2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 15 February 1999
I am a huge Star Wars fan. I am also a fan of good modern and classic literature. I hadn't read a STAR WARS book since my mum picked up 'Han Solo's Revenge' and 'Han Solo and the Lost Legacy' when I was about ten. So after reading Ted Hughes 'Birthday Letters' I decided I'd like to read something light and entertaining. I picked this up. The series called THE BOUNTY HUNTER WARS has been slated by all the hardcore PRETENTIOUS fans. This is a rollercoaster ride of blaster fire and an insight into the terror known as Boba Fett. Anyone who saw the bounty hunter line up in EMPIRE and wished it had been longer will love this book. Don't think you're going to get a classic, you're not - what you will get is a book you can't put down that leaves you on a cliffhanger certifying your purchase of the next book...
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 28 April 2015
Ask any ‘Star Wars’ fan whether they think Boba Fett really met his end at the start of ‘Return of the Jedi’ and they will tell you no chance! How could a character as cool as that be killed off so easily? The fact is that is he was eaten by a Sarlacc and he left a good looking corpse, increasingly looking less so as it is slowly digested. That is until 1998 and the release of the first in a trilogy of bounty hunter books, entitled ‘Mandalorian Armor’. In this book author K. W. Jeter suggests that Fett managed to survive and is out for revenge.
Set just after his fatal fall, the book also jumps back to how he began to work with Jabba. This allows Jeter to tease the reader as we wonder whether Fett will survive his injuries. I am not a huge fan of books that split two timelines as they often end up fracturing the pace of the story. Thankfully, Jeter does a very impressive job of making both elements fun to read. The lead up to Jabba’s demise is particularly good as Fett infiltrates the bounty hunter guild on the behest of a third party. The internal politics of the bounty hunters is violent and fun, leading to some great set pieces.
‘Mandalorian Armor’ is easily one of the best Star Wars novels; it balances the needs of the original films, whilst expanding the world in a believable way. There are some incredibly interesting races in the book that could easily fit into a movie version; a leader of a shadowy corporation, a creature that creates and eats part of itself and a clan of Hutts who protect themselves in armoured shells. These well thought out new elements of the ‘Star Wars’ universe sit wonderfully with Boba Fett. The character continues to rock as Jeter keeps him skilled and standoffish. A very impressive expansion novel.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 December 2010
I have read all 3 bounty hunter wars books, "The Mandalorian Armour", "Slave Ship" and "Hard Merchandise" and this is a review of the whole series. I haven't read any of the other bounty hunter books therefore I can't comment on any inconsistencies between the novels.
This is a 3 part story which mainly focuses on Boba Fett but also a large number of other characters from the Star Wars movies, e.g. Jabba, Darth Vader, Bossk, and extended universe books, e.g. Price Xizor. There are also two main time frames to the story, which the book bounces between, a time during episode IV A New Hope known as "Then" in the book, and after the events involving the rescue of Han during episode VI, return of the Jedi, known as "Now" in the book. The story line during the "Then" section focuses on a plot to break up the Bounty Hunters Guild using Boba Fett, who is not a member of the Guild. The "Now" section of the book details Fett's survival after the events of Han's rescue by his friends where Boba Fett was thrown into the sarlacc pit and trying to uncover a plot to kill him.
I enjoyed the first book, The Mandalorian Armour. I felt it set up the story well and we were introduced to a number of new characters each with their own agendas. There were a few annoyances, such as how Darth Vader and the Emperor behaved, but in the most part I liked it and I was ready to read the next book and learn what was in store and why things were happening.
The second book, Slave Ship, was a nightmare to read. There were so many times in this book where I was rolling my eyes and skipping over whole paragraphs to get to the end, I very nearly gave up. The first bit that annoyed me was the repetition. I expected some references to be made to the first book, what I didn't expect was that I would be constantly reminded of what was said in the previous paragraph. I felt like the author was trying so hard to make his point that he had to keep reiterating it in case we forgot what was said 5 seconds ago. The characters also became very 2 dimensional and boring I just felt like screaming get to the point. The last quarter of the book picked up the pace when we moved away from repetition and just got on with the story. I left it a while before picking up the next book due to the frustrated feeling I had I didn't want it to affect the next part of the story.
The final instalment, Hard Merchandise, was OK. A lot of the threads from the previous two books were wrapped up but I was disappointed in the motives. Another aspect that I found annoying where how some of the characters acted, namely Boba Fett, he just talked and talked and talked, that is not the enigmatic character I know from the films. There was one other gripe I had with this book in particular is that the author tried to build up suspense in the "Then" section of the book, however it failed completely as we already knew Fett wasn't going to die because he is featured in the "Now" section. I also felt like another author was involved in the book to pick the pace up a bit and there was a different style to the writing.
The series was OK, not the worst thing I had ever read but there was so much potential that I had expected better, I'm being generous with the 3 stars, if I could give 2.5 I would. If you are a star wars fan and are reading the novels then chances are you are going to read the series despite the reviews. If however you are new to the star wars novels and are looking for a good Boba Fett read because his is your favourite character then you are going to be disappointed.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 3 August 1999
The premise of this book and the trilogy it begins is that a few of galaxy's most powerful men (including Emperor Palpatine, the head of Kuat Drive Yards and Prince Xizor) conspire to manipulate Boba Fett and the Bounty Hunter's Guild to their own strategic advantage in the struggle to dominate the known galaxy. Does this sound like a silly, unlikely plot? It is. I would compare it to some of Kevin J Anderson's creations. Ugh.
In addition to the highly unlikely plot, the characters' portrayals are not true to form. Bossk should already be dead according to a previous book (whoops!) and Boba Fett, who in the movies and other novels is merely a competent, gritty (but sometimes bumbling) bounty hunter, is transformed into a man of unparalleled fighting ability with a Jedi's insight, Rasputin's constitution and an intellect which surpasses even that of Grand Admiral Thrawn! No wonder he manages to do the impossible over and over again. I found this extremely tedious along with the fact that he talks far too much. Part of Fett's charm has always been his being a man of few words, Since when did he become an incessant jabberer?
Writing about more believable characters in more 'realistic' situations would have been a more enjoyable read but would have taken greater creativity and forethought than went into this series. Even the space combat is incorrectly described with details like the origin and capabilities of Fett's ship either completely wrong or grossly exaggerated. The sad thing is that KW Jeter has a more than competent writing ability, he just tends to overdo everything. Everyone seems to have an unrealistic scheme or two up their sleeves and these are all explained in nauseating detail. I think this might have been a decent story if it was scaled back to one book (instead of a trilogy) and the author took the Star Wars continuity a little more seriously and himself less so.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 10 August 1999
I like this book and chapter 10 make it worth it. When Vader and the Emperor are discuss boba fett and how he earn the right to wear the Mandalorian Armor that was great. Plus when the Emperor say that he and Vadar know about the secret of the Mandalorian make me wonder about there role in the second star war moive.
on 2 September 1998
I just finished the book about an hour ago. I've read a lot, but not all of the SW books. Mandalorian Armor took the longest to finish (mainly because I read two other SW books in the interim). I kept telling myself that I was in no hurry to finish because I knew that the next books of the series are not out yet. The truth is... that I was bored.
Don't get me wrong, I like the book. It just seemed to lack a certain something that my meager powers of expression can't quite explain. Mr. Jeter, please understand that we as SW fans can be critical because to us this alternate universe is an escape from stock market paranoia and the latest news of Bill and Monica. In the real world, inconstancies are brutally apparent. So it only stands to reason that they will be even more so in our fantasy worlds. We desire constancy. Your research was lacking much. We shed no tears upon seeing Boba Fett so unceremoniously hurled into the pit by Han's incredible luck (which I think is to RoTJ's discredit that this fiercest of all bounty hunters should die almost comically). But, we were captivated by his persona. We wanted to know more about this masked figure (or "barve" as you so repetitiously put it). His past. This you have not revealed. Brief intimations do not suffice. You have two more books to make due or we'll all think less of you (and even worse, buy less of you).
I applaud the survival from the Sarlacc's gaping maw. I mean, Fett had to survive somehow otherwise Bantam Spectra would be out on a storyline for book sales. Did this book need more work? A resounding 'yes' is in order. I don't blame the author entirely though. The blame rests on the publishers as well. Look at how many books Jeter has put out this year and it's no wonder he didn't have time to do research. He did too much writing and not enough reading. I can almost hear the rants of his editor screaming at him over deadlines. This warning is to LucasArts: Bantum believes in book sales, not the chronological continuity in the SW universe. If an author is going to write in your universe, he darn well better spend some time living there. And that goes for the editors too.
To the book's credit, it isn't complete bantha fodder. I had a good read. More surprisingly, It got my English teacher wife to stop bothering me about always reading SW books rather than 'real' literature like The Count of Monte Cristo or the like. She enjoyed the book entirely and read it in one sitting. I attribute this to it being her first SW novel. The poor thing just doesn't know any better. Now she sits "waiting with bells on" for the next in the series. Another lesson for Mr. Jeter, learn it from Mike Stackpole; each book in a series needs an obvious 'mini-ending.' Cliffhanger endings were good in 1930s movies because the wait was only a week. The months that a book release has me wait to see what happens can result in my finding entertainment elsewhere. You may have my wife on pins and needles, but I know were to find better. Really, I haven't seen such a forgettable Star Wars story since Ronald Reagan left office. I too will wait, but till then I will spend my time with the real master's of the SW universe, Zahn, Anderson, Allen and Stackpole.
on 13 July 1998
What could be more exciting than a book totally dedicated to bounty hunters? That's what I thought when I saw that The Mandalorian Armor was due to be released. I found out that in this case, there are many activities more exciting.
Any fan of Star Wars has wondered at some time or another about the origins of the infamous Boba Fett. Although I had hoped that this book would shed a lot more light on Fett's past, like where he got his Mandalorian Armor, I was not too disappointed. After all, just because my expectations are inconsistent with what the novel is actually about does not make it a bad story. I enjoyed the new characters that were created, and will be anxious to learn more about them in the coming books. Like most Star Wars books, I enjoyed reading it and lost myself in the story. That alone is worth 3 stars.
However there were many disappointing attributes. I won't repeat all of the inconsistencies of the novel (read beelybeeg's review), but those! ! did irk me significantly. Also, I didn't think there was much action to speak of. Sure, there was the assault on the Shell Hutts, and the escape from the remnants of the Sarlacc, but even those were lackluster. I'm not one to demand tons of action that doesn't really belong in the story, and as such you can take this however you want, but I did find myself becoming bored in certain parts of this novel.
All in all, I enjoyed the book, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who hasn't already read all of the other books. I hope the rest of the books in this series will change my mediocre opinion of K. W. Jeter.
on 1 July 1998
K.W. Jeter's The Mandalorian Armor is unusual for a Star Wars book in that there is no real battle between good and evil. Instead, nearly all of the main characters represent the bad and the worse. The nefarious, though very popular, bounty hunter Boba Fett is the closest thing this novel has to a hero. Here he is portrayed as the pawn in the plotting of other, more powerful, or at least wealthier, villains. Exactly what these plots are is left irritatingly vague. The motivations and subterfuge are legion. In addition to the schemes of Prince Xizor and the Emperor Palpatine, Jeter continues the character, Bossk, a Bounty Hunting lizard, and creates two new apparently malicious entities, Kud'ar Mub'at, the spider-like "assembler" and Kuat of Kuat, the corporate executive officer of Kuat Drive Yards. All of them are working at cross purposes, but their aims are unexplained, and unfortunately like many books intended to have sequels, this first act has failed to produce any true developments at all. Several chapters are devoted to a hunt which teams Boba Fett with several other hunters against the Shell Hutts, a clan of Jeter's invention. The hunt proves futile and neither the bounty hunters nor the reader are rewarded. The reader is also subjected to Jeter's inconsistency. In science fiction, the structure of the myth is held up by the reader's suspension of disbelief. Consistency in the myth's story line is essential. Contradictions are lethal. Admittedly, in a story arc such as the Star Wars novels where there are multiple authors consistency is less than simple. However, authors who choose to continue characters established by other authors (or films) do not have the freedom to disregard the work that has preceded theirs -- and Jeter's mistakes are glaring. Here are some examples: In The Tales of The Bounty Hunters, M. Shayne Bell establishes that the Gand Bounty Hunter Zuckuss is partnered with the droid, 4-LOM, for the hunt on Han Solo while Jeter somehow asserts t! hat Zuckuss teamed with Bossk. Then, Jeter presents Zuckuss as a bumbling incompetent ("Offhand...I'd say it's a bomb..."), while again, it has already been established by Bell that Zuckuss is highly astute and even prescient. Jeter also crosses a previously uncrossed line in the relationship between the Emperor and Darth Vader. Even though Shadows of the Empire revealed some tension between them, the Emperor's occasional contempt for Vader was never expressed overtly, and it seemed inappropriate in Jeter's book for the Emperor to be so blatantly adversarial. In fact, both George Lucas and Timothy Zahn had previously established that Vader and the Emperor tried to keep from the other certain activities that would fuel a deadly rift. Jeter also ignores the fact that Kathy Tyers had previously written a story about Bossk's attempted hunt of Han Solo. Tyers left Bossk in a position where his chances for survival seemed extremely dim. The fact that Bossk is alive and well approximately two years after the hunt for Solo (which took place during the Empire Strikes Back) deserves some sort of explanation. To be more particular, Jeter declares that the maker of Hutt vessels, including Jabba's sail barge is a division of Kuat Drive Yards. No. It can be easily found in The Essential Guide To Vehicles and Vessels by Bill Smith that the manufacturing company is known as Ubrikkian. No connection to Kuat Drive Yards is mentioned at all. Perhaps a trifling fact, but Star Wars readers would be likely to catch it. One might also examine Jeter's use of the word "barve." Originating in a story by J.D. Montgomery, a "barve" is apparently a substitute in a fairly widely known joke where the "Earth equivalent" would be a cow. However, Jeter has decided, despite the fact that Montgomery has presented a barve as seemingly placid livestock, that a barve is something rather more vicious. So translating his references to barves could result in sentences such as "You're! one dangerous cow, aren't you?" True, one can't be certain what type of creature Montgomery intended to create. Perhaps barves are fire breathing cows. Still, one wonders if Jeter bothered to read the story. Jeter's contribution to the Star Wars legend is not all bad. He continues the interesting central conflict of father against son, or at least progenitor against offspring began by George Lucas. Still, science fiction fans rank among the closest of readers, and they deserve authors and editors who are just as exacting. Jeter certainly should have been able to adhere to established Star Wars story lines much more accurately.
on 1 July 1998
The Star Wars bounty hunters are a fascinating lot, aren't they? Zuckuss is a Gand "findsman" who practices a mystic religion akin to the Force to track his prey; Dengar is an Imperial-trained cyborg assassin whose brain has been deprived of emotional capacity; Bossk, like the Thugs of India, dedicates his kills to the Trandoshan goddess of death. A lot of effort has been put in by other authors to give all these "throwaway" characters depth and intrigue.
Unfortunately, K.W. Jeter was seemingly aware of none of the above when he did his homework- or rather, failed to- for this novel. I must agree with Mr. Lowery of Baton Rouge that the characters are unrecognizable. Jeter's portrayal of them is so bland and generic that if he didn't repeat their names constantly, a reader would be unable to tell anyone in the narrative apart. Add to this the facts that A) Boba Fett talks way too much, B) the inane chapter-long "conspiracy" conversations between the principals could be boiled down to about a paragraph each without losing substance, and C) such inappropriate phraseology such as Bossk saying "Don't sweat it" (what?!), and it becomes painfully obvious that Jeter made little effort to familiarize himself with the flavor of the Star Wars universe before embarking on this halfbaked work. It is vaguely redeemed by some intriguing new aliens such as the spidery Assembler; but on the whole, it comes in a close second to the wretched travesty "Darksaber" as the most embarrassingly clunky Star Wars novel to date.
After the originality of his cyberpunk adventure,"Farewell Horizontal," I expected Jeter to bring some new energy to the tiring Star Wars saga. I was sorely disappointed. If you want to read high-quality work about your favorite galactic mercenaries, pick up "Tales of the Bounty Hunters," but skip "The Mandalorian Armor." If Jeter's name is on the next book in this series, you can bet I won't be buying it.
on 28 June 1998
I have always been intrigued and mezmerized by Boba Fett, and this book not only took my level of interest to an even higher level, but brought back much of the magic of the earlier anthologies (eg.-"Tales of the Bounty Hunters," "Tales from Jabba's Palace," etc) where back alley cut-throats, sub plots wound in sub plots, and highest level backstabbing are all par for the course in the Star Wars universe. This is just how the Star Wars universe SHOULD be depicted, dark and dangerous! I couldn't put this book down until I'd read it straight through!
I loved the new characters D'harhan and Kud'ar Mub'at, I would be very anxious to get to know them much better somewhere down the line---get ready for some new spin offs, these characters lend themselves very well to new plot lines and new intrigues!
One problem I noted in this story, though, is where Zuckuss falls into it. It seems there is a slight detraction from the time line here. If the setting is in the events of Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, 4-LOM should play a much more significant role in Zuckuss' life than Bossk, especially where partners are concerned!
Overall, I was very refreshed with the darkness and sub-plotting, where every nod or turn of the head has meaning--it fits right in with my original and unwavering impression of the Star Wars Universe!
If the other 2 books in this series are anything like this one, the Bounty Hunter Wars series just *might* run parallel with Zahn's "Thrawn" Trilogy!