Boba Fett: The Fight to Survive

May 12, 2017 at 5:00 pm (Reads)

fightBoba Fett: The Fight to Survive by Terry Bisson

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This isn’t my first Bisson read, but I couldn’t tell you much about the other two, since I can’t remember a thing about them. Knowing that Bisson was an established science fiction author, though, gave me high hopes for the book. Maybe that’s why I feel so disappointed with it.

As the title suggests, this is the story of Boba Fett, but since this is the first in a series, what we get is just the very beginning of that story. More than half of the novel is made up of Boba’s story from Episode II, which wasn’t anything new. We do get to see more of his life on Kamino, though, as well as his odd friendship with a library droid on the planet. The second half, though, picks up after the Battle at Geonosis, and gives us new information, as Boba copes with life alone in the galaxy.

One of the things Bisson does well is his characterization. We don’t get much of a feel for Jango, but Boba feels fairly realized, as do the characters he encounters after leaving Geonosis. He picks up other odd friendships like he had with the library droid, and they feel genuine, even though the other characters don’t get much time on the page.

Beyond that, though, there wasn’t much story to the book. The half that featured Geonosis was fine, but it was just a retread of a story we already know; the second half is just exposition for the rest of the series, and ends not on a cliffhanger, but with things left unresolved. Where it picks up with the second book may bring some closure, but the first novel by itself doesn’t feel complete.

In addition, Bisson’s narrative feels oversimplified for a younger audience. I’m not familiar enough with his style in general, but it felt too dumbed down to be convincing. After reading Jude Watson’s books, where her style was simplified without being simple, it was a shock to read what felt like an author pandering to his audience.

The book is a good introduction to the series, but it’s not much of a standalone book. There are five books left, and I expect that those will help to fill in the blanks for the overall story, but I still want each individual book to have its own story. That, more than anything else, is what I feel is the biggest disappointment of the book.

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