Finally! A good (darn good) Star Wars book

This post is more than 2 years old.

I make no secret of my Star Wars obsession - and yes - I'm counting the days till the next movie. (88 days if you're curious.) As the new trilogy approaches, Disney is firing up the marketing machine quite heavily. I'm fine with that. Sure - some things are a bit silly. (Star Wars themed coffee - um... ok.) But there's some pretty cool stuff too - including twenty new Star Wars books. I've read three of these new books and while I wasn't impressed with the first two, the last one I read was pretty freaking incredible. Here is a short review of the ones I've read so far.

I'm a fan of the "Rebels" TV show, but this book was only so-so. I like seeing the early beginnings of the Rebellion, and the villain was pretty compelling, but overall though it just didn't do much for me. It was an OK book but forgettable. This would be a good book to borrow from your local library but I'd probably skip picking it up.
So while "A New Dawn" was so-so and forgettable, this one was a book I wish I could forget. It has a great premise: Luke right after "A New Hope" - a hero - but still not a Jedi - is sent on a mission to extract a cryptographer working for the Empire. But then you end up with scenes where Luke uses the force to move noodles. Yes, seriously, noodles. I mean, I get that at this point he has the bare minimum of exposure to the Force but the multiple (yes, multiple) scenes of him trying to move bits of food with the Force were painful to read. The ending was pretty bad too. About the only thing I really found interesting about this book was that after "A New Hope", Luke was a Lieutenant. Yes, I found that interesting.
And finally - a really, really good book in this new set. "Aftermath" takes place after the events of RotJ and we finally get a look at the universe leading up to the new movie. (To be clear, we had this years ago with the epic Thrawn series, but that's the past. ;) As to be expected, blowing up the second Death Star and killing Palpatine didn't just wipe out the rest of the Empire. In "Aftermath", the Empire is hurt, hurt bad, but not destroyed. The New Republic (the formal government power headed by the Rebellion) is in the process of setting up and trying to bring the galaxy together in peace. Those details were fascinating but alone wouldn't be enough to make a good book. Luckily, the book has some great characters. While older, familiar names are there, all of the main characters are new. (Ok, Wedge isn't new, but he felt more like a side character than a main character.) Sinjir, a former Imperial loyalty officer, is easily one of my favorite characters in the Star Wars universe. Before I began this book I heard a lot of people complaining about this book. The writing style is unique - but frankly - didn't bother me. (And by "unique" I mean a bit different, not crazy weird like "The Road" for example.) Also, apparently, some folks had a problem with the fact that a major character is gay, and apparently the female characters outnumber the male. Yeah, whatever. I mean, obviously the only reason to have a strong female character is to make some kind of liberal point, right? Ugh. I'm just glad I ignored the negative reviews and read it with an open mind because I thoroughly enjoyed the hell out of this book and strongly recommend it.

Finally, while they aren't books, I'm really enjoying all of the new Marvel comics right now - even the Lando one. If you read comics I'd definitely suggest picking them up.

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About Raymond Camden

Raymond is a senior developer evangelist for Adobe. He focuses on document services, JavaScript, and enterprise cat demos. If you like this article, please consider visiting my Amazon Wishlist or donating via PayPal to show your support. You can even buy me a coffee!

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Archived Comments

Comment 1 by Scott posted on 9/22/2015 at 2:11 PM

Given the choice between Aftermath and Heir to Empire which would you
pick as the book to be describing what happened after ROTJ?

I'd pick the Thrawn series myself for the main reason that reading
it felt like Star Wars. Aftermath didn't - it wasn't a bad book it
just wasn't a good one. It had a story that had enough Star Wars
ingredients to get interest but didn't deliver. I get they are trying
to reboot the franchise but this time period could be all about the
characters we grew up with (the section with Han/Chewie was the most
interesting and I wanted a book about that) and finding out what happens
- giving us older folks a bridge to the new world coming out soon - and
yes I"m looking forward to that as well (and can't wait to take my
daughter to see her very first Star Wars movie in the theaters).

Comment 2 (In reply to #1) by Raymond Camden posted on 9/22/2015 at 2:14 PM

I have to be honest and say while I remember *really* liking Heir to the Empire, it has been so long I can't really say which I like better.

To your point about the characters... I don't know. I really liked the new characters, and I'm happy to see non-core characters being introduced and being kinda cool. If you read the Shattered Empire series (well, only one comic has come out so far), you see something similar. The big guys are secondary characters and the focus is on unknowns. I'm really digging that.

Comment 3 (In reply to #1) by Raymond Camden posted on 9/22/2015 at 2:28 PM

Btw, as an aside, apparently "Smuggler's Run" is supposed to be real darn good. New book, focused on Han/Chewie, etc.

Comment 4 by Aman Mittal posted on 3/13/2016 at 6:27 PM

I read Aftermath two months back and appreciate the writing. The elements were properly balanced by Wendig. I can't wait for the next two books in the series to come out.