Format: Hardcover | 332 pages
Release Date: May 3, 2016
Genre: Science Fiction
WITNESS THE BIRTH OF THE RESISTANCEWhen the Rebellion defeated the Empire in the skies above Endor, Leia Organa believed it was the beginning to a lasting peace. But after decades of vicious infighting and partisan gridlock in the New Republic Senate, that hope seems like a distant memory.Now a respected senator, Leia must grapple with the dangers that threaten to cripple the fledgling democracy — from both within and without. Underworld kingpins, treacherous politicians, and Imperial loyalists are sowing chaos in the galaxy. Desperate to take action, senators are calling for the election of a First Senator. It is their hope that this influential post will bring strong leadership to a divided galaxy.As the daughter of Darth Vader, Leia faces with distrust the prospect of any one person holding such a powerful position — even when supporters suggest Leia herself for the job. But a new enemy may make this path Leia’s only option. For at the edges of the galaxy, a mysterious threat is growing.
STAR WARS: BLOODLINE, by author Claudia Gray, is the prequel to the movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens (AKA Episode VII). The actual timeline for this story is SIX years before the movie, and 20 years after Return of the Jedi. BLOODLINE follows Star Wars favorite heroine Senator/Princess Leia Organa. In the absence of Mon Mothma's direction, The New Republic is tilting towards the cusp of being non-relevant. Leia, once a brave heroine who stood up to Darth Vader, now faces a Senate that is even more divided and useless than the US Congress & Senate.
The current make-up of the New Republic's Senate consists of Populists who believe that individual planets should retain almost all authority and Centrists who favor a strong Galactic government and a more powerful military. After the Senate is warned about a crime syndicate gaining power in independent and Centrist planets, Leia volunteers to investigate. Leia unwilling accepts the company of her rival Senator Ransolm Casterfo. Leia doesn't much care for Ransolm's collection of former Empire artifacts. And yet, each of them suffered at the hands of Darth Vader.
This is the Leia I know and love. The Leia who doesn't stand on ceremony, but puts together a small team to travel to various worlds looking to uncover who is behind the growing corruption. The Leia who no longer wishes to sit on the sideline where it is safe, but leading the charge against those who wish to harm the New Republic and those she cares about. The Leia who is brilliant with a weapon, as she is trying to keep the peace. This is the Leia who is brave, relentless, determined, engaging, and not willing to kneel down to any challenge.
One of Han Solo's prodigy is also one of my favorite characters in this book. Her name is Greer Sonnel and I dare say I wished that somehow she had made it into the movie. I also liked Joph Seastricker, a New Republic pilot that becomes a part of her team. Warning: If you are expecting appearances by Luke, or Chewie, lower your expectations. Han Solo appears, but that's too be expected. After all, Han and Leia are currently married in this setting, and their son Ben hasn't gone bad yet. Oh, did I mention that C3PO also makes an appearance?
Without going deeper and spoiling some interesting political twists and turns, I will say that if you have watched The Force Awakens, and wondered why you should care about planets being destroyed by the First Order, this book will give you the background ploys that ended up leading to the Rise of the Rebellion. If you are a Star Wars fan like me who waited in line for HOURS for the first movie to be shown in your local theater, you will love this book.
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