Postcards From a Dying World
News, views, book reviews and commentary from the Science Fiction and Horror fiction underground. Home of the Wonderland award nominated author of Vegan Revolution...With Zombies and Boot Boys of the Wolf Reich.
Monday, September 5, 2016
Book Review: Star Wars Aftermath: Life Debit by Chuck Wendig
Star Wars Aftermath: Life Debit by Chuck Wendig
Hardcover, 430 pages
Published July 19th 2016 by Del Rey
I surprised by the slew of one star reviews on this book. I have read plenty of bad Star Wars novels, and frankly I am surprised to see how poorly this book was received. I admit when i first heard that Disney and LucasFilm were ejecting the EU I was disappointed as someone who spent many hours of my life reading books in the EU. Creatively I understand why they are doing it. I enjoyed the first book of the aftermath Trilogy and was blown away by the Claudia Grey novel Bloodline.
As for Life Debt, I enjoyed the ride and more than anything this felt like a trip in the Star Wars universe. Wendig has done a cool thing with the structure of these books. Telling the story of of a Galaxy spanning collapse of empire is hard thing to do. He has effectively captured this by spreading out around the galaxy in interlude that become like unconnected short stories. It a neat bit of foreshadowing the plot of the second book was hinted at in a interlude in the first book.
It was clear to me that Wendig would focus the second book the liberation of the Wookie homeworld Kashyyyk. I admit I was a little worried with Han and the Falcon which graces the cover had not appeared by the page 100 mark. That not totally bad to me since I really like the characters Wendig has created. Norra Wexley is an excellent character, I enjoyed both her and her son. The idea of her team which includes ex-imperial loyalty officer, a bounty hunter and battle droid hunting escaped Imperials was cool enough to me to carry novels on their own.
the story centers around this team who Leia hires to find a lost Han Solo who left to find a captured Chewbacca. The treachery inside the empire, the fumbles of the new republic help to make sense of the events we saw in episode 7. Those events drives the plot which I feel was well organized with perfect three tiered Star Wars action at the end.
If there was a weakness to the novel for me were several of it's elements deserved to be expanded into their own books. Like the team hunting War criminals the resistance on the Wookie homeworld could easily have carried a whole novel. It felt like those cool elements were brushed over.
I have seen a few reviewes that complained about Wendig's writing. Yes he has a few moments that took me out of the story when a character would fall to the "Earth," or non-Star wars elements. Those are nitpicks I care far more that the story felt grounded in the universe by way of character. I am excited for the third book.