Genre: Science Fiction
Although Aftermath has great character set up, it is rather dry. On the contrary, Aftermath: Life Debt is by far much more interesting and intriguing than the first novel. The first novel is really there to get the reader interested in these new characters that are filling up the new canon, while the second novel starts dealing with the big problems between the New Republic and the Empire, such as the liberation of Kashyyyk.
With hints from the first novel, the second novel eals with Han and Chewbacca and their close relationship. Han wants to liberate the Wookies from the Empire’s rule, to make Kashyyyk a free planet once more. The problem is that Kashyyyk is just one of may worlds out there that need help from the New Republic, and the New Republic is still trying to deal with the remnants of the Empire. This means world liberations will have to wait, but of course Han makes his own move.
When Han goes missing, Leia-pregnant with Han’s child-is afraid that perhaps Han had left her, not wanting to deal with her new position or a child. But deep down, Leia knows that Han would not do that. While there is no trace of Luke in the expanse of the novel, his Jedi training is mentioned when Leia attempts to bond with her child through the Force.
And then there are our new characters from the previous novel, Temmin, Norra, Jas, and Sinjir. While aiming to track down Admiral Rae Sloane and bring her down, Leia Organa contacts Norra, requesting aid in finding Han, afraid that something bad hs happened.
When Han is found, the team then returns to finding Sloane, only to come across a prison barge that happens to have Temmin’s father aboard. Little known to the New Republic, all the prisoners had been brainwashed, turning on their friends and family and the New Republic that saved them!
While I was a bit weary about moving on to reading this novel because of the low level of enjoyment I, as a reader, received from the first novel, I am glad I did. This novel really picks up the energy and is starting to add some exciting elements to the new canon, and I would highly recommend this novel for any Star Wars fan, especially those looking for background in the new canon. Unfortunately, you really should read the first novel first, mainly for the problem set-up and character information that is dire for the third novel in the trilogy to succeed.
Be sure to look for the third book in the trilogy, Aftermath: Empire’s End, coming out in February, 2017!