A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, change is afoot. New Star Wars stories are entering the canon which are designed to expand upon JJ Abrams’ continuation of the Star Wars universe and Bloodline by Claudia Gray is a novel which achieves this well.
It’s time to witness the birth of the Resistance and discover the journey to Episode VII The Force Awakens. From the moment one glimpses the cover of the book, it becomes clear that readers are in for a story filled with complex intrigues and intense family drama. There is the sense that the past is still very much present and that’s a great thing.
With the dawning of a new canon of Star Wars films and novels and so many new developments to the Star Wars universe, it is vital that the original characters and story lines we know and love do not become forsaken and Gray has certainly not disappointed on that score. One of the many strengths of this novel is the retention of the struggles existing for the characters after the defeat of the Empire. The situations and emotions in the New Republic are still charged and raw and this mood certainly lends to the authenticity of the novel as one which belongs in the Star Wars Universe. Whilst there is peace following the defeat of the Empire, there are frissons in that peace that only one who has experienced great times of war can be honest about. In her powerful position as senator, Leia Organa is able to see that all is not as it seems…
The voice of Leia, the driving force in this novel is strong and authentic creating a nostalgic narrative which is reminiscent of the original films whilst showing the character to be adaptable, resilient and strong – all qualities she will need if she is to lead the Resistance.
There are many layers to the novel and to delve into all of them would be to reveal major plot points, but in the presentation of old tensions – the impact of Leia’s heritage for example – and the existence of a new threat, the Star Wars universe becomes a world of political intrigue and the politics of the novel are engaging and captivating, adding new dimensions to the narrative and expanding the universe of Star Wars perhaps more than ever before.
Bloodline is essential reading for anyone looking to understand more about the politics which led to the birth of the Resistance and indeed to Episode VII. Strikingly relevant and narratively accessible, this is a thoroughly recommended read.
Bloodline is published by Century on 24th May 2016.