Star Wars: Aftermath Life Debt by Chuck Wendig

img_1304 Author: Chuck Wendig

Chuck Wendig is a novelist, a screenwriter, and a freelance penmonkey.

He has contributed over two million words to the roleplaying game industry, and was the developer of the popular Hunter: The Vigil game line (White Wolf Game Studios / CCP).

He’s written too much. He should probably stop. Give him a wide berth, as he might be drunk and untrustworthy. He currently lives in the wilds of Pennsyltucky with a wonderful wife and two very stupid dogs. He is represented by Stacia Decker of the Donald Maass Literary Agency.

You can find him at his website,

Genre: Science-Fiction, Science-Fiction & Fantasy, Star Wars Canon, Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Read… on the airplane while… traveling to Tennessee for Thanksgiving.

Music I listened to while reading this book: Star Wars Soundtracks (playlist available on Spotify)

img_1305Title: Star Wars: Aftermath

Publisher: Del Rey

Publication Date: July 12, 2016

Purchase your copy here.

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Review: 3 out of 5 Dogwoods:

Summary (from Goodreads): 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 cannot 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 glimpse behind the curtain of the new post-Return of the Jedi continuity.

The sense of scale is appropriately grand for a Star Wars tale, with the plot carrying heroes and villains across a myriad of star systems and into strange, exotic dangers. This novel is darker, with none of the comedy that accompanies The Force Awakens; the tone is more akin to the previews we have seen for Rogue One.

We spend more time in Aftermath Life Debt with core Star Wars characters than the first Aftermath novel, particularly Leia and Han. Star Wars novels often struggle to translate the more iconic and developed big-screen characters and Aftermath Life Debt certainly has its own issues with this feat. Han in particular seems disjointed at times. It is believable that Han’s desperation to rescue Chewie might drive him to act recklessly out of obsession, but too often in Aftermath Life Debt Han’s rash and clouded judgment seems more in line with the immature Han we see in A New Hope than with the wiley smuggler we know and love from The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.


For a Star Wars novel, I thought this book’s predecessor was mediocre to okay at best, especially when compared to gems in the new cannon like Bloodline by Claudia Gray. The good news is that Aftermath Life Debt is a much better book. This sequel improves upon many of the problems that plagued the first novel, giving me many more reasons to care about the story and what happens to these characters. The crew feels more fleshed out this time around. We no longer have to sit through origin stories or background information for our characters, so we dive straight into the action, getting more opportunities to learn about their personalities and relationships.

I am glad I gave this trilogy another chance, though in truth, I probably would have read it anyway considering my ongoing quest to read and review all the adult novels in the new Star Wars canon.

If you want more Star Wars, then check out The Cantina, my local watering hole where you will find up-to-date information about forthcoming Star Wars films and my reviews of other Star Wars books.

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