I have embarked on a quest to read through the Star Wars Expanded Universe once more. Be sure to check the linked text there to see other posts in this series. There will be SPOILERS in what follows for the novel discussed as well as (possibly) earlier books in the same series.
Slave Ship by K.W. Jeter
Maybe middle book syndrome is a real thing. That’s what I think any time I run into it. It’s probably selection effect. Slave Ship suffers monumentally from pacing issues. I found myself skimming at multiple points because it felt like nothing was happening. On top of that, the interesting characters seemed to fall into the background as more new characters and conflicts were introduced.
On the plus side, I adored Kuat of Kuat in this novel. I don’t think that when I first read these books as a kid I understood how entertaining he was. The world building surrounded Kuat Drive Yards was also some of the best writing in the book.The interplay between Prince Xizor making a power play and Vader trying to play Xizor was good, too. But again, these are characters that should have been on the side of what was, before, a story of Boba Fett and Dengar with Bossk as a villain.
I did not enjoy the bounty hunter scenes all that much here. Bossk seems very one dimensional, though the bomb on a ship stunt Boba Fett pulled on him was great. On the flip side, I guess my perception of Fett as having some kind of Mandalorian honor may have been overblown because he just turns traitor, seemingly, on his team. I didn’t like that choice for his character. It didn’t have the right feel. I wonder how it will play out in the third book.
Slave Ship is a merely okay read. It’s a desert of boredom punctuated by enough oases of excitement to keep me reading. That was a silly sentence, but there it is. I hope the third book redeems it, because the first was fine.
[Edit: I accidentally published a partially finished/edited version of this the day it was published. My apologies. I’ve made corrections and edits now!]
I read this before I saw any episodes of “The Mandalorian.” In fact, I’ve since finished the trilogy and only then saw the first two episodes of the show. I was already surprised by a few things that seem to have been potentially lifted from these pages.
+Prince Xizor / Vader rivalry
+A few good moments for certain characters
+Kuat of Kuat
-Pacing problems abound
-Very little seems to be important or happen overall
Grade: C- “Not particularly impressive, but not awful either. It’s a bland read which suffers from the alleged middle book syndrome.”
J.W. Wartick- Always Have a Reason– Check out my “main site” which talks about philosophy of religion, theology, and Christian apologetics (among other random topics). I love science fiction so that comes up integrated with theology fairly frequently as well. I’d love to have you follow there, too!
Reading through Star Wars: Expanded Universe– Here you can read other posts in this series (reviews of other EU books) and make suggestions about what I should include in my reviews.
Be sure to follow me on Twitter for discussion of posts, links to other pages of interest, random talk about theology/philosophy/apologetics/movies/scifi/sports and more!
There are other posts on science fiction books to be found! Read them here.
[…] Slave Ship by K.W. Jeter- Does middle book syndrome strike again? (It does.) […]