Book Review: Aftermath

Aftermath by Chuck Wendig, Star Wars: Aftermath #1

Journey to The Force Awakens.

The second Death Star is destroyed. The Emperor and his powerful enforcer, Darth Vader, are rumored to be dead. The Galactic Empire is in chaos.

Across the galaxy, some systems celebrate, while in others Imperial factions tighten their grip. Optimism and fear reign side by side.

And while the Rebel Alliance engages the fractured forces of the Empire, a lone Rebel scout uncovers a secret Imperial meeting. . . .

Many a fantasy fan has been marking of the days ever since the seventh Star Wars movie was announced. I can proudly say that I am one of them. The same thing probably also counts for Chuck Wendig but I think the burden on his shoulders with having been given the task of writing the book that connects Episode VI and VII. This must have been both a sweet and sour experience, there must have been a lot of weight on his shoulder. But probably looking at Chuck Wendig's writing, he must have had the following attitude " haters gonna hate, hate, hate". For me Chuck Wendig does all the justice to the Star Wars universe. You have to accept that here are new characters coming your way. period. 


So what story is being told in Aftermath? Well that of how both factions, the Rebel Alliance and the Galactic Empire and how they are coping with the events now that Darth Vader is dead. The Galactic Empire is now without a direct leader and is coping heavily with this problem, no one really knows what to do. The Rebel Alliance has something of a similar problem, though they are tearing down statues to shows that they are liberated. Some of the Rebel people are gaining power and you know what power can do to a person... power corrupts. The main gist of the story revolves around Wedge Antilles and his capture. You might recognize his character from the film, he was in the same squadron as Luke. He also survived the attack on the Death Star. However, the tables seem to have turned. As Wedge discovers a new threat and rushes home to spread the news, he gets captured by the Imperials. And here you meet the new Imperialist Rae Sloane who tries to do her utmost to remake the Empire as it once was. Meanwhile on Akiva, old war veteran Norra Wexley desperately tries to reconnect with her son Temin, who she estranged to join the rebel alliance. Norra learns that her son has become much more than she had imagined both in a good and in a bad way. He is technologically very advanced for his age. But striking a truce after so long a time proved to be quite the task. Before Wedge got capture though, he send out an distress signal. A signal that Norra has to answer. Even just reunited, Norra again has to bring bad news which strikes Temin again with a punch. But Temin has some good sides as well, all the tech gadget he has could help him to break out Wedge. 


But this isn't everything there is another storyline. That of the bounty hunter Jas Esmari who travels to Akiva to take out several targets. Though for her not everything goes as planned as well. Jas meets up with an Imperial deserter Sinjir Rath Valus. Sinjir proves to be a key person in helping Jas reach her goal. You must already be able to see that there will be quite a clash coming between all three storylines. Get ready!


As far as the characters go. Chuck Wendig uses both old and new characters and just let me be clear. There are no direct Force users that you see. And not the old characters such as Luke, Leia and Han. Get used to it. For me personally I really liked to read and figure out more on the character of Rae Sloane, she is navigating in very rough water which requires wit, smarts and a lot of guts. Luckily she has all this ready and proves to be force to be reckoned with. You don't want to have to cross her. She is the real deal. Next to her the storyline of Norra and Temin was also really catchy. Chuck Wendig painted a real motherly type with Norra. When she first meets Temin in a long time you can definitely feel the motherly caring nature emerging. Norra hurts. She regrets having to left Temin alone. I felt for her but I can't say that Temin is wrong with not accepting her in his life on the fly. What would you do? For me Chuck Wendig creates a very nice love hate relationship with these characters. Next there are Jas and Sinjir who on their own are actually quite feisty persona's.. but together lead to something much more. All in all very cool characters, both old and new. 


The action that is featured in Aftermath is both full of explosions but also features the more subtler intrigue and backstabbing kind. It doesn't feature the often expected and wanted lightsaber fightings but don't let this drag your moods down. The diverse action types feature through out every of the three storylines. There isn't a dull moment to be found. 

Now for the important thing does Aftermath live up to the promise as a worthy bridge between Episode VI and VII. Yes it does. Why? Because this is precisely what is need to form a bridge. This is the storyline that connects the movies. You need to deal with the aftermath of it all. You need to see how both factions are recuperating and pick up the pieces and continue to move forward. And this is precisely what Chuck Wendig does. Then why the tons of review that are negative? Well because those people want to see certain things that aren't being told by Chuck Wendig. That's why I am going to repeat. Haters gonna hate hate hate. You can be one of them or be one of the readers that will embrace the fact that changes are happening. 

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