Title // Star Wars: Aftermath – Life Debt
Author // Chuck Wendig
Publication Month // July 2016
Publisher // Del Rey
Genre // Sci-Fi, Film Tie-In
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.
Aftermath: Life Debt is a definite improvement on the first book in the series and I’m glad I read them back to back.
Following the events of Aftermath, all the main players are back – Norra and Temmin Wexley, Jas Emari, Sinjir Rath Velus, Jom Barell, and Mr. Bones – doing jobs for the New republic, hunting down the remaining vestiges of the Empire.
This novel felt like it had a more definite storyline – a purpose. Norra’s team are hunting down Sloane, who in turn is unraveling the mystery of what remains of the Empire. Eventually Norra’s team are tasked with tracking down Han Solo and Chewie when they disappear after an ill-fated attempt at liberating Kashyyyk.
All of the characters began to feel more three-dimensional and fleshed out in this second instalment. Everyone’s trying to find their place in their new situations, trying to understand their relationships with one another. There felt like there was more action, more intrigue, too, which helped quicken the narrative pace.
One thing I did notice, however, was the recycling of some storylines from the previous expanded universe. Obviously, with significant differences because the Star Wars universe is so different now, however, if you know your old canon then you would have picked up on them, particularly in Wedge and Norra’s storyline.
Overall, this novel seemed more cohesive – the Kashyyyk storyline gave the story purpose and allowed all of the main characters to develop. We got a more-rounded view of the remains of the Empire and the people pulling the strings and I’m curious to see how the trilogy wraps up in the final book.
I gave Aftermath: Life Debt 4 out of 5 stars.