SciFi Book Review: Star Wars: Aftermath

Star Wars: Aftermath by Chuck Wendig

The second Death Star has been destroyed, the Emperor killed, and Darth Vader struck down. Devastating blows against the Empire, and major victories for the Rebel Alliance. But the battle for freedom is far from over.

As the Empire reels from its critical defeats at the Battle of Endor, the Rebel Alliance—now a fledgling New Republic—presses its advantage by hunting down the enemy’s scattered forces before they can regroup and retaliate. But above the remote planet Akiva, an ominous show of the enemy’s strength is unfolding. Out on a lone reconnaissance mission, pilot Wedge Antilles watches Imperial Star Destroyers gather like birds of prey circling for a kill, but he’s taken captive before he can report back to the New Republic leaders.

Meanwhile, on the planet’s surface, former rebel fighter Norra Wexley has returned to her native world—war weary, ready to reunite with her estranged son, and eager to build a new life in some distant place. But when Norra intercepts Wedge Antilles’s urgent distress call, she realizes her time as a freedom fighter is not yet over. What she doesn’t know is just how close the enemy is—or how decisive and dangerous her new mission will be.

Determined to preserve the Empire’s power, the surviving Imperial elite are converging on Akiva for a top-secret emergency summit—to consolidate their forces and rally for a counterstrike. But they haven’t reckoned on Norra and her newfound allies—her technical-genius son, a Zabrak bounty hunter, and a reprobate Imperial defector—who are prepared to do whatever they must to end the Empire’s oppressive reign once and for all.

Following the events in The Return of the Jedi, the remaining leaders of the Empire conduct a secret meeting on Akiva. While the Rebel Alliance try to hunt them down. There are a few familiar characters such as Wedge and Ackbar. But for the most part, the main characters of this story are new. And there are quite a few.

Aftermath is written in present tense, which takes some getting used to, but I quickly forgot about it after awhile – the same with the Hunger Games trilogy. The numerous new characters were difficult to keep up with at first, making reading a bit slow. But about halfway through, the pacing picked up and the characters became easier to follow as several join forces.

There has been quite a lot of blacklash for this Star Wars installment. It’s certainly not a bad Star Wars novel. If you’re looking for a main character novel with Luke, Leia, and Han, pick up one of the children’s novels released this month that will center on those characters leading up to the movie release this winter. This story introduces new characters who become a team, a bit unorthodox and colorful. I enjoyed their adventure and the concentration on one planet’s battle between the Empire and Alliance. I look forward to reading the rest of the Journey to the Force Awakens releases as well.