Thursday, May 12, 2016
Yesterday I finished the newest addition to Star Wars literature, the novel Bloodline by Claudia Gray. This one had me excited for a while, for multiple reason. For one, I quite enjoyed Gray's young-adult-oriented Lost Stars. For another, this is the first adult novel since Aftermath to deal with the time period between Episodes VI and VII, and this one is a lot closer in time to the events of The Force Awakens.
This novel did not disappoint. While it's not the most action-packed entry in Star Wars literature--along that line, I think it's hard to top any of Brian Daley's Han Solo novels--this one held my interest throughout the story. There are some action scenes, but they take second place to the drama that comes from political intrigue. Although that might not sound so exciting, it really was. It was interesting to see some of the machinations in the New Republic Senate that lead up to the formation of the First Order and the Resistance, especially as they directly affected Princess Leia. I can't say too much without spoiling things, but secrets are revealed that have heavy ramifications.
Perhaps most importantly, Gray does a good job of capturing Leia's character. Her voice--internal and when used to address other characters--rang true to what we know of Leia from the movies. She has some good interaction with Han, too, in scenes that help to explain their situation in Episode VII. There are some new characters, too, who are likable without overshadowing our main protagonist. Finally, the novel includes a foldout political poster that captures the spirit of the novel well. All in all, Bloodline sets the bar high for any other books set in this time period.