Boba Fett #3 - Maze Of Deception
by Elizabeth Hand
Published by Scholastic
Scott's Rating: 3.5 out of 4
Aurra Sing takes Boba Fett to the planet Aargau so that she can raid Jango Fett's fortune. Aargau is the financial center of the galaxy and home to the Intergalactic Banking Clan. It is a neutral planet and trying to stay out of the Clone Wars.
When Sing attempts to gain access to Jango's bank account, Boba slips away from her with the account key. Sing pursues him into the seedy underbelly of the planet known as the Undercity. There he meets a young clone of himself, a supposedly helpful alien Bimm named Nuri, and Jabba the Hutt's nephew, Gorga. However, as he evades Aurra Sing, he discovers a secret plot by San Hill to raise support for the Separatists in the Clone War. What Boba Fett learns could potentially pull the neutral planet into the war, but first he must escape the maze of the planet's city.
Elizabeth Hand takes over writing chores from Terry Bisson and you can hardly tell the difference. Both have similar writing styles and Hand keeps things fast paced and exciting. Along with giving Boba Fett the hard lessons he needs to become a bounty hunter, Hand continues to have him come to terms with the fact that he's a clone. In the last book he met up with the adult clone versions of himself. This time he meets a clone of himself who's the same age. The encounter helps to emphasize the complex nature of this character.
Hand makes good use of the characters from the movies, too. Aurra Sing fans will be happy to know she's significantly featured in the story. Not only do you get a good taste of how psychotic and brutal she is, but you see what a notorious reputation she has when people cringe at the very mention of her name. San Hill makes a brief appearance, but the most notable thing about Boba Fett #3 is the big buildup of the first meeting between Boba Fett and Jabba the Hutt in the next book. It's a match made in hell and we'll get our first glimpse of the beginning of the relationship soon. I can't wait.
Overall, it's a good story with some great action. I recommend Boba Fett fans young and old check it out. Lucasfilm also seems to have realized that these stories tie in with the Clone Wars, so it's now emblazoned on the cover. Better late than never, I guess. On a side note, there's a nice timeline for the Clone Wars in the back of the book that you'll want to check out
My main gripe about this book is the politics. I found them confusing. I thought from Episode II that San Hill and the Intergalactic Banking Clan had thrown in with the Separatists. It seemed there was no question about this. However, this book starts out by not only saying the Banking Clan is neutral, but San Hill is shown being guarded by Clone Troopers. It's quite confusing, and even after it is explained that he's playing both sides, it's still not much more clear.
My other minor gripe is that Boba Fett isn't featured on the cover. Since it's his series, I thought he should be featured there. It looks cool anyway, though.
Nothing to add here.