Author – Kevin Hearne
Cover Artist – Larry Rostant
Publisher – Arrow (UK); Del Rey (US)
Release Date – 26th November 2015 (UK); 3rd March 2015 (US)
Available Formats – Hardback, paperback, eBook and Audiobook
ISBN-10 – 1780892616
ISBN-13 – 978-1780892610
Timeline – 0 ABY (After Battle of Yavin)
Luke Skywalker’s game-changing destruction of the Death Star has made him not only a hero of the Rebel Alliance but a valuable asset in the ongoing battle against the Empire. Though he’s a long way from mastering the power of the Force, there’s no denying his phenomenal skills as a pilot―and in the eyes of Rebel leaders Princess Leia Organa and Admiral Ackbar, there’s no one better qualified to carry out a daring rescue mission crucial to the Alliance cause.
A brilliant alien cryptographer renowned for her ability to breach even the most advanced communications systems is being detained by Imperial agents determined to exploit her exceptional talents for the Empire’s purposes. But the prospective spy’s sympathies lie with the Rebels, and she’s willing to join their effort in exchange for being reunited with her family. It’s an opportunity to gain a critical edge against the Empire that’s too precious to pass up. It’s also a job that demands the element of surprise. So Luke and the ever-resourceful droid R2-D2 swap their trusty X-wing fighter for a sleek space yacht piloted by brash recruit Nakari Kelen, daughter of a biotech mogul, who’s got a score of her own to settle with the Empire.
Challenged by ruthless Imperial bodyguards, death-dealing enemy battleships, merciless bounty hunters, and monstrous brain-eating parasites, Luke plunges head-on into a high-stakes espionage operation that will push his abilities as a Rebel fighter and would-be Jedi to the limit. If ever he needed the wisdom of Obi-Wan Kenobi to shepherd him through danger, it’s now. But Luke will have to rely on himself, his friends, and his own burgeoning relationship with the Force to survive.
I was a little late to the party with some of the new-canon era novels, but I had the opportunity to read Heir to the Jedi while on a recent holiday.
Never judge a book by the cover they say, but I must say, I really do like the artwork. It’s a great illustration of Luke with his lightsaber with TIE fighters in the background. On the rear we have Artoo with some of his connector arms outstretched. Larry Rostant has made great use of colours making the cover very bright and attractive on the shelf. You can see the image of Luke is a merger of Luke from A New Hope and from Empire. You can still see the young farm boy, but at the same time you can see he is now growing up.
The story begins not long after the destruction of the first Death Star and follows the life of the reluctant hero of the hour; Luke Skywalker. Luke’s status has changed on a stellar scale from farm boy going nowhere to hero of the Rebellion. He is going through a personal struggle to find his feet in the galaxy, but more importantly it is the start of his path to wanting to become a Jedi like his father.
Obi-Wan had briefly introduced him to the ways of the Jedi in their time together on their journey from the Jundland Wastes to what remained of Alderaan and ultimately on to the Death Star. Luke needs to find out more, but in a galaxy where the Jedi have been purged and their existence eradicated to a virtual myth, this is proving difficult to say the least.
While undertaking missions for the Rebel Alliance, his journeys take him to new worlds and he finds allies in unusual places. Operating under the noses of the Imperials in the depths of the Alliance’s spy network and getting involved in the underbelly of Bounty Hunters and arms dealer’s turns up some surprising events.
On one of these missions he finds a friend and in a way a love interest in Nakari Kelen. Their missions together bring them ever closer and this develops into a burgeoning romance. Luke is torn by his feelings for Nakari as he still feels something for Leia. This’s obviously causes an insecurity with Luke where he is unsure of how he feels.
The Givin, Drusil, is a very unusual character from a species briefly encountered in Chalmun’s Cantina on Tatooine. As a Cryptographer, her mathematical ability rivals Artoo and Threepio put together and you can see her value to the Empire and even more so to the Alliance.
One thing I found very refreshing about the way Kevin Hearne approached this novel was it’s written more like a memoir or a journal from Luke’s point of view rather than just a story told about him.
Heir to the Jedi was an easy to read book and flowed at a good pace. It introduces us to new worlds and interesting characters within a solid plot line. Although not a particularly long book, but it is light and the journal style, brings Luke’s insecurities to the fore. A worthwhile read for any Star Wars reader.
Heir to the Jedi is readily available at all good book stores and through online retailers including Amazon with a RRP of £8.99. It is also available in eBook and Audiobook formats.