I’m finally ready to word vomit my feels about one of the most anticipated books of the year, at least to us Star Wars fans, Aftermath. Aftermath hit our shelves September 4th at midnight, or sooner if you live near the retailers that don’t understand dates. I picked mine up on September 4th, but didn’t even finish till the following Tuesday. Because Dragon Con. Yep. But I’ve finished it all and I’m still thinking about certain things, so let’s get this started.
*SPOILER-FREE* *EXCEPT FOR TWO PLANETS* *NOT SURE IF YOU CARE ABOUT THAT OR NOT*
Aftermath is the first post-Return of the Jedi canon novel, which means a lot of hype was built upon this book. We’re introduced to this post-Jedi world, which takes place a few months after the Battle of Endor. The Rebel Alliance is trying to form itself into the New Republic, and while some may think that the Empire is long dead, please remind yourself that Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine weren’t the entirety of the Empire; they affected a whole lot of people who still believe they were in the right and this is made very clear within the first few pages of Aftermath.If you’re a fan of Chuck Wendig’s style of writing, don’t worry, it’s still here. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I really enjoyed and felt it definitely made the story come alive, versus a different style of writing. His is unique and tells a story in a very non-traditional way, at far as Star Wars goes. We split the narrative between many characters, like fan favorite Wedge Antilles, my new favorite, Admiral Rae Sloane, newcomers, and Norra Wexley, followed by her son, Temmin. Not only do we see these characters in action, we get a look all around the galaxy. Interludes are spread throughout and we see a up close and personal look at how the entire galaxy is doing. These planets range from, wait for it, Tatooine to the newly mentioned Jakku. (Prepare for all the emotions while reading the Tatooine interlude because your mind will only wander to one place and one scenario.) Aftermath also references many things from The Clone Wars to Rebels to the original trilogy, so be prepared for all the feelings they’ll bring. I know, I know, from just hearing all that, you’d think that it would be too much story-wise, but it all reads very well. It does take a little for the book to pick up pace, but you’re so hooked from the beginning that this is definitely a fast read.
Incase you’re wondering how the story plays out, without giving away spoilers, it really is best to read it for yourself. I went into the book with no idea what to expect and I think that that really heightened my experience with it. All the little tricks that Chuck plays on you can be heartbreaking and stressful, but it’s also a whole lot of fun. It doesn’t give you many answers, more so raising more questions than anything, but it does give you this personal look at the galaxy after Return of the Jedi, which I think we all wanted desperately. This is a trilogy, so it does set up this grand story. All in all, I’d highly recommend. Also I’d highly recommend that Chuck go ahead and write the second one because I need it horribly.