Aftermath: Life Debt by Chuck Wendig (Star Wars)

Aftermath: Life Debt by Chuck Wendig (Star Wars)Aftermath: Life Debt (Star Wars: Aftermath, #2) by Chuck Wendig
Published by Del Rey on July 19th 2016
Pages: 430
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Set between the events of "Return of the Jedi" and "The Force Awakens, "the never-before-told story that began with "Star Wars: Aftermath" continues in this thrilling novel, the second book of Chuck Wendig s "New York Times" bestselling trilogy. "It is a dark time for the Empire. . . ." The Emperor is dead, and the remnants of his former Empire are in retreat. As the New Republic fights to restore a lasting peace to the galaxy, some dare to imagine new beginnings and new destinies. For Han Solo, that means settling his last outstanding debt, by helping Chewbacca liberate the Wookiee s homeworld of Kashyyyk. Meanwhile, Norra Wexley and her band of Imperial hunters pursue Grand Admiral Rae Sloane and the Empire s remaining leadership across the galaxy. Even as more and more officers are brought to justice, Sloane continues to elude the New Republic, and Norra fears Sloane may be searching for a means to save the crumbling Empire from oblivion. But the hunt for Sloane is cut short when Norra receives an urgent request from Princess Leia Organa. The attempt to liberate Kashyyyk has carried Han Solo, Chewbacca, and a band of smugglers into an ambush resulting in Chewie s capture and Han s disappearance. Breaking away from their official mission and racing toward the "Millennium Falcon" s last known location, Norra and her crew prepare for any challenge that stands between them and their missing comrades. But they can t anticipate the true depth of the danger that awaits them or the ruthlessness of the enemy drawing them into his crosshairs. Praise for Chuck Wendig s "Aftermath" "Star Wars: Aftermath "[reveals] what happened "after" the events of 1983 s "Return of the Jedi." It turns out, there s more than just the Empire for the good guys to worry about. "The Hollywood Reporter" The Force is strong with "Star Wars: Aftermath." " Alternative Nation" "" The "Star Wars" universe is fresh and new again, and just as rich and mysterious as it always was. "Den of Geek""

I have mixed feelings about this book – it is a more realistic look at the aftermath of the death of the Emperor in Return of the Jedi, and it has some personal moments of action and adventure. On the other hand, so much of the novel is bound up in talking about political issues, both as they are occurring in the Star Wars universe, and serving as analogies of what is happening in the real world. I did enjoy the first book in this trilogy, which I reviewed several years ago, but like the first book, I felt Life Debt left something to be desired when it came to the action-packed Star Wars adventures that I had come to love in the ‘Legends’ series.

The main protagonists from the first book return, and are well-realised, with the psychotic killer droid being a particular highlight. Leia and Han play more of a role in this novel, with the impending birth of their son providing tension and the basic inciting incident, as Han attempts to find and free his Wookiee co-pilot, and in the process free the Wookiee race from under the Empire’s thumb.

I did like that this book continued filling in the blanks between the events of the original movie trilogy and the new trilogy, and in that respect it fills a very necessary function. But there was a whole lot of teenage angst, and family drama that made it hard to wade through at times. Politics is probably not Star Wars strongest suit, and oftentimes conversations in this book get bogged down in the relative values of a bunch of planets I have never heard or, nor particularly care about. However, I can see that this is an important step in setting up the separation of the New Republic and the insurgency which are mentioned in Episode VII.

Overall I think this book will appeal to people looking for more information about what happened between the events of the original trilogy, and the current crop of movies. New readers to the Star Wars universe, or people looking for a bit more action in their Star Wars books, may struggle.

 

three-half-stars
Rating Report
Plot
three-stars
Characters
three-half-stars
Writing
three-stars
Pacing
two-half-stars
Cover
four-stars
Overall: three-stars

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