The Mandalorian Armor (sic), by K.W. Jeter

July 24, 2010 at 20:57 (Book Reviews, Fiction, Poorly Rated Books, Star Wars Saturday!) (, , , )

2/10

The most noticeable thing about Jeter’s writing is that he thinks this book is on his time, not the reader’s. His audience have nothing better to do than lean into his bottomless prose and immerse themselves in his exquisitely-crafted characters. Here comes the first snag. Usually with well-crafted characters – even those described in morbid and drudging detail over the breadth of entire chapters – just about everything is explained about them, from their harrowing school experiences to the shapes of their noses and the various faces they pull. Usually the writer does his reader the courtesy of at least interesting us in his creation before plunging us into their morose jungian monologues, and often the reader has already made an emotional investment before consenting to be led by the nose into a black hole of reflection on…oh, financial dealing and economic exigencies?

Not a problem, according to K.W. Jeter. Why, you are reading about Boba Fett! That means if you’ve reached this point, you’re already sold on the character, and willing to swallow whatever he spoons in your direction. The stormclouds of sloppy writing are already gathering, and they conceal the thunderous cacaphony of writing more selfish and self-obsessed than anything since at least Atlas Shrugged. The stage is set for Jeter’s supervillain, stroking a cat and musing endlessly on the machiavellian web he has been weaving since some undefined point in the distant past.

Perhaps this has all been too harsh. After all, the action is there, with all the insipid characters and poorly-imagined alien creatures that third-rate Star Wars writers usually manage to wrangle together. Most of it takes place as a series of flashbacks connected by monologues, which means between Kuat of Kuat thinking evil thoughts about evil we are treated to characters thinking about the action that happened many years ago in a galaxy far, far away.

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