1 (edited by Ursula Thursday, September 7, 2006 6:36 pm)

Topic: Bloodlines - Review (warning: some spoliers)

I remember the first time I saw him, a mysterious menace in wildly colorful yet fearsome armor full of wear and battle scars. He stood somehow apart from the others, and indeed, I realized he was something far more than them. Why else would the Dark Lord of the Sith warn him so sternly off disintegrations? Curious, I was eager for more of him, and was not disappointed when he alone succeeds where all others, including the mighty and vast resources of the Empire, fail. He captures his prey, and brings him in for not one, but two bounties. Here was a man above the petty politics of galactic dominance and revolution, here was a man who belonged to himself, and his own code. A clever, calculating, interesting, dangerous man.

But really, who was he? I can’t say as I knew him then, nor in Return of the Jedi. I just knew he did not rest easy in the gullet of the Sarlacc. And then came the books to prove it, and the comics. Rumor ran rampant through the galaxy, and the more I learned of his future and his past, the less certain I became, the more questions I had. Who was the real man inside that armor? What was his past, what effect did it have upon him, what secrets hid behind the T-shaped visor. Did he have hopes and dreams? Did he know love? What did he feel of loss? Did he have any regrets in his life, and any plans for a future? Who was at the top of his most recent bring-em-back-alive-or-dead-list? Who was this enigmatic, lone figure untouched by mere mortal concerns? Who was, and, who is Boba Fett?

Bloodlines took the visor off, and the gloves, and revealed him. The book itself is more than just Fett, and yet, the epic span of his life, his tie in to critical galactic events (if even as a contract player), his reputation, the tragic events that shaped him, somehow these stand out in a stark, simple clarity and overshadow all else. The book begins in Boba Fett’s voice, as a passage from his private record, ten years after the Yuuzhan Von war. It’s a very visceral, intimate way to bring you into the tale, conveying an intensity and an immediacy that puts you for the first time, firmly behind the visor: you become the man on the inside. And you learn that he has some heavy things going on in his head. Fett thinks he’s dying, and identifies three things that he has to do:
“Find out what happened to Ailyn. Another is to decide who’s going to be Mandalore when I’m gone. And the third, of course, is to cheat death. I’ve had a lot of practice at that.”

Indeed, Fett, more than most, cheats death at just about every turn in what we know of his life. But for all he’s cheated death, there are many things he’s never done, and he begins to consider these, and life in general, as he sets about completing his ‘to do’ list. His doctor has all but written him off, however, Boba Fett always has a back up plan. In addition to searching for his daughter, he determines he’ll need to track down one of the original cloners, a specialist in anti-aging and cutting edge genetic manipulation. Of course, the scientist, a Kaminoan, fled the planet long ago to align with the separatists. No problem. Fett doesn’t have much time, per his physician, but, he has enough time he figures to get his tasks accomplished. Remember, he is the most infamous, and arguably, successful bounty hunter the galaxy has ever seen. And, he wants the galaxy to continue seeing him. So, plan in mind, he kicks into action. He doesn’t think too hard that the Mandalorians he represents are struggling to rebuild after the devastation of the war, or that they are suffering from the effects of mass scale diaspora that’s occurred over the span of many decades. He doesn’t think to hard that the Galactic Alliance is on the cusp of war, facing growing dissent from a variety of fronts, the most pressing, Corrillia. There has always been war in the galaxy, in one form or another. Fett is focused on his objectives, and the rest of the galaxy, if not furthering or contributing, somehow, doesn’t enter into his radar. Except for opportunities to profit. These are always front and center.

Galactic players the scale of Boba Fett, however, are never entirely out of the mix, no matter how much they believe otherwise. In the midst of his personal quest, he learns a bounty’s been placed on an old associate / prey: Han Solo, and, his entire family. Once again, Fett is drawn into intrigue. He knows his daughter will go for the bounty, and is about to track her down, when he hooks up with another woman, a young girl Mirta Gev. Mirta holds an old token, a necklace Fett gave to his now dead wife, back when he was not so infamous, and, not so cynical. As he returns to memory, we find many explanations for things that have mystified us and left us questioning long into the night. Goran Beviin is back again, serving counterpoint to Fett, a beacon of humanity that has imparted some heat to the stoic Boba, thawing some of the ice, bringing more of the past, and the man to the fore. From Goran he begins to appreciate the dire straits of the residents of Mandalore, to understand they are not just warriors, they are fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, spouses, families, some how trying to keep it all together and not doing a fantastic job. More than ever, the Mandalorians need the Mandalore, to join them, to lead them, to be more than a menacing figurehead. And if not Fett, there might be one who fits the bill.

Mirta, he learns, has encountered a clone who still lives and very well may hold the key to the technology that can help Fett cheat death yet again. Though Boba Fett isn’t exactly a warm fuzzy, he finds himself respecting the tag along Mirta and the disciplined way she conducts herself. Mirta is part Mandalorian, and again, serves as mirror and bridge for Fett and the Mandalorian part of his roots.

The galaxy, and his past, do not rest easy for Boba Fett in this book, and they give him no quarter. At every turn he is confronted with a ghost, at every step he faces a side of himself, new and old, and indeed seems engaged with an internal battle between who he was, who he is, and who he might become. In the search for his daughter, he figures he’ll need to squash the threat to Solo, and in an odd twist of fate, winds up partnering with the old rogue to snuff out Han’s heinous cousin, Thrackan Sal’Solo, the man responsible for the bounty, and the leader of rebellious Corillia. They gain access to the world, Fett, Solo, and Mirta, but as that plan unfolds, darker events are also coming into their own.

Fett’s daughter Ailyn was double crossed by Thrackan, and winds up a prisoner on Coruscant. She is interrogated by Jacen Solo, a man on the edge of the abyss, desperate to control the chaotic galaxy at all costs, so longing for order, so possessed by his emotions, he is considering apprenticing as Sith. He believes he can do the right thing with Sith power, succeeding where his grandfather Anakin/Vader failed.

Fett, Mirta and Solo confront Thraken, where they learn together that Fett’s daughter was sold out. Later, they learn Ailyn died during Jacen’s brutal interrogations. Fett also learns that Mirta is more than your average girl in Mandalorian armor: she is Ailyn’s daughter and his granddaughter. So he does indeed make good on his intent to find out what happened to Ailyn, but he does not get to do what he later realizes he wanted: he doesn’t get to see her, to talk to her, to make some kind of peace with her. Peace, indeed, is made when he and Mirta view Ailyn's body. Peace is made when he decides to collect his father’s bones as well and return to Mandalore with Mirta, to bury the dead, and determine what to do about the position of Mandalore, and what to do about the Mandalorians. Peace is made when he determines he’ll teach his granddaughter to pilot Slave I, if he makes it that far. Peace is made for both of them when, in the midst of sorrow and loss and rage, they can at least be human enough to realize they are all they each have left. And yet, the peace made is fragile, new, raw, edgy. In making peace Fett realizes that the Jedi and Sith have torn the galaxy apart time and time again, and time and time again, the Mandalorians have suffered as a result, and he personally has suffered as a result. A new outcome must be forged, a change in tactics, a different approach. The Mandalorians, the Fetts, must rebuild, circle the wagons, sit this one out and let the Sith and Jedi go at it on their own.

Karen Traviss has far surpassed any expectations with this book, and left me very eager for more. I very rarely read a book more than once, but I know I need to read this again, because there’s enough richness to sustain and to demand multiple viewings. The character development of Boba Fett in Bloodlines is nothing short of masterful. The story line of continuation and family, as well as destiny, and fate play in a detail that is epic, tragic, and human. The writing comes across as very frank, and very adult. Major galactic events are brought to an every man level that touches you in a personal, effective way. Boba Fett, while growing, still maintains the quintessential traits that define his core, the same traits that draw us all to him and his legendary exploits. This is more than the attention to detail and continuity by the Del Rey and Lucas team, this is the hallmark of a skilled author who has a genuine feel for and understanding of the character, the vision and foresight for where the character has to go to evolve, and the courage to put the character through the wringer (as well as the fans) to get him there.

Bloodlines of course, is about more than Boba Fett. It’s about the Solos and the Skywalkers, about Jacen and Ben, about Sith and Jedi, about truth and spin, about damnation and redemption. Still, as a Fett fan extreme, I think the most satisfying element of the story, and the most engaging story line is the one about the mysterious bounty hunter. Bloodlines is nothing short of a rite of passage for Boba Fett. He has amazing insight and perspective on the galactic events that are shaping up around him, and he comes to gain some very hard won perspective on his own life as well. He arrives at some brilliant conclusions at the end of this odyssey, a changed man in critical ways, wiser, in pain both physical and emotional, but far stronger, in more in control of his destiny, and far richer for the experience. And, he is still a formidable, dangerous, warrior. As readers we conclude this leg of a most amazing journey with all the bits and pieces pulled together, and a glimpse of what is to come. Indeed, you feel not only that for the first time do you really know Boba Fett, you know he still has a great destiny before him. The road he takes to reach that destiny no doubt will be fraught with danger, trouble, seemingly insurmountable challenges, and a pile of bodies, we would expect no less, but it will be one hell of a trip for us all when we take it with him.

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[url]http://museunplugged.blogspot.com/[/url]

Re: Bloodlines - Review (warning: some spoliers)

Great review, Ursula!  smile  I was going to buy it anyway, thanks for letting me know what I'm in for.

"If you don't want me to eat you.....SAY SOMETHING." 
-Captian Murphy

Re: Bloodlines - Review (warning: some spoliers)

Wow sounds good i was going to get it today but they didnt have it in sad.

I'm smiling because they havn't found the bodies yet. :)
I think, therfore i am I destroy, therfore i endure - IG-88 tales of the bounty hunters

Re: Bloodlines - Review (warning: some spoliers)

Hey new girl on the boards,but not a total stranger.
Thanks for the review,I went out and bought the book because of it.It was definately a good read,not just for the Fettyness,but for the Solos as well.
Anyway,I heard alot of good things about this club and you ,Ursula,from my older brother.You old heads will remember him best as Infamous,he speaks highly of you all(and sends his warmest greetings).
Thanks again for the review.

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."-George Orwell

Re: Bloodlines - Review (warning: some spoliers)

IG-88 wrote:

Wow sounds good i was going to get it today but they didnt have it in sad.

Try Barns and Nobles.

take it easy baby take it as it comes

Re: Bloodlines - Review (warning: some spoliers)

Is that an American shop because im from England it was meant to be released in the UK yesterday and they said their delivery was late sad.

I'm smiling because they havn't found the bodies yet. :)
I think, therfore i am I destroy, therfore i endure - IG-88 tales of the bounty hunters

Re: Bloodlines - Review (warning: some spoliers)

I've almost finished Bloodlines and I'd have to say I'm fairly disappointed with how Traviss voices the character of Boba Fett.

I'll admit, however, I enjoyed K.W. Jeter's version of Fett a great deal and it reflected how I thought he would be: cold, intelligent, and skillful. That, and I prefer the pre-Prequel story of his beginnings.

In Bloodlines he talks A LOT. There's no shortage of Fett dialogue in his chapters and most of it feels out of place for the character. His lines make him second guess himself and also give away any advantage he had to characters he's just met. The crafty and clever Fett who guards his secrets and keeps them personal is gone.

The author manages to squeeze in Boba Fett angst in almost every chapter based on him. He's always reflecting on how much he loved his father and how much he misses him. She writes him in a way that takes away his cold and unattached personality. To quote, ' But this girl had touched a nerve. "Maybe I'd have grown up a nice guy if a Jedi hadn't cut my dad's head off in front of me." '

The book has a lot less Fett than I originally imagined. Even though I'm not done reading it, it feels like she threw Fett in as a sub-plot just to have him in. There's nothing wrong with that, as he's one of my favorite characters, but I really dislike her portrayal of him. He's no longer cold and impersonal, or calculating and decisive; but instead makes inane quips to keep conversations going and revels in self-pity and angst.

-Seris

Re: Bloodlines - Review (warning: some spoliers)

I picked mine up last Friday at WaldenBooks!!  Im a slow reader, I like to play it over and over in my head to get it just right.  1/2 way through chapt 5.  Fett storyline is friggin insane. *drool*  Love the caption at the beginning of chapter 3.  (FettFan79 knows why)

[b][color=green] Aliit Ori'shya Tal'din[/color][/b]

Re: Bloodlines - Review (warning: some spoliers)

Agree with you completely, Seris...even though I haven't read it yet.  tongue

"If you don't want me to eat you.....SAY SOMETHING." 
-Captian Murphy

10 (edited by Ursula Saturday, September 9, 2006 10:23 am)

Re: Bloodlines - Review (warning: some spoliers)

virtualbettie wrote:

Hey new girl on the boards,but not a total stranger.
Thanks for the review,I went out and bought the book because of it.It was definately a good read,not just for the Fettyness,but for the Solos as well.
Anyway,I heard alot of good things about this club and you ,Ursula,from my older brother.You old heads will remember him best as Infamous,he speaks highly of you all(and sends his warmest greetings).
Thanks again for the review.

Hey! Welcome aboard.
Say a big Hello to the Infamous One for us.
Hope is is well.

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[url]http://museunplugged.blogspot.com/[/url]

Re: Bloodlines - Review (warning: some spoliers)

Welcome virtualbettie!  Any friend (or sister!) of Infamous is a friend of ours!

Estuans interius ira vehementi SEPHIROTH!
BFFC Moderator

Re: Bloodlines - Review (warning: some spoliers)

i loved it.too much about the jedi who bore me and not enough about fett.

SF is what life is all about.

Re: Bloodlines - Review (warning: some spoliers)

Ditto. The Jedi are one trick ponies. All that sanctimonius goodie goodie stuff is too robotic and a snore.

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[url]http://museunplugged.blogspot.com/[/url]

14 (edited by Daenna Wednesday, September 27, 2006 3:57 pm)

Re: Bloodlines - Review (warning: some spoliers)

It took me some time to finish reading Bloodlines because I was in the middle of some business... But I finished reading it last night.

Unfortunately, I agree with Seris, too. Just so you guys know: I'm a big Karen Traviss fan. I've read all of her novels and it's always been fun and amazing to me....

But with Bloodlines I felt it wasn't as elaborate as her "own" works. Just to put it simply: Bloodlines gives an impression of Easy Traviss for NJO fangirls and I'm nice with that. I'm just sorry that Boba Fett has turned old, like every mortal, and that his preoccupations have narrowed down to such things as family, love, death... The Mandalorian subject is barely considered and it seems like it would be taken care of in the next novels (written by someone else than Traviss? What do you know..!). So, big downer for Fettism. Most non-Fett fans might enjoy those parts, I'm just glad I hadn't set my hopes too high about this. [By the way: Fett didn't speak that much in this one. I thought he spoke WAY too much in the Bounty Hunter Wars trilogy. Alright he was cold, harsh and calculating, but why did he have to make so long speeches every time?]

I'm a Solo-kid hater so I was reluctant before ordering this Legacy of the Force novel. I haven't read anything from the NJO, the Dark Nest trilogy and not even Betrayal because I don't like focusing on characters that keep trying to separate from the fate of their ancestors instead of making their own identity from scratch. Anyway that's not the matter here. I was having a fairly good time reading about Jacen and Ben. Karen is and, in my honest opinion, will always be an exceptional author. So when she talks about her stuff, you better believe her. The terror and war escalation was very well handled and depicted without being too superficial or too detailed. I even liked this story better than the one in Triple Zero (TZ is about terror attacks on Coruscant, too. Déjà-vu? hehe....) even though there aren't anymore clones doing the raids on civilians. Jacen's evolution into something more than just a temple-rat Jedi was told in a very pragmatic way, not wasting too much time with existencial questions. It's just too bad that he had to deal with the old heroes of the Alliance as parents.

That being said, it's obvious that I like to see new things going on and maybe my mind was "opened" towards a new perspective on the Solo's and the EU in general. Still, I'm looking forward to read the rest of Traviss' writings, especially her Wess'har Wars books that have very little in common with her Star Wars stuff.

[url=http://daennika.deviantart.com]Fan art[/url]

15 (edited by IG-88 Thursday, September 28, 2006 10:56 am)

Re: Bloodlines - Review (warning: some spoliers)

Well i have almost finished and at first i thought i wouldnt like it Boba thinking about his daughter and dieing but i am loving it i actually like seeing his emotions, and it is good it still shows Boba's intelligent side and some of his opinions on thing's so i have definatly enjoyed it.

I'm smiling because they havn't found the bodies yet. :)
I think, therfore i am I destroy, therfore i endure - IG-88 tales of the bounty hunters

Re: Bloodlines - Review (warning: some spoliers)

Daenna wrote:

I'm a Solo-kid hater so I was reluctant before ordering this Legacy of the Force novel. I haven't read anything from the NJO, the Dark Nest trilogy and not even Betrayal because I don't like focusing on characters that keep trying to separate from the fate of their ancestors instead of making their own identity from scratch. Anyway that's not the matter here. I was having a fairly good time reading about Jacen and Ben. Karen is and, in my honest opinion, will always be an exceptional author. So when she talks about her stuff, you better believe her. The terror and war escalation was very well handled and depicted without being too superficial or too detailed. I even liked this story better than the one in Triple Zero (TZ is about terror attacks on Coruscant, too. Déjà-vu? hehe....) even though there aren't anymore clones doing the raids on civilians. Jacen's evolution into something more than just a temple-rat Jedi was told in a very pragmatic way, not wasting too much time with existencial questions. It's just too bad that he had to deal with the old heroes of the Alliance as parents.

Okay, you definetely need to get started on the NJO then, if not that, you should skip ahead to NJO: Traitor.....that's the only SW book I've read eight or nine times because I enjoyed it that much.  It's all about how Jacen turns from an annoying bleeding-heart into one of the better characters in the SW universe.

"If you don't want me to eat you.....SAY SOMETHING." 
-Captian Murphy

Re: Bloodlines - Review (warning: some spoliers)

BalanceSheet wrote:
Daenna wrote:

I'm a Solo-kid hater so I was reluctant before ordering this Legacy of the Force novel. I haven't read anything from the NJO, the Dark Nest trilogy and not even Betrayal because I don't like focusing on characters that keep trying to separate from the fate of their ancestors instead of making their own identity from scratch. Anyway that's not the matter here. I was having a fairly good time reading about Jacen and Ben. Karen is and, in my honest opinion, will always be an exceptional author. So when she talks about her stuff, you better believe her. The terror and war escalation was very well handled and depicted without being too superficial or too detailed. I even liked this story better than the one in Triple Zero (TZ is about terror attacks on Coruscant, too. Déjà-vu? hehe....) even though there aren't anymore clones doing the raids on civilians. Jacen's evolution into something more than just a temple-rat Jedi was told in a very pragmatic way, not wasting too much time with existencial questions. It's just too bad that he had to deal with the old heroes of the Alliance as parents.

Okay, you definetely need to get started on the NJO then, if not that, you should skip ahead to NJO: Traitor.....that's the only SW book I've read eight or nine times because I enjoyed it that much.  It's all about how Jacen turns from an annoying bleeding-heart into one of the better characters in the SW universe.

Thanks, I'll definitly look into it then smile

[url=http://daennika.deviantart.com]Fan art[/url]