Review: Star Wars: Aftermath
I really wanted to like this. I did not. Maybe this was not the right introduction to Chuck Wendig but, well for real this book was a hard read. And the reasons are entirely mechanical. I'm going to list them out. They are pretty simple items, but they happen so many times that the book become hard to get through. So here we go, the sins of Aftermath:
- There is a constant refrain of "I used to bullseye womprats with T-16 back home." He just replaces the T-16 and the imaginary animal with whatever context fits the scene.
- There is a character that dies four times. A chapter ends with a statement that should mean the character is totally dead. Then they come back with little fanfare. It's a main character and there is a sine wave of tension associated with these near misses and by the second time it's totally boring.
- There are multiple POV characters that I don't know why they are in the book. Which to be honest is a plot problem I guess. There are two main characters that seem like they are necessary and indeed the main story revolves around them, and the rest seem totally unnecessary to the events of the book. It felt very much like boxes were checked. Imperial character. Character from the original trilogy. Assassin/Merc.
- There are these really irritation interstitial sections that go to famous locations that take place parallel to the story, but don't feature any character you'd recognize and don't give you any real insight into the current story or the Star Wars meta story. So they end up just dropping into the story like lead balloons and break the pacing to no effect.
So it's weird. I feel like these are things that maybe Wendig was asked to include in the story by the Star Wars overlords. I just don't know why it wasn't blended a little better. Wendig is praised by a lot of authors, so I just have trouble pairing that with this book. To be honest my feeling when i finished the book was that it was written by a person that didn't actually like Star Wars. That in a way the book was making fun of some of the core concepts and world of Star Wars in a way that felt either tired or bitter in its intention. Obviously I can't know that and I'm sure that the people of Star Wars wouldn't give this first Star Wars series to someone with no appreciation for the material. Like I said at the beginning I expected to like this, and maybe that expectation is where everything fell apart.
Star Wars: Aftermath gets two stars out of five.