Before the Force Awakens continued the beloved Star Wars saga after the events of the Return of the Jedi, there was the Expanded Universe. The Expanded Universe explored Star Wars with a whole range of books and comics mostly concerning itself with the events that happened after the sixth movie. Some of these novels were extremely good, and introduced a couple of new characters that were almost as interesting as for instance Han or Leia. However ever since Disney took over the franchise, everything that happened in the Expanded Universe was declared non-canon. Those books and novels are now being published under the new name Legends. Some of the Star Wars fans, myself included, were none too happy with this decision. I can understand why Disney decided on this. But on the other hand some of the old books were so incredibly good, most notably the Thrawn trilogy, that i can’t help but wonder if it would not have been possible to somehow incorporate some events in the new timeline.
Alas, it was not to be, and now Disney has been producing a new range of novels and comics, that are considered to be canon. What is interesting about it, is that all these books and comics are connected and tied into the new Star Wars timeline. So far the range of novels has not been as good as the Expanded Universe in my personal opinion. I did really enjoy Lords of the Sith, and Dark Disciple, but these also did not reach the same level as the books of old. A couple of weeks ago a very special Grey Jedi (you know who you are), told me about the novel Bloodline by Claudia Gray, and how good it was. I decided to take her word for it, and boy am I glad I did.
Bloodline is the first of the new Star Wars novels that for me has brought back that good old Star Wars feeling. It tells a story of events happening before The Force Awakens, and even has some cameo experiences by some lesser known The Force Awakens characters. But the central focus is on Leia, and if you love the rebellious side of her, you are in for a treat. Bloodline deals with the political side of things, but of course in a Star Wars way. The new characters that Claudia introduces, most notably Greer, Casterfo and Joph are so good, that I wish they had been in the new movie. The story deals with Leia uncovering a sinister plot against the New Republic. The plot uncovers inch by inch, and keeps you guessing right up to the end. It has many surprises in store, and really to tell more about it, would only diminish your reading pleasure.
All I can say is, if you are a Star Wars fan, this is the novel you have been waiting for. It gives me a new hope (pun intended) for the upcoming novels of the new canon books. I truly hope we will get more novels by Claudia Gray in this range, as for me she is so far the best of the new writers of the new range of novels. To end with a cliche: the Force is strong with this one.
I give this book a 9 out of 10 score.