Heirs of the Force, by Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta

October 22, 2011 at 13:13 (Book Reviews, Fiction, Poorly Rated Books, Science Fiction, Star Wars Saturday!) (, , , , , , , )

1/10

It was a bad idea to spin off the Star Wars adventures onto the shoulders of Han and Leia’s offspring. It was also evidently a bad idea to give this task to Kevin J. Anderson and his wife: together they slavishly follow the formula of the original movies (a dynamic and witty brother and sister with a lumbering Wookie friend and a slightly shady and occasionally violent companion) without any of the charm or excitement that even the worst forays into the Star Wars universe have managed.

“Determind to start a real conversation with the new trainee, Jacen cast about in his mind for a good question. So, Lowie, how much stuff do you need to move in? Naw, that was a stupid question.”-Heirs of the Force

The plot of this book is pathetically weak, revolving around the discovery of an Imperial pilot castaway around the corner from the Jedi School (with suspicious similarities and outcomes to the children’s classic The Machine Gunners, by Robert Westall). But apart from this unlikely array of coincidences, Heirs of the Force devolves incredibly quickly into a snail-paced journal of how Jacen, Jaina, their pet Wookie and horrifyingly awful droid, manage their lives and friendships. It is no secret that the Young Jedi Knights series is a cheap and tawdry school story; and this goes no further than the first meeting in the dormitory, where friendships are made and we learn a little more about these characters.

This might be tedious but acceptable if there were actually anything to learn about the characters. Instead, on almost every one of those two hundred pages we are barraged with reminders that Jaina’s “thing” is her mechanical abilities, or that Tenal Ka’s “thing” is that she’s angry and sort-of gothy. Nobody progresses any further, although this book does handily incapsulate everything that is wrong with Star Wars books, besides helpfully warning any prospective readers well away from the equally appalling Young Jedi Knights series.

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