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Book Title: Maze of Deception|
The author of the book: Elizabeth Hand
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 14.28 MB
Edition: Scholastic Paperbacks
Date of issue: April 1st 2003
ISBN 13: 9780439442459
Read full description of the books Maze of Deception:Star Wars Legends Project #105
Background: Maze of Deception was written by Elizabeth Hand and published in April 2003. Hand wrote the 3rd through 6th books in the Boba Fett series (taking over for Terry Bisson). These are her only Star Wars books, though she has written a number of non-Star Wars novels, short stories, comics, and novelizations.
Maze of Deception takes place right after Crossfire (my review), 22 years before the battle of Yavin. The young Boba Fett is the main character, along with Aurra Sing . The story takes place on Aargau, a major hub of the InterGalactic Banking Clan.
Summary: Having fallen back in with Aurra Sing aboard the Slave I, young Boba Fett reluctantly agrees to split his father's enormous fortune with her in exchange for her help recovering it. Once they arrive at their destination, Boba soon sees an opportunity to give her the slip and make a run for the fortune himself. But Sing isn't the only danger inside the banking clan's massive, labyrinthine pyramid.
Review: This isn't that different from the previous two books in the series, but there are two significant problems (and several less significant problems) that really sink it. First, the entire premise of the story makes no sense. Aurra Sing seeks out Boba Fett because she knows where Jango's fortune is located, and she at least implies that she got that information from Jango himself. So this is potentially a big payday for her for very little work. But in the previous two books, Jango had instructed his son to go to Dooku to collect the money, and Dooku had hired Aurra Sing to deliver Boba to him. Why would Jango tell Boba to go to Dooku if it was Aurra who could provide access to it? And why would Aurra accept and make the delivery, taking Slave I as her payment, only to turn right around and offer it back to Boba after he accompanies her to claim the fortune that she knew about all along? Suddenly, nothing that has happened in the series so far appears to make any sense.
As a more minor corollary to this first point regarding Aurra Sing, throughout the entire book I kept expecting a revelation that Aurra had somehow planted a tracker on Boba Fett because there is no other explanation as to how she keeps finding him no matter how completely he eludes her. At one point, she even walks directly to his hiding place and plucks him out of it. Force-sensitive or no, that's a bit much.
The second problem is with the world-building . . . if you can even call it that. Aargau seems to consist entirely of one massive pyramid, and I don't understand how any of it works, even though pretty much the entire story takes place inside of it. It consists of 7 levels, each lit by a different color to distinguish between them. This seems to be the full extent of what is available to help anyone navigate it. There are no information kiosks or labels or directions anywhere, just miles and miles of twisting tunnels (none of which are labeled, apparently, shooting off in every direction. The entire pyramid is somehow dedicated to banking, and there are lots and lots (hundreds? more?) of banks located inside it . . . although why the prime repository of the Bank of Kuat should be located in a pyramid on Aargau instead of on, I dunno, Kuat is left unexplained. But, despite the fact that apparently most of the galaxy stores their valuables inside this pyramid, security is so lax that the entire bottom level, which is also the largest level, is completely lawless and is apparently run by criminal gangs.
An additional observation here: The book suggests that this is the primary headquarters of the InterGalactic Banking Clan, which is of course run by the Muuns. Why isn't it on Muunilinst? Additionally, a major subplot has San Hill, chairman of the Clan, arriving on Aargau to try and raise additional funds for the Separatists from the Hutts on the 7th level. First of all, why would the head of the Banking Clan need to do anything of the kind? Second, how is it that the Republic is so unaware that the InterGalactic Banking Clan is part of the Separatists that they're still keeping a lot of their money at the Clan headquarters, and have sent troops to protect the planet from the Separatists? And how has the IGBC not taken advantage of this foolishness? Again, none of this makes any sense.
Finally, perhaps the smallest quibble of all, but still a very odd moment: Boba is wandering around without a clue on the 7th level at one point when a Twi'lek brushes past him, and he thinks, "My dad told me about a Twi'lek named Bib Fortuna once! I should follow this Twi'lek, just in case it's him!" Now, that's really really dumb, even for a 10-year old . . . but what's worse is that it turns out to actually be Bib Fortuna. Is this a whole galaxy we're talking about here, or a small town?! Apparently there are only 2 Twi'leks . . . If it's a Twi'lek carrying a lightsaber, it's Aayla Secura. Otherwise, it's Bib Fortuna. Guh.
Not good. I hope this series gets it together. This was a pretty rough hand-off from one writer to another.
Read information about the authorA New York Times notable and multiple award– winning author, Elizabeth Hand has written seven novels, including the cult classic Waking the Moon, and short-story collections. She is a longtime contributor to numerous publications, including the Washington Post Book World and the Village Voice Literary Supplement. She and her two children divide their time between the coast of Maine and North London.
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