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Star Wars: Doctor Aphra

Written By: Sarah Kuhn

Published By: Del Rey

Reviewed By: Melissa Minners

               I had some gift card money to spend.  What better way than to buy one of the new Star Wars novels.  They’re a little pricey and I needed to save some dough.  Free is a great price!  So, I decided to pick up a couple of Star Wars books.  One of those picks was Star Wars: Doctor Aphra by Sarah Kuhn.

               In this novel, we are introduced to Dr. Cheli Lona Aphra, an archeologist who doesn’t like to follow the rules.  Curious about all things electronic, Dr. Aphra believes in unearthing these things to discover their potential, even if that potential can be deadly.  Her work has caught the attention of a certain Dark Lord of the Sith who seeks her assistance in getting back into the good graces of Emperor Palpatine after the destruction of the Death Star.  She is intrigued by Darth Vader and decides to take on a few jobs for him.

               As she completes tasks for her new boss, she begins to learn things about him…things he might not really want her to know, such as who this mysterious Luke Skywalker that Vader has been searching for really is.  Soon, Aphra finds herself on Vader’s bad side.  For one thing, Aphra has started to piece together the Skywalker puzzle.  And then there is that whole getting captured by the Rebels and running into her old girlfriend.  When Dr. Aphra does something, she does it full on, and when she gets in trouble, that trouble is usually something most won’t come back from.  Has Aphra finally taken on more than she can handle?

               First, I want to warn readers about some things regarding this book.  Star Wars: Doctor Aphra is actually written in screenplay fashion.  Had I known that I probably would have left it on the shelf.  Not that I mind screenplays all that much, but they aren’t really my cup of tea.  Of course, this is no one’s fault.  Buyer beware – open the book and really check it out before you make the purchase.  My second warning: if you are looking for a serious Star Wars novel, look elsewhere.  Dr. Aphra is a comedy for the most part.  This definitely was not something I was expecting.

               That’s not to say that Sarah Kuhn didn’t come up with an interesting read.  Dr. Aphra is a rather intriguing character – super intelligent, obsessed with technology and puzzle solving, hard on the outside with a soft spot on the inside.  The story is full of chases, fights, explosions and the like for all those action fans out there and tagging along as Aphra solves the puzzle of who Luke Skywalker is to Vader is somewhat fun.  We even get to learn about Aphra’s romantic side, something she shows almost no one. 

               And yet, I couldn’t really root for Aphra the way I do most Star Wars characters.  I actually cringed at all the silly parts of the novel…sorry, screenplay.  Being a screenplay, the read was fast, but the characters didn’t draw me in.  Another thing that bothered me was how quickly and often Luke Skywalker was neutralized and kidnapped in this book.  A little hard to believe if you ask me.  Completists will want to get Star Wars: Doctor Aphra for their collection, but serious Star Wars fans could probably skip this adventure without regret.

Get Star Wars Doctor Aphra at Amazon


Published by Melissa Minners

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