Star Wars: Razor’s Edge (Empire and Rebellion) by Martha Wells: A book review

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Star Wars: Razor’s Edge (Empire and Rebellion) by Martha Wells: A Book Review

The Star Wars Expanded Universe is quite large; I haven’t read nearly all the books, though I admit I have read quite a few!  And yes, I am a bit of a Star Wars geek.  Or nerd.  Whichever you prefer.  It would be so nice to go back and read them all in order, but with all the other books I have to read or rather want to read…that would be impossible.  Razor’s Edge falls earlier in the timeline—in between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back so it is a nice foray back into an earlier time if you’ve been keeping up with the latest novelsThis book was provided to me by the publisher to review, but the review is my own and honest opinion.

The Good:

Razor’s Edge is a tale of Princess Leia Organa and Han Solo that, as I mentioned before, takes place after A New Hope.  They are on a mission to secure supplies for the Rebel Alliance’s new base—the base that appears on the ice planet of Hoth in Empire.  Alderaan has still been recently destroyed, and Leia, as well as other native Alderaanians, are still coming to grips with it and all their family and friends being gone.  When Leia discovers an Alderaanian ship being used for piracy, she, for obvious reasons, gets a little upset.  The book explores how the people of Alderaan feel about the Empire and the Rebel Alliance, and explores their motives for what they do after becoming planetless.  With the jump between the two movies, and not too many books being made from between that time period, I found it interesting to think more about just what it would mean to have your entire planet destroyed.

The book’s plot is interesting—there are plenty of pirates involved and interesting battle scenes.  Leia is still developing her diplomatic skills as well—even though she has been a Senator and obviously is already very skilled politically, she is nowhere near the level she attains after several years with the Rebel Alliance, and even after she becomes Chief of State in later books.  In the meantime, the Rebel Alliance is fighting to stay strong as after the destruction of the Death Star as the Empire is more determined than ever to stamp them out.  There are spies everywhere, and keeping ahead of them is a challenge.

One thing I love about these in between books is seeing Han and Leia’s growing relationship.  Leia is determined not to allow her feelings for Han to show or even to think about them.  There is one scene that I thought was great where she was thinking about his “warm skin and hard muscle” and forced herself to put it out of her mind in order to focus on the situation at hand.  And then you have Han, who is so obviously feeling protective of Leia throughout the whole book that you almost believe he isn’t a scoundrel after all.  I actually thought that was a downfall of the book—Han was almost too good.

The Bad:

Star Wars is supposed to have Luke Skywalker in it.  Luke was in this a little bit—he was mostly back at the base with Chewbacca and the Millenium Falcon performing repairs—but he did have a bit of action, though not enough.  I’m sure this book meant to focus on Han and Leia and their development as characters and their roles in the Alliance, but really, I wanted to see Luke a bit more.

In terms of overall storyline of Star Wars, there wasn’t a whole lot in this book.  It is a stand-alone story in between the two movies and after other books that have taken place in that time period, but other than the fact that they were trying to obtain supplies to build a base on Hoth, there were not a lot of connecting storylines.  The plot, while good, was lacking real depth.  It seemed to drag a bit at times as well, though I had no trouble getting through the almost 300 pages quickly.

The Verdict:

Read:  If you enjoy the Star Wars universe, this is a good story of the original characters and will help fill your lust for all things Star Wars.

Don’t Read:  If you haven’t read a ton of the Expanded Universe books, I would suggest spending your time reading those that occur after the movies as they actually expand on the story of the Jedi, instead of filling things in between movies as this one does.

Written by Heidi V

Heidi is a co-creator and writer at Definitely Not for the Birds (DNFB). She is an avid reader, a diehard Badger fan, and knows from experience that a good hike can solve almost any ailment. Follow Heidi @heidi_5 and DNFB @not4birds.