
Followed by James Luceno's 'Labyrinth of Evil'.
4 out of 5