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 best-selling trilogy.
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Huge improvement over "Aftermath", but not perfect
This book is an absolute recommendation to any Star Wars fan. The only problem is you'll probably have to read Aftermath first, and Chuck Wendig's writing style is difficult to get comfortable with. This book is a huge improvement over the last. It FEELS like a Star Wars book. It involves more recognizable characters. It still has "interludes", but they are better, and they are typically either germane to the principle story, or they are about something relevant that you care about.
I would compare it to the Heir to the Empire series of books. It reminds of that sort of grand-scale story and feels like it may have borrowed some inspiration from those books.
The events of "Liberation Day" are probably my favorite. It was very exciting, but I don't want to write too much about it else it might spoil part of the story for others.
Possible Spoilers::There is a problem I am beginning to see with all of these books, and this one opened my eyes to it. Many new book are coming out, in all different time periods. There is new canon being added every month or two, but there is a huge problem with consistency. Possible spoilers below: This book attempts to explain the beginnings or the First Order and the Resistance under General Leia, but that was already done in "Bloodline". It's like I am reading multiple authors all trying to explain the same thing with TOTALLY different stories. Yes they refer to Leia in this book as "General Leia", but she wasn't a General in Bloodline, which takes place 8 years later. It's like Leia forms the resistance in this book, then goes back to being a princess in time for Bloodline, then forms another resistance without any memory of what happened before? This book also talks about Leia being Pregnant - and she has visions of her son, and at another point she has visions of her having "children", as in multiple children. This was a huge problem for me, because in Bloodline she has very clearly only had one child, so if Wendig is attempting to tease the audience with the possibility that Leia has a daughter, (Rey?!) We know that is impossible because in Bloodline they talk at length about Leia and her son. Her relationship to her child (Ben) is significant in that book and if she had multiple children it would have been mentioned. And if she DOES have another child it totally invalidates the other book. And Thrawn, which was JUST revealed this past weekend as being canon.... wasn't ever mentioned. Now I realize that Wendig was likely not permitted to mention Thrawn. However, there are scenes in this book where they mention many previous Imperial Leaders, and those who were close and tight with Palpatine. It just seems to me like Thrawn would HAVE to have been included in archives like that. So Either Thrawn is going to be insignificant (which would be an absolute travesty) or he's going to die very quickly (equally tragic). Point is : He should be a HUGE deal, and if books are going to discuss significant military leaders he deserves to be included in those discussions. If Wendig wasn't allowed to mention him then I would have liked for it to be more open ended, something like "and Admiral X, Grand Moff Y, and several others were also at that meeting"... this way you could group him in with the "several others". My fear is that with Disney allowing all these books to come out like polka dots all over the timeline, they are duplicating some of the exact same consistency problems that happened in the original EU. If a book is going to reference MAJOR events that happened in the past, then you can't go back and add new events, without having to explain why they weren't ever mentioned before in the books that took place in it's future. Imagine if they released another book, called "Luke's Rise to Power", which took place a month before Episode 4, where Luke stole a B-Wing and blew up 3 more Death Stars . That is obviously an exaggeration but I feel that's almost where we are headed with the multiple explanations for the resistance and first order.
Again, this isn't a slam against this book or the author - this is something Disney needs to fix. Make your authors talk to each other - don't give each of them free reign over the same story, because then you'll have twelve different explanations for how the same event happened.
how can you screw up star wars?
- Hish King