BBY/ABY is used to position items along the Star Wars Timeline. BBY refers to Before the Battle of Yavin. ABY refers to After the Battle of Yavin. The Battle of Yavin in Episode IV: A New Hope occured in 0 BBY/ABY.
The Youtini Expanded Universe Ranking system is a 1-5 scale that ranks EU book quality, difficulty, and importance. Books closer to Level 1 are easier to read and understand, more important, and of higher quality.
Heir to the Jedi, published in 2015, was the third novel in the new canon and picks up just after a New Hope in the timeline. The novel describes a mission given to Luke by Admiral Ackbar, to go undercover and rescue a captured cryptographer that is being used by the Empire. Luke teams up with Nakari, who also desires to fight against the Empire, aboard her yacht, as the two undertake the espionage mission.
The novel is unique in its first-person narrative, giving us a look inside the mind of Luke just after the death of Obi-Wan and destruction of the first Death Star. It provides an interesting perspective on Luke acquiring new Force abilities as he learns more. Reviews on the novel are mixed and reception was generally lukewarm–the story is not outstanding, but it is recommended reading for fans of Luke Skywalker and those looking to read more about his exploits with the Rebellion.
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 think that with this book, if you don't have any specific expectations going in, it can be quite enjoyable. It was published shortly after the Disney acquisition, and was originally intended to be a part of the Empire and Rebellion series. However, with the Legends/Canon distinction cutting it off from the other two books, it can feel a bit out of place. However, I enjoyed it for the most part. While it wasn't necessarily a literary masterpiece, it was a fun adventure story that made me feel like I was playing an old-school Star Wars video game.
I almost put this book down for good when Luke started practicing his Force abilities on wet noodles. I'm pretty confident in saying this book is my least favorite canon novel so far, and it's going to take a lot for something to beat it out for last place. There were points it barely felt like a Star Wars book -- the first-person POV was jarring, the heavy focus on Luke having a love interest just didn't sit well with me. And did I mention the wet noodles? This book is classified as an adult novel, but I felt like I was forcing myself to sit through a story written for much younger audiences. This author could tell some amazing stories for young readers. Maybe his style just didn't work for me. I like my Star Wars with zero mention of noodle manipulation, personally.