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Life Debt

(Star Wars: Aftermath #2)

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  12,281 ratings  ·  1,191 reviews
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 bestselling trilogy.

"It is a dark time for the Empire. . . ."

The Emperor is dead, and the remnants of his former Empire are in retreat. As the New Republic fi
Hardcover, 430 pages
Published July 19th 2016 by Del Rey (first published July 12th 2016)
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Andy Residual hate from the first book, I expect. It won't be long now, some actual reviews will be along shortly.…moreResidual hate from the first book, I expect. It won't be long now, some actual reviews will be along shortly.(less)
Eric You'll be very confused because all of the non-film characters are introduced in the first book. At the very, very least, read a plot summary at Wooki…moreYou'll be very confused because all of the non-film characters are introduced in the first book. At the very, very least, read a plot summary at Wookieepedia.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.73  · 
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 ·  12,281 ratings  ·  1,191 reviews

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Sean Barrs
Jul 15, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: sci-fi, 1-star-reads

That’s all I’ve got to say about this book. Well, I’ll squeeze in a little bit more. I mean it’s the least I could do considering how this book is packed full of filler material and worthless storytelling. So I might as well do the same in my review when one word would serve as a conduit of my opinions. Read on if my single word wasn’t enough to convince you.

This was terrible. The plot is practically non-existent. It’s like the author had a one chapter situation, two at best, and he milked
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
I definitely enjoyed this book more that the first book. It definitely boasts much more star power character wise from the original Star Wars trilogy. Leia, Han, and Chewie play a big part in this book. The book is divided into 5 parts. The first 3 parts are quite slow and more of a setup for the final two parts these are extremely fast paced and well done.

Norra a decorated Rebellion ere pilot (who was one of the survivors of the attract on the second Death Star) has been leading her mismatched
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

To kick off this review, I just want to say that I actually didn’t think the first Aftermath was all that bad. As you’d recall all the hubbub, the criticism over that book was harsh, perhaps more so than I thought was warranted. That said, for a Star Wars novel I also thought this book’s predecessor was mediocre to okay at best—especially when compared to such gems in the new canon like Lost Stars by Claudia Gray or Dark D
Executive Summary: Now that's more like it. This book is so much better than the first one, that I almost want to drop my rating of that book further. If like me you were pretty underwhelmed by Aftermath, you might want to consider giving this one a shot anyways.

Audiobook: Marc Thompson is phenomenal. I likely wouldn't have read this book if I didn't get a free review copy of the audio book. All the Star Wars books are high production value with sound effects and music (stuff that normally annoy
Dec 27, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Everything Aftermath got right, the sequel gets wrong.

While I am still completely okay with Wendig's style (apparently most people are annoyed by it), there was nothing to enjoy here. An extreme case of second book syndrome at best.
Callum Shephard
Jul 12, 2016 rated it did not like it
Everyone is allowed to make at least one monumental screw up in their life. Really, so many creators tend to primarily learn from their mistakes that second chances have almost become expected to allow a series to grow and develop. Even if an initial installment was a complete disaster, failing in such an inexplicable way you have to wonder if the creative force behind it was perpetually drunk throughout the whole thing, there's still hope they'll listen to criticism and improve. Star Wars: Afte ...more
Chris Evans
The first Aftermath book was the best argument for scrapping the Disney-verse and going back to the classic EU I've ever read.

I would love for every Star Wars fan to read the Wendigo's terrible books to understand the new septic tank level of self wank fan fiction the New DU is. Hiring the Wendigo to vie with Zahn's books (A Star Wars founding father), will be the Awaken-Verses ultimate undoing.

I invite everyone to read the Wendigo's trilogy (if you can stomach it) and compare it to The Thrawn
Amy Sturgis
Is this better than the first Aftermath novel? Yes. Perhaps it deserves 2.5 stars.

The good: This novel provides information that's genuinely necessary to understanding the unfolding of the Star Wars 'verse. You're not wasting your time reading it. There's payoff, not only with details about the main characters and evolution of the Aftermath-specific characters, but also with big arcs such as the enslavement of Kashyyk.

The bad: Some of the characterizations don't ring true. When contrasting the
Jul 13, 2016 rated it did not like it
No lessons have been learned. The writing is still frustrating and juvenile. The author's behavior is still frustrating and juvenile. I looked at the writers Twitter page this morning and, despite receiving better reviews than Aftermath, Mr. Wendig has once again chosen to focus all the attention on himself and his narcissistic rage. I am forced to believe the author is too invested in the current grievance culture to evolve and advance. Disheartening. Like watching a fly repeatedly bash itself ...more
Seth Whitfield
O. M. G. Here. we. go. agein.

Chuck... let me help you out... if I can... Star Wars was a long, long time ago... in a galaxy... far. far. away. SOOO there is absolutely NOOOO Earth! We do not have earth animals, music, termanology, technology, pop phrases or idioms! NONE!!

oh and spend more time actually developing your characters and also brush up that writing style and plotline.
Jul 28, 2016 rated it did not like it
The level of failure required to screw up a book titled "Life Debt" with a gigantic Millennium Falcon on the cover and a promo blurb that promises to be about the liberation of Kashyyyk, homeworld of the Wookiees, from the yoke of the Empire that's enslaved it for decades, is substantial. I mean, you have to go beyond run-of-the-mill failure into something that is so bad it transcends the concept of merely striving for something and not succeeding in reaching it.

This would be handily the worst S
Shit man, this trilogy is SO GOOD and I need Empire's End yesterday, please

Ok so Sinjir totally gets a boyfriend in this book and there's also a badass genderqueer pirate (pronouns zhe/zher/zherself) who will hopefully show up again in the next book. A+ work, Chuck Wendig. These two books are queerer than some whole series and it makes my heart really happy. I am finally, explicitly included in a franchise that I love and it feels so nice. 4.5/5 stars.
Aug 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: star-wars
Better than the first book, because it felt like more was happening. It's still very heavy on Wendig's original characters, as opposed to already established, screen canon was. I'm not against this in principle. My favorite Star Wars books are the X-Wing series, and the only established character to get considerable time on the page in that series was Wedge. But I don't love any of these characters the way I loved my Wraiths, nor is this story quite as good as Stackpole and Allston's. ...more
Jul 17, 2016 rated it did not like it
I've never had a problem finishing Star Wars books and I could probably read 300 pages about Jawas tinkering with scrap metal and I'd be entertained, but.....this book sucks!

And that's another thing, I understand the world of an author because I have several friends that are authors so I generally try to stay away from being so critical and crapping all over a work that one has put so much time, effort, blood, sweat, and tears into, but I sincerely feel that this author is killing the series! Th
Jun 22, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: star-wars
If I could I'd give a 0 rating here. I really hoped this second book in the series will be better than the first one, but it wasn't meant to be.

What I didn't like most is how dialogues are written. Character speech doesn't sound natural because that's just short boring sentences. There is absolutely no conflict or tension in the plot where I would worry and sympathize with main heroes. Main villain deserves a special mention though. He is a dull copypaste from Zahn's trilogy starting from his ma
Ashley Daviau
Jun 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It’s really hard for me to review this book, I really enjoyed it but it’s hard to put into words why. Wendig really captures the Star Wars universe perfectly, as soon as I opened the book to read, it felt like I was watching it as a movie in my head. He has the characters and everything else down pat, he really knows how to bring it all to life in an amazing way. This series is a definite must read for Star Wars and Wendig fans!
Holly (The Grimdragon)
“ALL ARE WELCOME. (NO FIGHTING.) That rule is simple on the surface, but not easy in the execution, because Maz Kanata’s castle has been a meeting place since time immemorial– a nexus point drawing together countless lines of allegiance and opposition, a place not only where friend and foe can meet, but where complex conflicts are worn down flat so that all may sit, have a drink and a meal, listen to a song, and broker whatever deals their hearts or politics require. That’s why the flags outside ...more
Nov 09, 2015 rated it it was ok
I found this less enjoyable than the first book. With the novelty of the series worn off, the relatively unexciting main cast becomes more aggravating. The interludes also seemed less fun. I suppose the lack of the pre-TFA hype I had with the first book doesn't help.

Even standouts of the first book Sloane and Sinjir fell fairly flat for me here. There were certainly some good moments; off the top of my head the deranged Imperial remnant on Kashyyyk comes to mind. For the most part, though, the b
Jul 11, 2016 rated it it was ok
I only gave this two stars because it is better than the first book (which I gave one star.) I do not have the time or patience to articulate all of the problems with this pile of bantha dung. Instead just read the reviews by Goodreaders Callum Shephard, Chris Evans, that dude Mike, and Julie. I'll just say this: read any other new canon novel....they are all better. Imagine what this trilogy could have been in the hands of James Luceano or Claudia Gray. Chuck Wendig is an objectively bad writer ...more
Michael Hicks
My original STAR WARS: AFTERMATH: LIFE DEBT audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

I read and enjoyed the print (well, ebook) edition of Chuck Wendig’s prior Star Wars: Aftermath novel, but after hearing good things about the production qualities of the Star Wars audiobooks decided I would give this format a shot for the second go-round. Holy moly, have I been missing out! It’s safe to say that from here on out, any Star Wars titles I dive into will be in audio forma
Liz Neering
Jul 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I finished Aftermath: Life Debt in two days. I am the slowest reader alive, but I read this thing like the pages were disappearing. There's nuance to the Aftermath series I don't find in the films, a complex and uncomfortable understanding of war and the suffering it brings. The Clone Wars delved deeper into this and I see its reflection in the Aftermath series. PTSD, trauma, survivor's guilt, broken relationships... still it's hopeful. It isn't grimdark. There is love and beauty, friendships an ...more
Jul 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed the first Aftermath book well enough but Life Debt really kicked into a second gear and just worked for me on so many levels. Full review to come on Tosche Station on release day.

Editing on 7/13 to link to my full review:
Neil R. Coulter
Jul 30, 2016 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: fiction, star-wars
To say that Life Debt is better than its predecessor, Aftermath, is not to say that it is a good book. It's just that it would be hard for another book to be as bad as Aftermath. I'm less inclined to believe that Chuck Wendig has become a better author in the intervening months, instead assuming that Disney/Lucasfilm went into crisis mode last year when Aftermath received such a scathing reception from eager Star Wars fans. The first line of the new canon of Star Wars books was extremely disappo ...more
The good news is this book is better than the first one. The bad news is . . . well, there isn't really any bad news. This book is better than the first one. The end.

Most of the stuff that annoyed me in the first book (the style being so omnipresent it pulled me out of the story, the occasional colloquialism that shouldn't be in Star Wars, etc.) is gone. Either that or I didn't notice. Either way, same result. The POV is still in first person present tense, and Wendig's voice is still very much
Nov 20, 2016 rated it liked it
Somewhat better than the first book, but still not Star Wars as I've come to expect it. ...more
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
I suspect this is more what many of the people who hated the first book in this series were looking for. We got to characters familiar from the movies as well as the people who were introduced in book 1. I especially liked Han Solo, and how he was torn between helping Chewbacca and staying with Leia. But my favorite character in the book has got to be Mister Bones.

I listened to this on audio - Marc Thompson is a such a good narrator and makes the Star Wars books extra enjoyable.
Sep 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: star-wars
My favorite plot trope is Found Family, so when you mix that with a plot to liberate Kashyyyk, sprinkle in a few cameos and include a side dish of Leia/Han, you've basically got everything I want in a Star Wars book.

The pacing was really weird and honestly kind of bad which cost a star.
John McDermott
Good Star Wars fun! 3.75 🌠
Feb 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4+ stars

Review written for Star Wars News Net.

Aftermath: Life Debt is the second novel in Chuck Wendig’s post-Return of the Jedi trilogy, following Aftermath and preceding Aftermath: Empire’s End due for publication on January 31st, 2017.

Thanks to our friends at Random House, I am able to bring you this early review. But, because most of you haven’t had a chance to read the book yet, the review will be split in two parts. The first one will remain mainly spoiler free, but heed my warning before
Jul 20, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-wars
2.5 stars
If I could sum up my reaction to the latest Star Wars novel, it would be ‘meh’. I’m not saying every book I read should spark a reaction but surely an author aims for more than, that was ok right? I’m an avowed Star Wars geek, I’ve read and or collected almost every piece of Star Wars literature written so obviously I have an attachment to this universe. This begged the question as to why one of the preeminent books in the newly relaunched canon fell flat for me and that took some think
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Chuck Wendig is a novelist, a screenwriter, and a freelance penmonkey.
He has contributed over two million words to the roleplaying game industry, and was the developer of the popular Hunter: The Vigil game line (White Wolf Game Studios / CCP).

He, along with writing partner Lance Weiler, is a fellow of the Sundance Film Festival Screenwriter's Lab (2010). Their short film, Pandemic, will show at th

Other books in the series

Star Wars: Aftermath (3 books)
  • Aftermath (Star Wars: Aftermath, #1)
  • Empire's End (Star Wars: Aftermath, #3)

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