I tried reading Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath after it was added to the library’s collection some years ago. It didn’t work out too well. It was an awkward time in my life. The few books I read before Disney rebooted the Expanded Universe (now known as the Legends series) were still fresh in my mind. I wanted a universe where Sith zombies existed. Chuck Wendig’s book just didn’t cut it.
Now that I have a few Disney-verse Star Wars novels under my belt, I felt ready to give Wendig’s novel another chance. And while it’s not my favorite of my collection, it’s definitely worth the read.
The second Death Star facility has been destroyed. Rumors of Emperor Palpatine’s and his enforcer’s, Darth Vader, death have spread across the galaxy, reaching as far as the outer rim planets. In an effort to recover from their crumbling empire, several Imperials are conducting a meeting on the planet of Akiva. When New Republic hero Wedge Antilles uncovers their meeting, he sends a message to the New Republic before getting captured. But it’s too late, on the planet’s surface, Norra Wexley has intercepted the message and bands together with her son, a Zabrak bounty hunter, and an Imperial defector to save Wedge Antilles and take down these last remnants of the Empire.
That summary doesn’t do any justice to the storytelling prowess Chuck Wendig possesses. The story has its gripping moments that left me on the edge of my seat, but it also contain a few pitfalls that made me wish Wendig had focused on one of the other stories presented in his “interlude” chapters—namely the Han Solo & Chewbacca story. But it held my attention even as the interludes broke it—I’m guessing that was planned by the author as a pacing mechanism? Perhaps the repetition of imagery leads to bigger things in the second and third books of the Aftermath trilogy.
I loved how Wendig uses a diverse cast of characters, helping break the homo-normative and all-white cast that the sci-fi genre tends to keep. Not to mention, I loved Mister Bones, the revamped, reprogrammed B1 Battle Droid that acts as Temmin’s bodyguard and best friend.
This tale is definitely something to consider before re-watching The Force Awakens for the umpteenth time. You won’t be disappointed.
I’m currently racing through a monster of a book before AMC releases the series. Hopefully I’ll get through it after all the hiccups I’ve had with the pacing. After that’s over with, I’ll get back to updating the few readers here about what I’m doing with my life.
In the meantime, know that I’m brainstorming two writing project—I’ve mentioned one already. And until next time, keep on huntin’.