Claudia Gray’s Bloodline, the first in a series of novels that lead up to the events of 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens film, is a gripping, if occasionally talky, political action thriller. The book’s protagonist is Leia Organa, once Princess Leia (and played in the films by the late Carrie Fisher), who helped bring down the Empire decades before, and now is a Senator in the New Republic’s Galactic Senate.
The Senate is twisting itself into knots and is unable to get anything done, policywise. Leia must investigate on her own, with a few allies (including good old C3PO!), rumors that a deadly criminal organization led by the Nikto crime boss Rinnrivin Di is quickly gaining galaxy-wide influence and may be up to something big. These rumors get some credence when Di kidnaps Leia, who is then rescued by one of her Senate rivals, the snobbish Casterfo, but then something awful happens upon her return to the Senate…
Without going into spoiler territory, Bloodline sets up the conflicts that led to the Resistance movement seen in the 2015 film. There are references to Leia’s family and Han Solo (who makes fleeting appearances), and even a brief mention of her son Ben. The title refers to Leia’s past, and the impact it winds up having on her present, leading her to make a momentous life-changing decision.
Mix in some wild action sequences, including a couple of hyperspace chases and a duel using force pikes, plus a shocking climax, and Bloodline is a thrilling ride from start to finish. Can’t wait to read the next installment!
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