Sunday, November 15, 2015

Heir to the Jedi by Kevin Hearne

From Goodreads:

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 had been eagerly awaiting getting my hands on this from the library as soon as I learned it existed. I love Kevin Hearne's Iron Druid series so much that he's catapulted to one of my favorite authors.   What better combo could there be, a favorite author writing in one of the most iconic Sci-Fi worlds of our time, which I admittedly have not read many books set in, I think two previously to be honest.  So I was ready for greatness, but then the other reviews started rolling in, and they weren't all glowing.  Many were disappointed, I think basically expecting Iron Druid IN SPACE! and that wasn't what they got.

So I adjusted my sights, much like Armada in my previous review, and decided to appreciate it for what it was, because again, how could it possibly measure up to our expectations?  Here's why: Star Wars for crying out loud.  Like our expectations aren't already over the moon and out of the galaxy?  Especially with the Force Awakens looming on the horizon. Iron Druid is fabulous, because it's Kevin's world and he can do whatever he wants in it.  But Star Wars, whoa, not so fast.  Star Wars is this sacred, untouchable behemoth that must follow rules, with already established characters who must act a certain way.  Not only that, but this book is entirely from the point of view of one of the BIG THREE, Luke Skywalker.  I can only imagine Kevin's excitement and terror at writing this.  OMG Luke!  OMG What if I get it wrong?  Thinking about all of the constraints, Iron Druid isn't Sci-Fi by the way, it takes place on good ol' Earth, and also some meta physical planes, but NOT SPACE, I think he did a fine job and I really enjoyed it.  Luke seems a little goofy at times, but come on, he was goofy!  This takes place right after the first movie, when he's blown up the Death Star, but still has no real idea how to use The Force.  He's still young, and a strange mixture of seasoned from all the people he has lost, and the battles he's fought, but still naive in many ways. 

I actually listened to the audio read by Marc Thompson and it was a lot of fun!  He does the different voices very well and I look forward to listening to more Star Wars books read by him.  There was also ongoing background noise, of the space ports, of the battles, and also R2-D2, because he's such a character in his own right.  It was sometimes distracting, and silly, like the dramatic music playing during the noodle episode, but I overall I liked it and it helped add to the Star Wars atmosphere.

I think we have a tendency to judge too many books by their predecessors in other genre's or content that isn't fair, it's judging apples and oranges.  I am also admittedly not a stickler for following canon, or getting the image exactly right.  I just want a good story in a world I enjoy and that's what I got here.  So right on Kevin, *high five* to you for getting to write a Star Wars book, I'm excited for you that you did and for me that I got to share it with you!

1 comment:

  1. The hardest thing with books sometimes is that some we start with very specific expectations. And if it's by an author we already know, those expectations can be sky-high (at least that's usually the case for me). I love authors who go outside of their usual genre, though, so if I know that a book is set in another universe, I try not to make myself believe that I'll get a mix of this new universe and the one I already know and love.
    I'm glad you enjoyed Heir to the Jedi, even if it was different from the Iron Druid series, Shaunesay :) Great review.
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

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