#FridayReads: Star Wars: Heir to the Jedi by Kevin Hearne

heir-to-the-jedi-star-wars-novelAs I am currently in California fangirling my heart out at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim, I thought it would be appropriate to feature the latest Star Wars book for my #FridayReads column.

Unfortunately, I am not enjoying the book so far. This disappoints me, because I have been looking forward to this title since it was announced last year, and then even more so after John Jackson Miller’s A New Dawn turned out to be totally awesome (I wrote about that on my work blog).

I haven’t gotten very far into Kevin Hearne’s Heir to the Jedi (which I keep calling Heir to the Empire in my head, because why would you even pick a title close to that?*), but Luke’s first-person narration is striking me as decidedly twenty-first century and not “a long time ago in a galaxy far far away.”

He says things like “frankly” and “that was an unexpected turn in the conversation.” And just… no. You never need to narrate things you can show, and you can easily show Luke’s surprise at the turn in conversation, even if we’re wholly in his head. And Luke Skywalker would never say “frankly.”

There’s also too much “I went here, and I did that, and for this reason” explanatory boringness. The writing itself isn’t awful or anything—like the sentences are real sentences and make sense—it’s just drab and unexciting.

I’m hoping the plot will heat up the further in I get, but I’m not super hopeful based on other reviews I’ve read.

*I am sure picking Heir to the Jedi as a title was a deliberate attempt to subvert Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire, the book that launched the now not-cannon Star Wars Expanded Universe into existence in a big way and has been the shining example of what a Star Wars book should be for the past twenty years. Unfortunately, Kevin Hearne’s book does not even come close to touching Zahn’s work. So it irks a bit. Just a bit.


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