The Hutt Gambit
[Ann C. Crispin, Bantam Books, 1997]


The book begins shortly after Han was courtmartialed for freeing Chewbacca from slavery. These events are glossed over very briefly; Lucasfilm insisted no details were given, so it s not the author's fault!

Han and Chewbacca go to work for Jabba's clan, while the Hutt's rivals still have a bounty on Solo's head. Boba Fett makes a brief appearance, before he is dissuaded from making further attempts on the Correllian.

The local Imperial Governor becomes convinced the Smugglers Moon is a threat to the Empire, because smugglers operating from there shipped supplies to a rebellious world, and decides to send his fleet against it. Han and his friends get together a motley crew of renegades and hold a desperate last stand!


This is a good follow-up to Paradise Snare , though ultimately less satisfying. However, it does have many fine touches; for example, as Han works for the Hutts over a long period of time his attitude towards them changes, as he becomes more and more valuable to them [and knows it!].

This book introduces both Boba Fett and Lando Calrissian into Han s story. Now, we all know Han and Lando met up - but FETT?

Also, the scene where Fett notices the Sarlacc as he departs Tatooine is what some specialist Franchise writers call "fan-wank" ; it s something stuck in so that hard-core fans can go "cool", while casual readers ignore it because they don't get the significance. KJA was a bad offender in this regard too.

On the other hand, Soontir Fel is one of the Imperial officers in the attacking fleet; "The Making of Baron Fel" implies that he and Han Solo went through the Imperial Academy together, but there is no reference to this in the book. Still, it shows how small the galaxy has become.

Also, the brief appearance of a certain Dark Lord of the Sith is gratuitous and unconvincing; his victim did not perform any actions that would require Vader's attentions. Any actions construed as treason could have been taken care of by the local Imperial Security Bureau.

The huge space battle is reminiscent of the X-Wing books, in that the "good guys" only take minimal casualties. Also, there's very little description of the ships - of course, they are portrayed on the cover art, so it's no big deal! :-)

Rating: 70%

Purchase this novel at