Publisher: Del Rey
Author: Chuck Wendig
Released: September 4th 2015
Received: Library Book
Aftermath is the first novel in a three part series (so far); it includes Aftermath, Life Debt, and Empire’s End. The story itself takes place after the events of Return of the Jedi, specifically following the Battle of Endor, and more or less gives us an idea of how the Empire struggled and reacted to the events that had recently occurred.
Following the Battle of Endor there’s been a lot of confusion, celebration, and frustration, depending on what side you are/were on. So it’s really no surprise that a full trilogy was needed to give us an idea of how both sides reacted to that tide turning battle.
Aftermath had a different storytelling method than I expected. We’re given multiple perspectives, bouncing around from both sides of the war (and sometimes grabbing somebody in between). Because of this there are a lot of characters in this novel, many of which you’d recognize from the movies. Wedge Antilles gets himself involved, as does Norra Wexley and Rae Sloan (no surprise there).
I’m sure we’d all find our favorite characters during the course of the novel, though our preference would probably be at least partially dependent on which side we are most loyal to (Empire versus the Rebellion). I personally have a soft spot for droids full of personality, so naturally my favorite character ended up being Bones (whom I wish we had seen more of).
Most of Aftermath takes place on Akiva, a planet that has no real value, but one that the Empire thought they’d be safe to meet (and hide) on. Thanks to the Rebellion being thorough (cough Wedge Antiles making patrols despite being told not to cough) they discovered the Empire’s presence rather quickly and were able to respond in kind.
There were times where this novel dragged on a bit. For example establishing so many different characters with unique backgrounds can be overwhelming at best, dry at worst. I think they would have had an easier time pulling more characters from the movie canon (and thus could get away with less time spent on their past and motivations), but that’s just my two cents. I’ll admit there were a few points where I found myself reading the same paragraph again and again, as I kept losing my place (as I kept getting distracted) and having to start again.
I’ll confess that I was mildly disappointed in Aftermath. I had hoped for…well…I had hoped for more. I was hoping we’d see not only a lot of action and fighting (which we did see a bit of), but the political ramifications of a war of this scale, and ideally I’d prefer to see that happen on multiple different planets, not just one minor one (and even then the impacts shown were fairly limited – as Akiva had been relatively untouched).
I think I’ll likely read the other two in the trilogy despite my disappointment. There’s a chance that I’ll get my wishes in those novels, and even if I don’t I’ll probably end up being too curious not to give them a chance. Here’s hoping we’ll see more impact and fallout!