Book Review- Star Wars: Bloodline

You know the old phrase never judge a book by it’s cover? Well, this book is a good literal example of that. When you first pick up Star Wars: Bloodline you see the cover has a contemplative Leia with a looming Vader over her as a squadron of X-Wing’s flying out into space. Seems epic right? What you actually get is more of a political process type of book. Leia is there, Vader is mentioned, and there is a grand total of one X-Wing. Now wait! That doesn’t mean the book was bad, quite the opposite. Author Claudia Gray does a fine job with this one, but it may be for a very specific audience of Star Wars fans…

Star Wars: Bloodline follows Princess Leia as a senator on Hosnian Prime, the planet that the Galactic Senate of the New Republic now meets. It’s over 20 years since the fall of the Second Death Star and the Galaxy finds itself facing another schism. The Senate of the New Republic finds itself splintered into two factions. On one side the Centrists, who believe there should be a stronger central government. So much so that certain members even romanticize The Empire. On the other, the Populists who believe governing should be left to the systems. While Senator Organa acts as a figurehead for the Populist she must cooperate with young up and coming Centrist, Senator Ransolm Casterfo, to investigate a rapidly growing cartel. But one of Leia’s deepest darkest secrets is about to come to light, just when the shadow of a new paramilitary group looms.

Bloodline dives head first into the galactic politics of trying to rebuild a galaxy. At first, I felt the book was slow moving, it definitely gets started at a leisurely pace but later I found myself needing to know more about the growing situation and how the Senate will react to Leia’s secret bloodline. Admittedly the action scenes are few and far between with this book, it felt like it was page 200 before a blaster was even used. But Bloodline does an exceptional job building the framework of how the Republic could splinter so much so The First Order is able to rise to power. Gray took on the task that many writers would pass on, especially in the world of Star Wars. She essentially wrote a book that was entirely exposition for the world that we were thrust into at the beginning of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. If you’re looking for a non-stop thrill ride then Bloodline is not the book for you. But if you’re like me and love hearing the big and little things that build the world of Star Wars then definitely give Bloodline a read. It is a quality universe building book and reads very easy. Enjoy everyone!

Next Book: Star Wars: Lost Stars

Book Review- Kings of the Wyld

Last week I was lucky enough to finish Nicholas Eames fantasy comedy Kings of the Wyld. Based off a recommendation from former guest host Colin Albanese I picked up this read, which happens to be the author’s first book. What followed was an unexpectedly fun and action-packed fantasy novel. Usually when a friend sells a book, movie, or TV show so hard it usually never lives up to the hype. Well, Kings of the Wyld was more than I could have hoped.

Kings of the Wyld follows a former group of travelling warriors (in the book called a band) that went by Saga. We follow Clay Cooper, the heart of group, as he is approached by former front-man and best friend, “Glorious” Gabe. The once great frontman is weary and old. He tells Clay of a great horde lead by an ancient being that is holding a far away city siege. And who’s in the center of that dying city? Gabe’s daughter Rose, who went to the city to help the citizens with her own band. What follows is a quest to get the band back together to save Gabe’s daughter. They must get Moog, the eccentric and lovable wizard, Matrick, the drunk but skillful thief turned king, and Ganelon, the massive powerhouse of the band. What follows is adventure and danger with a group of new friends and enemies alike, all to save someone they love and in turn, the world.

Kings of the Wyld finds a perfect mix of action and Comedy. Eames find’s a way to write about the comedic moments so effortlessly it’s like they are playing out on a screen in front of us. Admittedly I am someone with a very weak constitution to violence but I never felt like this book crossed the line. It used just enough so the visuals would stir the reader but rarely ever crossed into needless. There has to be some exception when there is a nightmare horde of monsters waiting for the group in the story… I cannot recommend this read more. It feels like it goes by quick because you never want to put it down but remains intricate and builds a world that would make any D&D player go wild. It takes the classic form or fantasy and injects it with a modern energy. The use of music culture as a vessel for warrior groups is an intelligent and easy to digest concept for the audience. The book doesn’t lack emotion either. There is a wonderful sense of brotherhood between the men and it is all-inclusive, with one of the warriors lamenting the loss of his husband. This book is for everyone. And I highly recommend everyone go read it. I for one am looking forward to the sequel, Bloody Rose.

Cover Art for upcoming Bloody Rose: