Book Review: Star Wars: Razor’s Edge by Martha Wells
Genre: Science Fiction
Series: Star Wars, Empire and Rebellion #1
Date of Publication: September 24, 2013
Author Info: www.marthawells.com
With thanks to NetGalley and Del Rey Spectra for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Speculation continues to fly as news and rumours permeate the internet about the new Star Wars trilogy. Meanwhile, the books and comics have suspiciously returned to the past. The Star Wars expanded universe is vaaaaaaast, yet, surprisingly, very little of it has explored the ins and outs around the original trilogy.
Razor’s Edge takes place shortly after A New Hope with the rebels in desperate need of a new secret base. Leaked information puts their attempt to set up on Hoth in peril, and we find Leia and Han in just such a situation at the beginning of the book when their ship is attacked by Imperials. But there is more to the aftermath of A New Hope that this book addresses: Remember that planet Darth Vader and Moff Tarkin blew up? Well that was Leia Organa’s home and she has taken its destruction entirely onto her own shoulders. And there happen to be other survivors who deal with the destruction of their world in various ways.
That isn’t to say this entire story is about Leia and the displaced Alderaanians going to PTSD meetings, but the weight of their loss remains a strong aspect of the story that the movies didn’t have time to address. Leia is more than irked when she discovers an Alderaanian ship has opted to go pirate rather than join the Alliance and is drawn into conflict with its captain, Metara.
With Leia as the focus, we are reminded of just how strong of a character she is. She is more than just a symbol to her people. She is a born leader and it’s implied that she sometimes has to fight harder with the higher ups to be allowed to lead as opposed to simply be the Alliance poster girl. Proving herself to them means all the more to a perfectionist who hates making mistakes. Her wisdom, intelligence, sense of responsibility, courage and stoicism sometimes make it difficult to remember that she’s barely into her twenties.
Wells introduces some interesting new species, something I expected after reading her world and culture building talents in The Cloud Roads. She also introduces several new characters, but they are not much more than plot devices – red shirts, if you will – who mostly serve as targets for Han’s snark. Even Luke, Chewie and the droids play only a minor role. This isn’t a bad thing though, with the focus so heavily on Leia and subsequently Han. These two are my original OTP so I was quite happy to spend all this time with them and enjoyed their attempts to not admit their mutual attraction.
Beyond or underlying all of the above is typical good old fashioned Star Wars adventure that should please fans.