Brandon Tietz's Reviews > Aftermath

Aftermath by Chuck Wendig
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Sep 27, 2015

it was ok
bookshelves: 2015

“Star Wars: Aftermath” suffers from what I refer to as “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” syndrome. That is to say, you tune in because you’re a fan of the universe it takes place in, but you’re forced to follow storylines of secondary characters that you don’t really care about and only minimally effect the main cast. Like “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” we’re given only passing mentions or brief cameos of the characters we want to see: Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie. There are no Jedi. No Sith. A lightsaber is tossed in there but never actually used. Thus, the pressure is put on Wendig to make his main cast of Temmin, Norra, Jas, and Sinjir compelling enough to pay attention to.

They’re fairly cookie cutter. Temmin, the teen tech genius. Norra, the long lost fighter pilot mother attempting to reconnect with her son. Jas, a not-as-cool-as-Boba-Fett bounty hunter. And Sinjir, an ex-Imperial loyalty officer who has turned on the Empire. There are glimpses of compelling narrative, especially those involving Sinjir and his past with the Empire. These promising excerpts, however, are buried under page after page of the formulaic “heroes get caught, heroes escape” padded action beats. There is no epic battle, but rather, a series of little skirmishes and close calls. After the third or fourth one, they become repetitive and a little boring. Exhaustion sets in under the duress of meaningless encounters with Stormtroopers and TIE fighters going pew-pew-pew in the direction of our heroes. “Aftermath” limps along to a less-than-thrilling conclusion with a tease of bigger and better things to come.

I’m not a diehard “Star Wars” fan, so my expectations were fairly level and I have no gripes about this being a reboot. I never got caught up in the EU controversy or the Sad Puppies controversy or the Gamer Gate controversy that have cluttered the author’s social media feeds. After reading the novel for myself, I feel like the one-star reviews can’t be so easily dismissed as “trollers trollin’” and “haters hating.” I didn’t know what to expect out of “Aftermath” but what I read didn’t get the job done. Not all the blame can go to Wendig. He’s a perfectly competent author working within the parameters of a universe that doesn’t belong to him. Certainly there’s things he is and is not allowed to do. For me though, as a passive fan of “Star Wars,” it didn’t work and I’ll more than likely take a pass on the next two installments.
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Reading Progress

September 27, 2015 – Started Reading
September 27, 2015 – Shelved
September 27, 2015 – Shelved as: 2015
October 5, 2015 – Finished Reading

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