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Life Debt

(Star Wars: Aftermath #2)

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  8,706 Ratings  ·  980 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 fights
ebook, 448 pages
Published July 12th 2016 by Del Rey
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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.
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…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)
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Bookdragon Sean

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
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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 13, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 28, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 07, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
Nov 09, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 22, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 17, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 11, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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:
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
Neil Coulter
Jul 30, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Liz Neering
Jul 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
Austin Zook
Chuck Wendig has done it again...and produced something mind-numbingly average.

Now, don't let the 1-star reviews fool you: there are moments in this book that work (and a couple that really work), but they're few and far between, obscured by juvenile prose, and rely heavily on (mostly) poorly-written and uninteresting characters. However, the fact that any of it kinda-sorta works without the aid of the pre-The Force Awakens hype that surrounded the first book in this trilogy makes it an improvem
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
Oct 27, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: starwars
Okay, I'll say it. This book was better than the first, just like Stalin was a little bit better than Hitler. Actually, that is pretty subjective.

Anyway, this review contains spoilers. PROCEED WITH CAUTION.

I suppose I should start this off with the good things.

1. I was genuinely interested in Gallius Rax and his connection to Jakku. (Even though I think he is a cheap off-brand Thrawn.)
2. This book featured Leia and Han. It didn't feature them well, but it at least had them in the book. With the
Sep 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Feb 02, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: solid, star-wars
Better than the first one!

A list of good things:

1) Sinjir Rath Velus! Love that dude. He's the only OC from this series that I feel any actual fondness toward.

2) I really enjoy the ability to watch TFA, elbow whoever's sitting next to me, and whisper obnoxiously, "Hey, see Matt Parkman from Heroes standing behind Poe? Yeah. That's Temmin 'Snap' Wexley. Let me tell you his entire backstory." Not that I actually do that, but I enjoy that I have the ability to do so, should I choose to exercise it.
Jun 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“And then, as if by miracle—or by the Force or whatever bizarre cosmic authority governs the weave and weft of the galaxy…”

To a Star Wars fan there ought to be no question what or whom governs the galaxy. It must be the Force, or perhaps those who use it. Yet Chuck Wendig, author of “Star Wars: Aftermath: Life Debt”, lets float some skepticism through his third-person narration. Critical to note though, the narrator’s quote above closely follows the cunning mindset of Sinjir, an ex-officer of th
C.T. Phipps
Aug 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't a big fan of Chuck Wendig's Aftermath novel. I really wanted to know what the situation was after the Battle of Endor but it seemed focused, instead, on a ragtag band of misfits trying to disrupt an Imperial conference. Really, it drew unfortunate comparisons with Heir to the Empire, which was the beginning of the Star Wars Legends universe. Heir to the Empire starred Han, Luke, and Leia who are a hard act to follow when you're beginning a new Expanded Universe.

Bluntly, I read Star Wa
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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)
“if there’s one mystical energy that powers the galaxy, it’s not the Force. It’s pure, unadulterated irony.” 6 likes
“This is a terrible plan,” he says to Han Solo—Solo, who crouches down so as not to be seen. Han Solo, the jerk. The very handsome, very charismatic jerk. “And I hate you very much.” 3 likes
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