Book Review: Heir to the Jedi

  • Author: Kevin Hearne
  • 287 pages
  • Published in 2015
  • Canon
  • Placement in Timeline: Just after A New Hope

What It’s About:

Luke Skywalker, hero of the Battle of Yavin, has volunteered for a dangerous mission for the Alliance: to extract a brilliant cryptographer being held by the Imperials to serve their own nefarious purposes.

With the help of an Alliance operative named Kanari Kelen, and her ship the Desert Jewel, their goal is to free the cryptographer, a Givin named Drusil Bephorin, being held on the planet Denon, and reunite her with her family on Omerath. In return, Drusil will help the Alliance against the Empire with her substantial codebreaking and slicing abilities.

Sounds pretty straightforward, but Luke encounters challenges and dangers all along the way, and has to use his talents as a pilot and Rebel fighter to get him out of some sticky situations. He also has to deal with his frustration at his lack of a teacher in the Force, as well as his growing feelings for Nakari.

My Thoughts:

Heir to the Jedi is a fairly quick, easy read, and I loved that it was told in Luke’s point of view. I don’t often see first-person POV in these books, but it was a perfect choice for telling this story.

The plot seems pretty simple, but as I mentioned, Luke encounters road blocks and problems all along the way that need to be solved before he can move on to the next step. At first, it just seemed like a series of crises and fires to be put out one after another, but when I thought about it, it made sense considering the mission.

The character of Drusil Bephorin, the Givin cryptographer, is brilliant in mathematics, as is all of her species, and looks at the world from a mathematical point of view. They even greet each other with “math greetings,” offering mathematical equations as a way of saying hello.

I’m not sure if the author intended this, but to me, the whole plot is one long mathematical equation: tackle one part of the problem, solve it, and then move on to the next part of it, until a solution is reached. Pretty neat. But don’t worry; the story isn’t dry or boring like your math homework–there’s plenty of action and some sweet romance thrown in to make it entertaining.

I liked revisiting this young, pre-Jedi Luke who didn’t really know what the heck he was doing with the Force. What he learned from Ben Kenobi wasn’t very much, really, and he was on his own to figure it all out, at least until he goes to Dagobah to train with Yoda. This is also the Luke who doesn’t know Vader is his father, and it’s poignant to see him wondering about his father and what happened to him.

I liked the book, but after reading comparatively dense tomes like Bloodline and Kenobi, it seemed like Star Wars-light. But if you want an action-packed, pre-ESB Luke adventure, this one’s for you.

Rating: 3 out of 5 lightsabers.

For an excerpt from Heir to the Jedi, go here.

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