Star Wars: Heir To The Jedi by Kevin Hearne (book review).

June 20, 2015 | By | Reply More

As 2015 lumbers on with all the speed and grace of an AT-AT on Dagobah, Del Rey books (Century reprints in the UK) continue to publish some ‘Star Wars’ novels that had been slated for release prior to the great continuity severance of 2014. ‘Star Wars: Heir To The Jedi’ by Kevin Hearne is one such title in which Luke Skywalker describes an adventure extracting one of the Empire’s top hackers on behalf of the Rebellion.#

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The first ‘Star Wars’ novel to be written in the first person since Michael A. Stackpole’s ‘I, Jedi’, ‘Heir To The Jedi’ presents Luke as a still green Rebel officer, famous to some for being the pilot who destroyed the Death Star, nervous but enthusiastic and coming to terms with his emerging power to use the Force. This means that the tone of voice isn’t completely that of the ‘cocky kid’ fresh from Tattooine, this Luke is a little more smart and inclined to think twice before leaping into danger.

Set between ‘A New Hope’ and ‘The Empire Strikes Back’, the Rebel fleet is on the run from Imperial Navy, hiding in the Outer Rim. In order to keep tabs on Imperial communications, they decide they need a ‘slicer’ to decode transmissions. Luke is dispatched by Princess Leia and Admiral Ackbar to extract a cryptographer named Drusil from under the noses of the Empire. To do this, he is not only accompanied by R2D2, but also a spunky Rebel recruit called Nakari Kelen.

It is the relationship between Luke and Nakari that underscores much of the book, giving Luke the encouragement he needs to trust his instincts and pursue his Jedi calling. Throw in a number of space battles and a sequence on a hostile planet that recalls ‘Alien’ rather than Lucas’ movies and if you’ve got a fast-paced SF action story that romps along nicely.

While I enjoyed ‘Heir To The Jedi’, the ending perhaps feels a little flat, throwing a new group of antagonists into the mix at the last moment. There is no real face to the Imperial force that pursues Luke and Nakari on their mission. You wonder if there were characters in mind, but they got removed when the ‘Legends’ declaration was made.

This is a fun ‘Star Wars’ novel. Kevin Hearne has managed to get the cross-genre trick that the saga is famous for right and the novel blends space opera, espionage and romance well. A novel for which even the casual ‘Star Wars’ fan can pass the time with while waiting for ‘The Force Awakens’

John Rivers

June 2015

(pub: Del Rey/Ballantine Books. 267 page hardback. Price: $28.00 (US), $34.00 (CAN). ISBN: 978-0-345-54485-8)

check out websites: www.delreybooks.com and www.KevinHearne.com

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Category: Books, MEDIA, Star Wars

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