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Star Wars: Legacy of the Force: Bloodlines
Karen Traviss
Lucas Books / Del Rey, 380 pages

Star Wars: Legacy of the Force: Bloodlines
Karen Traviss
Karen Traviss is a full-time novelist, but also works as a journalist and spin-doctor. Most of her working life has been spent in TV and newspapers doing such work as an advertising copywriter, a media liaison officer for the police, a journalism lecturer, a public relations manager and a defence correspondent. She now lives in Devizes, in the heart of Wiltshire (just north of Stonehenge) but she is originally from Portsmouth, home of the Royal Navy, Charles Dickens and Peter Sellers.

Karen Traviss Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: City of Pearl and Crossing the Line

Past Feature Reviews
A review by David Maddox

The Galactic Alliance sits at a dangerous croscsroads. On one hand, they need to maintain order in a galaxy still recovering from war. On the other, too much implied force could result in turning into a perceived new version of the Empire.

Jedi Knights lead by Grand Master Luke Skywalker attempt to keep Corellia from building a personal war machine and throwing the universe into turmoil. Meanwhile, Han Solo and Leia Organa-Solo find themselves viewed as traitors by both sides. Han's arrogant cousin Thrackan Sal-Solo continues to push for Corellian independence and Chief Omas, head of the Galactic Alliance is forced to create the 967 Galactic Alliance Guard, an elite team of faceless troopers clad in black body armor which harkens back to darker days.

Karen Traviss' Star Wars: Legacy of the Force - Bloodlines, the second installment in Del Rey's nine-part Star Wars Expanded Universe story arc, is full of mystery, political intrigue and familiar characters. However, much like its predecessor Betrayal, the main focus isn't so much the classic characters, but their offspring.

The overall story is the fall of Jacen Solo. Since the first installment, the Solo's son is slowly being manipulated by Lumiya, a woman from Luke's past. She has the headstrong Jedi convinced that galactic order can only be brought to the galaxy through the teachings of the Sith. Jacen believes that as long as he remains detached and pursues selflessness, not personal power, he'll be safe from the lure of the Dark Side.

However, Jacen becomes so detached that he doesn't realize the choices he's making are unjust, coupled with the fact that he's dragging his apprentice Ben Skywalker down with him. Jacen even goes so far as to accept the rank of colonel in charge of the GAG and has become known for torturing prisoners... possibly to death. The similarities between grandson's army and Vader's 501st are frightening.

The real driving force of the book is Boba Fett. Now in his seventies, the enigmatic bounty hunter is facing his own mortality and has embarked on a quest to find the daughter he abandoned when he was 16. He also need to find some Kaminoan data to prolong his life. Traviss really enjoys writing Fett and gives him such full dimensions in the story that one almost wishes the novel were entirely about him.

One of the more interesting elements of this series is how, now that all six films have been released, it pulls from all facets of the Star Wars Universe. There is a reference to Mace Windu in a flashback from Episode I, followed by a current Jedi Council meeting that includes member Kyle Katarn of the Dark Forces/Jedi Knight video games.

Bloodlines is full of emotion, well rounded characters and surprising twists that fit seamlessly into the Star Wars Universe. As we're well into the future of "A Long Time Ago," there's also the freedom to have things change, have characters grow and even... die. There are seven more novels to go and this one whets the appetite for what's to come.

Copyright © 2006 David Maddox

David Maddox
Science fiction enthusiast David Maddox has been many things, including Star Trek characters and the Riddler in a Batman stunt show. He holds a degree in Cinema from San Francisco State University, and has written several articles for various SF sites as well as the Star Wars Insider and the Star Trek Communicator. He spends his time working on screenplays and stories, acting on stage and screen and giving tours at Universal Studios Hollywood.

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