(2016) Claudia Gray, Arrow, £8.99, pbk, 418pp, ISBN 978-0-099-59428-4
Star Wars: Bloodline is the latest novel in the new Star Wars expanded universe that is within the canon of the Star Wars universe. This is a unique novel compared to the previous releases as it is now the closest novel in proximity to The Force Awakens and offers an interesting insight into General Leia Organa and the role that she plays.
There are two distinctive stories playing out in this novel. There is the political aspect within the Galactic Senate as well as a more adventure-fuelled storyline. It follows Leia’s struggles to deal with the underworld and treacherous politicians. The galaxy is now becoming more divided as several different alliances start to form. Leia feels the need to resign, but the growing tension demands her to stay and face the growing threats.
There are some interesting plot points within this novel and the introduction of some new characters adds to the attractiveness of the novel. Perhaps central to the novel is Leia’s ties with her father figures, Bail and Darth Vader. Claudia Grey really knows how to develop a story whilst revealing certain aspects of Leia’s life throughout the novel. Darth Vader is a central figure in this novel and certain revelations make this a novel that any Star Wars fan will want to read.
This novel has a more universal feel than other recent Star Wars novels that are within the Canon. Many of the new novels centre themselves on a few planets. However, this novel truly goes throughout the galaxy and has the feel of several classic stories of the old expanded universe novels.
One of the most interesting developments in this novel is the introduction of the character Ransolm Casterfo. He is a collector of imperial artefacts and his interactions with Leia and her changing opinions of him add some further development to the novel which otherwise would not of been seen. However, the initial development of this relationship does make this novel have a slow start and takes time to get into.
Leia’s reactions to certain situations adds some elements to her character that we may not of known. All throughout the novel though we can tell that this is still the same Leia we are use to, just with a slightly more mature approach to everything. She is a ruthless character who sets out to gain freedom for the galaxy and she will not rest until that is accomplished. If there is one novel you are intending to read in the new Star Wars canon it should be this one. It offers insight into characters and connects nicely to The Force Awakens. It really adds something to the Star Wars universe that was missing and offers a key link between the films and offers some development in the character of Leia.
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