First, I should start out by saying I am a total noob when it comes to Star Wars books. This is only the third I have read, the others being the novelization of A New Hope and Claudia Gray’s YA novel Star Wars: Lost Stars. Actually, let me take a sec here, I’m not going to review Lost Stars BUT, it was a great book basically retelling the original trilogy from a whole new perspective. Gray did a great job on Lost Stars and I’m willing to say I think she did a great job with Bloodline too, but like I said, I’m new here.
I know next to nothing about the “extended universe” of Star Wars aside from things my husband has told me, as he has read the majority of the older Star Wars books that are no longer considered canon since Disney bought Lucasfilm. It’s crazy that so many books are now just sort of thrown out, but by basically recreating the canon, Disney just made it a whole lot easier for noobs like me to jump in. Huge fans like my husband know still have the advantage though and known way more than your average “Oh I love the Star Wars movies!” fans. There is SO much to learn, I constantly have to ask Brock questions for clarification, which in any other case would make this a frustrating read, but made reading Bloodline and Lost Stars kind fun because Brock gets excited when I ask him SW questions.
This book. Uhm, nerd alert, I loved it. It takes place about 20 years after the fall of the Empire (episode VI) and follows the story of Senator Leia Organa. The story either follows Leia directly, or those working closely by her, and it’s fantastic.
Spolier alert: Leia Organa is still a badass. Even when she is a 20-some year older former rebel, member of the Galactic Senate. She has committed her life to the senate since she was 14, and still doesn’t give two shits about proper protocol and formalities, it’s awesome guys.
Without giving too much away, we encounter conspiracy, betrayal, cartels, and secret militias, oh my! Leia has been keeping a secret for a few decades and it’s about to be revealed We meet an array of new characters in Bloodline, and see a few cameos or mentions of classic favorites, most notably Han Solo, husband of Princess Leia and now famous racer. Their married life is certainly no fairy tale, living on separate worlds and all, but adorable and sweet to the core nonetheless.
In this post-Empire world, we have a Galactic Senate, divided into two main parties, the Centrists and Populists. The struggle and suspicion between these two parties plays a major role throughout the story. But there is also a consistent reminder that many things are not black and white, and more complicated than which side of the party line one falls upon.
We find some new and suspicious characters in this book. Gray does a pretty good job of making you wary of these new players, and it is a bit of a roller coaster at times. As I read books I am constantly trying to gauge a characters trustworthiness and decide where they stand. Perhaps everyone reads that way, but I’m usually overly suspicious of characters. Gray supplies up with a lovely little emotional roller coaster when it comes to gauging who we can trust in Bloodline. Casterfo Ransolm is one such character. Ransolm is a Centrist senator and collector of Empire memorabilia. It’s assumed Ransolm will a bit of the antagonist to Leia’s Populist leanings, however it’s not that simple. Casterfo and Leia begin to work together to uncover a possible multi-planet cartel operation and eventually become friends. But when new information is divulged, the proverbial shit hits the fan. Where will people’s loyalties lie?
I also want to just take a second to talk about this cover, because as I mentioned in a previous post; I judge books by their covers. This cover is kind of badass: Leia, Vader and X-wings! It’s eye-catching and appealing to the SW fan in me. It also brings up some immediate questions. Vader and Leia appearing on the same cover of a book called Bloodline? Hmmmm… But that’s all I will say about that.
This book was a fun read, and I would easily recommend to anyone who is even a half-hearted SW fan. As a more than half-hearted but less than full-on-lunatic fan, I love having this insight into the happens in the SW universe between Return of the Jedi (Ep. VI) and The Force Awakens (Ep. VII) and the fact that this is Leia’s story, makes it even better!