Sunday, January 12, 2014

Razor's Edge (Empire and Rebellion #1) by Martha Wells

 Razor's Edge (Empire and Rebellion #1) by Martha Wells
Synopsis: Times are desperate for the Rebel Alliance. Harassment by the Empire and a shortage of vital supplies are hindering completion of a new secret base on the ice planet Hoth. So when Mid Rim merchants offer much-needed materials for sale, Princess Leia Organa and Han Solo lead an Alliance delegation to negotiate a deal.

But when treachery forces the rebel ship to flee into territory controlled by pirates, Leia makes a shocking discovery: the fierce marauders come from Leia’s homeworld of Alderaan, recently destroyed by the Death Star. These refugees have turned to pillaging and plundering to survive—and they are in debt to a pirate armada, which will gladly ransom the princess to the vengeful Empire . . . if they find out her true identity.

Struggling with intense feelings of guilt, loyalty, and betrayal, Leia is determined to help her wayward kinspeople, even as Imperial forces are closing in on her own crippled ship. Trapped between lethal cutthroats and brutal oppressors, Leia and Han, along with Luke, Chewbacca, and a battle-ready crew, must defy death—or embrace it—to keep the rebellion alive.

Review: This was a very traditional and familiar Star Wars story. While this was good in some ways, such as making it familiar and fitting to the Star Wars universe it also made it lacking in originality. Almost every plot point I had seen in one Star Wars story or another.

While it is set between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back, it does very little to connect the two movies, there are some references the Death Star and talk about plans for Echo Base but these instances are few and far between, and the story could have almost been set at any point in the Rebellion Era.

The cast of characters from the movies were portrayed well and were fitting for their personalities at this point in their journey. The story focuses mostly on Han and Leia and their underlying attraction and tension came across well. Leia is especially well written, she is strong on the surface but has self doubt, fears and guilt over what she has gone through. Chewie, Luke and Threepio also appeared a little in the story and their personalities were on target, Threepio provided some comical moments.

The main cast of good characters were a little to perfect however, they were always able to come up with plans that either worked perfectly or they could alter on the fly to succeed. They also were always able to correctly interpret events and what others were planning even it was unrealistic for them to do so due to a lack of information.

The rest of the cast of good characters was okay but nothing special, I would have liked to have seen more played with the Alderaanion pirates and what they had been up to.

The cast of evil characters was fairly weak and they never really felt like a threat. The danger from the pirate leader was undermined by constant reminders of how everyone working for her was unhappy and seemed ready to betray her as soon as the situation presented itself. The commander of the imperial vessel also never seemed dangerous, he had a fairly weak spacecraft, he wasn’t a particularly intelligent commander or tactician and didn’t have and powers that the characters would need to be scared of.

Overall this was an okay Star Wars story, but if you have read many before you will probably be very familiar with the plot and find it predictable. The characters from the movies were well portrayed but the rest of the cast I found lacking.

In full disclosure I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway.

Rating: ***

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