Bloodline. Book Review

Arrow, p/b, 432pp, £8.99
Reviewed by Matthew Johns

This Star Wars novel takes you to the years before The Force Awakens. What caused the collapse of the New Republic and the rise of the First Order? What happened to Leia Organa after the events of The Return of The Jedi?

The New Republic is an unwieldy democracy, where too many senators battle to score points over each other, and drive their own personal agendas. Leia Organa finds herself reminiscing over her days of action during the war against the Empire, feeling trapped in her role as senator. Factions within the Senate fight against each other in a seemingly endless cycle of debate and posturing. When an emissary from a small planet pleads with the Senate to help them as a new criminal cartel starts to threaten their populace, Leia volunteers to go and personally investigate and finds herself drawn into increasingly dangerous investigations while the machinations of the Senate continue without aim.

A good mix of political intrigue and action, with Han Solo making a brief appearance to whisk his wife out of danger, this focuses firmly on Leia, accompanied by C-3PO and her entourage. Luke Skywalker is only mentioned in the book as he is travelling with his nephew Ben, trying to find ancient Jedi temples in far distant galaxies.

Gray’s work brings more depth to the story before The Force Awakens, and helps to explain where the First Order came from, even if the First Order isn’t actually mentioned by name until over halfway through. A good addition to the library of any Star Wars fan!