This book boiled down to “Just how did Luke get so good at using a lightsaber, anyway?” Which is an important question to ask, in the continuity between the films A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. Unfortunately, the reality of the the limitations established in the Star Wars universe at that point in time meant that the author of this book didn’t have a lot to work with.
He definitely did the best he could. The writing is of excellent quality, reading smoothly to this adult despite my being outside the intended audience’s age range. The planet Luke explores is also wonderfully detailed, expanding the Star Wars galaxy that bit much more. Unfortunately, it was everything that happened around the point of the book that intrigued me the most, whereas Luke’s actual training ended up feeling like the longest unnecessary training montage in a movie, ever.
Finally, an additional personal pet peeve is that Luke knows enough “droid” that it is irritating to be reduced to the same limitations as if we were watching this story play out on film, rather than being in Luke’s head. Though this is a media tie-in novel, it is still a novel, and a deeper point of view is possible.