Saturday, July 9, 2016
Review: The Perfect Weapon by Delilah Dawson
The Perfect Weapon (Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
By: Delilah Dawson
Publisher: Del Rey
When mercenary Bazine Netal is hired by an anonymous client to retrieve a package in possession of an ex-stormtrooper, she expected a quick in-and-out mission with the promise of a sizeable award that would provide her covert lifestyle with a much-needed fresh infusion of funds. What she didn't count on was her teacher and mentor , the spycraft teacher Kloda, saddling her with a protege in need of training. Relationships are liabilities a woman in her position learned long ago to avoid, and with a competitor named Narglatch also on the hunt for the stormtrooper's case, on this mission she can afford no distractions. But as the mission goes south, betrayal comes from a quarter she never expected...a mistake that may just cost her her life.
This is an entertaining little glimpse into one of the most intriguing background characters who made an all-too-brief but impactful appearance in The Force Awakens. Dawson gives us the backstory of the coldly beautiful, detached bounty hunter responsible for alerting the First Order to the presence of BB-8 at Maz Katana's home on Takodana. Here, Dawson positions Bazine as something of a female counterpart to another legendary Star Wars fan favorite bounty hunter, Boba Fett -- she's as intriguing and lethal as Fett, only with better fashion sense.
I wish Dawson had been allowed to develop this story into a full length novel. As it is, The Perfect Weapon is an entertaining slice of female-centric Star Wars action. I was reminded of the K.W. Jeter trilogy The Bounty Hunter Wars, original Expanded Universe tales that explored Boba Fett's actions between Episodes IV and VI. In the right hands this is a character with promise, refreshing removed from the machinations of the Force and surprisingly likeable given her lethal background.
While the plot and characterizations are a little thin, given the story's brief length, and the stormtrooper's case is a MacGuffin of the most wildly improbably sort, frustratingly important and maddeningly unexplained, I still enjoyed this brief introduction to one of the newest and most colorful characters in the Star Wars universe. I'd love to read more about Bazine, and I hope Dawson one day gets the chance to revisit this character and universe, as there is a lot of unexplored potential here and she shows a promising facility in constructing an engaging story within the Star Wars parameters. With Rey as the centerpoint of the new trilogy, it seems only fitting that a new female bounty hunter should capture the imagination of fans, and Bazine is a character whose further adventures I'd love to see explored either on film or the page.
About the book:
Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens with this exclusive ebook short story set shortly before the events of the film, featuring a quick-witted mercenary who takes big risks for bigger rewards—and now faces the challenge that will take her to the edge.
There are plenty of mercenaries, spies, and guns for hire in the galaxy. But probably none as dangerous and determined as Bazine Netal. A master of disguise—and lethal with a blade, a blaster, or bare handed—she learned from the best. Now it’s her turn to be the teacher—even if schooling an eager but inexperienced recruit in the tricks of her trade is the last thing she wants to do. But it’s the only way to score the ship she needs to pull off her latest job.
An anonymous client has hired Bazine to track down an ex-stormtrooper and recover the mysterious package he’s safeguarding. Payment for the mission promises to be astronomical, but the obstacles facing Bazine will prove to be formidable. And though her eager new sidekick has cyber skills crucial to the mission, only Bazine’s razor-sharp talents will mean the difference between success or failure—and life or death.