Positive Novels

Positive Novels

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Star Wars: Razor's Edge: Empire and Rebellion

Star Wars: Razor's Edge: Empire and Rebellion is the first book in a new series set in the early days of the Rebellion (YAY!!!!!) named Empire and Rebellion.  I am just SO happy about this, you don't even understand. Star Wars has just been depressing me more and more lately with their downward spiral toward dark and depressing storylines. Star Wars has pretty much ALWAYS skirted the line between light and dark (naturally) with the Dark Side of the Force being a real thing in the universe the stories are set in. But man, lately with the last few series, we have had to deal with authors killing off favorite characters, characters turning to the Dark Side, and just general death, destruction and mayhem. I am actually quite hopeful that since the Extended Universe has never been considered canon by Lucas (see Karen Traviss and her abrupt cancellation of her series, and her vow to never do Star Wars again after they retconned her series and screwed her) that with Disney now owning Star Wars we can just ignore what has come before, and start over with more stuff like we are getting now in Empire and Rebellion. I hope this new series harkens back to the early days of the novels like the X-Wing series, the Thrawn series, and the early stuff featuring Han and Leia's children. I would like more Star Wars goodness, and less death and destruction please. If the authors they have to work with aren't willing to do that because it isn't edgey enough, I hope they find different authors like Martha Wells. Timothy Zhan has been reliable in the past, as has Elaine Cunningham, Michael A. Stackpole and Aaron Allston. Use them, and anyone else willing to write fun sci-fi stuff, without resorting to killing off characters to try to seem edgier and more unpredictable in their writing. One of the things I LIKE about Star Wars is that the bad guys may gain the upper hand every now and then, but the good guys always get to walk away from the table. I am OK with the occasional background or side character getting killed off, but trying to port in the George R. R. Martin (an author who's work I loathe) school of writing where main characters can and will be killed off randomly, is a HUGE no-no with me.

Anyway, with that little rant done with, let's talk Razor's Edge. We are back in the heyday of the rebellion, Leia JUST saw Alderaan get destroyed, and the Death Star blown up. Han is still hanging around -- and doesn't know why (but does know he likes Leia), and Luke is still a junior Jedi-in-training. In other words, we are in the classic Star Wars universe, everything is just like we remember it from the movies, and nobody has died yet! YAY!

The book tells the story of Leia on a mission with a General Willard (a new general we've never heard of) aboard a converted freighter (NOT the Falcon) to get supplies for the Rebellion to help build their new, as-yet-to-be-built base, code named Echo Base. On their way to the meeting, their ship falls under Imperial attack and they have to flee to a nearby system for repairs and safety. That's where the book really takes off.

When they arrive in the system, they see a ship from Alderaan's limited military/defense force acting as a pirate. Leia is, understandably, upset and demands to speak with them. The pirates are indeed from Alderaan and want to see her, as they recognize her as someone important from Alderaan. I won't spoil the book for you by giving away major plot points, but suffice it to say, the pirates are from Alderaan, their ship is an ex-Defense Force ship from Alderaan, turned pirate, and through a series of events, Leia, Han and a few members from her crew end up having to go along with the pirates to the pirate lair in the sector.

Luke and Chewie are in the book, but they mostly serve as background characters in this story. The majority of the story follows Han & Leia and their dealings with the pirates and the crew from the ship from Alderaan turned pirate. Leia brings Han with her to deal with the pirates, and 3 of her crew members: Davit, Kifar, and Sian (nobody we have heard about before now). Among the Alderaanians, we meet: Captain Metara, their leader; Kelvan, their Second in Command; and Terae an important crew-member on their ship (more or less 3rd in Command). The Alderaanians are struggling with their decision to turn pirate, and Leia is doing everything she can to show them how wrong that decision is.

However, that isn't the worst of their problems, the leader of the pirate lair they find themselves in, is a vicious cutthroat named Viest. She is out to keep the new Alderaanian crew for herself, and takes an instant dislike to Leia. There are other characters we meet in the book, but those are the major ones. The book revolves mostly around their struggles to deal with the pirate lair, Leia's struggles to set everything right, and Han's struggles to keep them all alive. The danger feels real in this book, but not too real. However, there is a death scene in the book where Viest kills someone most unpleasantly, but it isn't too graphic, and I would say falls inside the bounds of R-rated movie violence like you might find in a James Bond movie.

There is a nice write-up about the book over at the Star Wars website's blog. You should read it for their official take on the book. They are the source of the great graphic of a scene from the book I am showing here :)

I am VERY excited that they are launching a new series of books set in this timeline. I already have the next book, Empire and Rebellion: Honor Among Thieves pre-ordered. I really really hope you all read it too, so the series is successful, and the powers that be keep making more of them! :D

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