Novel Review – Star Wars: Bloodline

This is a book I’ve been interested in reading for a while. It stars Leia about 20 years or so after Return of the Jedi. There are three major subjects in this book, one is directly stated, and the others are mostly hints. There will be some minor spoilers in this review, but I’ll keep them light. In fact I’m going to try to keep this review short.

Star wars: Bloodline is a very political book within the Star Wars Universe, exploring how the New Republic operates, and the schism between those who want a central figure in charge of the senate, and those who’d rather everyone get equal say. The Centralists vs. the Populists. Writer Claudia Gray does a good job pointing out the upsides and downsides to each, helped by the fact that there are two main perspective characters who lean to each side, Leia being a populist to prevent another Empire from rising, and Castefero, an optimistic young politician who sees too much meandering with what is currently a populist council.

At first they really don’t like each other, but as the book goes on they start respecting each other, especially when they need to investigate a group of arms smugglers based in a neutral planet. The mystery eventually leads to hints of the rise of the First Order and the birth of the Resistance. That’s all I’ll say on that matter.

The characterization is well done across the board. Leia has a bit more of a sense of humour than she did in the original trilogy, but that’s probably Han rubbing off on her. Castefero is a very deep character himself – he fancies himself a collector of relics from the Empire, yet at the same time he despised those in charge, Vader and the Emperor.

Their partnership is ruined however when Leia’s true origins are exposed. For years, she tried to keep her familial connection to Darth Vader hidden from the public, yet everything falls apart when her father’s Sith identity is revealed to the senate and broadcasted across the galaxy. It’s a great moment that really tests everyone around her, with some old friends refusing to speak with her.

While the concept behind this book is awesome and it mostly pays off well, I do have a couple complaints. I’d like to know why the New Republic is based on Hosnian Prime. It’s something that probably should have at least had a brief explanation in Force Awakens, considering we’re used to the core of the galaxy being Coruscant. With none of the characters having any emotional connection to the planet that we know of and little knowledge of the New Republic, it’s kind of hard to care. Even one sentence would have satisfied me. But enough about Force Awakens.

I enjoyed this book overall, enough to read more of Claudia Gray’s Star Wars material. The mystery about the arms dealers features just the right level of foreshadowing. The action, while sparse, is exciting. But I didn’t think it was anything too special. Fans of Leia will likely enjoy this book, as will those interested in learning some of the background politics that led to the current movie trilogy. That said, in some ways it feels like the book is trying to encourage people to buy more material to learn more about the New Republic. It’s fine to not give us all the details in the movie – Star Wars has never been the kind of franchise that needed to explain everything. However, it would be nice to get more than bare bones details for those who read the books.

7/10

About healed1337

I am a relatively new comic book fan writing this blog for other new comic book fans and/or people who are interested in comics but don't know where to start. I've always been interested in writing, to the point where I have a college Creative Writing Certificate and I'm currently a year 2 Journalism student. I also have another blog where I mostly make fun of bad movies - www.healed1337.blogspot.com As for how I got into comics, I've always had a passing interest in superheroes: most notably Batman, Spider-man and the X-Men. Until February of 2011 (I think,) my only experience with any of these franchises came from the movies and video games. Shortly after I bought Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 however, I decided to check out X-23, Wolverine's female clone. I ended up reading her Innocence Lost origin story and enjoyed it. From there, I started reading various X-Men comics and it quickly exploded into my newest hobby. My other interests/hobbies include video games, movies, music, playing sports, my dogs and weird news.
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2 Responses to Novel Review – Star Wars: Bloodline

  1. Ray says:

    I am currently reading Bloodline!

    I have mixed feelings, but I’m trying to give the new canon a chance…

    And that’s absolutely right about Hosnian Prime, so much about the post-Force Awakens world-building sucks!

    Like

    • healed1337 says:

      There are people who may argue that we know no more about Hosnian Prime than we did about Alderan before it was destroyed. But there’s a major difference her – we at least knew Princess Leia, a major character, had a major personal attachment to the planet. We at least cared because she did. You can’t only base the horror of an event like that by suggesting that a lot of people died along with the planet.

      Liked by 1 person

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