Chapter by Chapter features me reading one chapter of the selected book at the time and reviewing it as if I were reviewing an episode of a TV show or an issue of a comic. There will be spoilers if you haven’t read to the point I have, and if you’ve read further I ask that you don’t spoil anything further into the book. Think of it as read-along book club.
When we last left, Xizor is a misogynist ego factory who wants to get into Leia’s pants, Leia is using strategy to find out why Guri freaks them out, Dash has arrived to tell them about Luke and the computer, and Luke…is going to sit around while others try to hack an Imperial computer. Let’s hope he finds something to, if only for the sake of the audience.
He just might. The first scene opens with the hackers going to work on the computer, but just as they find something somebody breaks into the room. Then cuts to Leia just as it was getting good. Does Perry have a space limit per scene? I’ve seen scene breaks with so little time between scenes it feels like a waste, especially like now where it cuts to something else.
Last time Leia set up a scanner to try to figure out what Guri was, but the scan only shows her skin is 10-years-old, but for some reason not that she’s a machine. Maybe this is something her creator planned for? We meet him in the comic Shadows Of The Empire–Evolution, which Perry wrote, but it didn’t come up. So they have a plan B: drug her and examine her while she’s out. She’s rather smart, you know. Then again, we know that won’t work either because she’s an android, but they don’t and it’s a good plan.
Back to Luke, he and he Bothan pal Melan try to repel the invaders but are forced to flee. Hey Xizor, if the whole Death Star trap is foiled do you really think the Emperor isn’t going to question you? This is the big plan to eliminate the Rebels that the author pushed on you. I know you don’t control when the assassins drop in, but I hope you get upset or at least feel stupid if this backfires.
Back to Leia, this time NOT interrupting the action, the tea (obviously) hasn’t worked and the scanner still can’t make her out. But when Guri decides to threaten Leia to come with her and without Chewbacca, she finds Chewie, Lando, and Dash trained on her and even Guri has limits. So what now, heroes?
Geez, Perry, stick to one situation for a while, would you? If I had known this was going to happen I would have just done all the Luke scenes in one or two paragraphs and the Leia ones in another section. (I’m reviewing as I read.) However, it gives you an idea how often this chapter jumps back and forth and it takes you out of the action each time he transitions back. Melan is killed, one of the Bothan techs manage to escape with the handheld computer and Luke is taken prisoner by bounty hunters who claim to respect the Jedi but this is just business. I hate when villains try to tell the hero or victim that it’s just business, as if the person at the shooty end of the gun isn’t supposed to take this personally. They should be called out on their crap more often.
Finally back with the other, they have Guri tied up, trying to decide how to use her to contact Black Sun. It turns out (well, we already knew this) that she answers directly to Xizor and want to take them there. Proving that Guri isn’t a genius (I’m starting to think she’s smarter than her boss, but not as clever) she thought the threats would make things go faster rather than actually work with the Rebels to reach Xizor on Corsucant. Guess what, robolady: you were wrong. Also, Lando figures out that she has to be a replica droid, showing he keeps up with black market history. Not surprising given his lifestyle. He’s Han’s best friend after all.
Look, it’s not that I mind Perry switching back and forth rather than finishing an entire moment. It’s that he does it so often in this chapter that it takes you out of the event, puts you in a different one, and then back again way too often, pulling you out of the story as well. The movies never transitioned back and forth this much, with so few paragraphs per section. That’s disappointing because the story itself is still getting good. Hopefully the presentation improves in the next chapter.