Author: Claudia Gray
Category: Star Wars
Publication Date: May 3rd, 2016
Bloodline, the story behind how The First Order rose to political power.
This story is what was missing from The Force Awakens.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved the newest film. But I was left feeling a little lost on who the First Order is, why someone would be so quick to bring back the ideology of the Empire so soon after its destruction. Bloodline answers those questions.
This is only the second Star Wars book that I have read. It is also the second book that I have read by Claudia Gray, the other being Lost Stars, and I must say that she excels at portraying characters with opposing political leanings in such a way that neither is a “good guy” or a “bad guy” and it is easy to sympathize with both sides.
As a Populist, Leia believes that the vast majority power should be held by individual systems in order to prevent the tyranny of any on group/planet over the others. Ransolm Casterfo, a senator that she works very closely with in this story, is a Centrist; he believes that power should be centralized in one governmental body so that no system is left behind economically. Although their viewpoints are so polar opposite, they are written in such a way that it is easy to understand both sides and as Leia comes to respect Casterfo and call him a friend so does the reader.
This was a big thing in Lost Stars as well, one main character fought for the Empire while the other fought for the Rebellion. Gray manages to write both sides and continually play the devil’s advocate without ever feeling like the logic on one side is reaching.
The only downside of the writing in this story is that there were a few times that a character’s personality is introduced by telling rather than showing. At the introduction of a few characters, there would be a few paragraphs kind of summarizing who they are and some of their traits as opposed to a few pages of dialogue or action used to display those traits and let the reader get to know the character themselves.
However, this only happened a few times and only ever took up 2 or 3 paragraphs of the books so the story was never really encumbered by the exposition.
The story centers around politics and manages to be an engaging Star Wars story even without a whole lot of lightsaber/blaster scenes (only two scenes I believe where blasters were necessary and no lightsabers in sight!). A lack of action scenes can make some stories seem dull and drag on and on and on and I have to again applaud Claudia Gray’s writing abilities.
Now to continue with my Star Wars addiction and move on to Tarkin…