by Chuck Wendig
Published by Del Rey, September 4, 2015
400 Pages • ISBN 978-0345511621 • Hardcover
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As the Empire reels from its critical defeats at the Battle of Endor, the Rebel Alliance — now a fledgling New Republic — presses its advantage by hunting down the enemy’s scattered forces before they can regroup and retaliate. But above the remote planet Akiva, an ominous show of the enemy’s strength is unfolding. Out on a lone reconnaissance mission, pilot Wedge Antilles watches Imperial Star Destroyers gather like birds of prey circling for a kill, but he’s taken captive before he can report back to the New Republic leaders.
Meanwhile, on the planet’s surface, former rebel fighter Norra Wexley has returned to her native world—war weary, ready to reunite with her estranged son, and eager to build a new life in some distant place. But when Norra intercepts Wedge Antilles’s urgent distress call, she realizes her time as a freedom fighter is not yet over. What she doesn’t know is just how close the enemy is—or how decisive and dangerous her new mission will be.
Determined to preserve the Empire’s power, the surviving Imperial elite are converging on Akiva for a top-secret emergency summit to consolidate their forces and rally for a counterstrike. But they haven’t reckoned on Norra and her newfound allies — her technical-genius son, a Zabrak bounty hunter, and a reprobate Imperial defector — who are prepared to do whatever they must to end the Empire’s oppressive reign once and for all.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...
The second Death Star is destroyed. The Emperor and his powerful enforcer, Darth Vader, are rumored to be dead. The Galactic Empire is in chaos.
Across the galaxy, some systems celebrate, while in others Imperial factions tighten their grip. Optimism and fear reign side by side.
And while the Rebel Alliance engages the fractured forces of the Empire, a lone rebel scout uncovers a secret Imperial meeting...
I had written quite the lengthy review detailing my love/hate relationship with this book, but the internet ate it and it is nowhere to be found, and quite frankly, I don't feel like writing the whole damned thing again.
Instead, you'll get the tl;dr highlights!
- Not at all what I thought it was going to be: expected big sprawling epic leading up to The Force Awakens, instead given disjointed first part of a trilogy that won't be complete until after the movie comes out, so we won't even have the entire story before going to see the movie...
- Perhaps my expectations were skewed too high due to my excitement over the new movie?
- Too many new characters all arriving in the exact right place at the exact right time to feel believable (even for a scifi book).
- What exactly was the purpose of the Imperial's super secret meeting? Because for all the time spent in that summit in this 400-page book, not a thing happened. Basically, it felt like the same argument between the characters told in different ways every single time.
- Great ending space battle, and for all the disjointedness of the story and the unnecessary "Interludes" trying to show the sociopolitical spectrum of a post-Palpatine galaxy, there were enough teases and questions left at the end that made me want to read the next book.
- Chuck Wendig's writing style is definitely not for me. Probably won't be physically reading anything else by him. Didn't like his style so much that I ended up switching over to audio production of book, which then moved much more smoothly for me.
- What exactly was everybody so worked up over about the gay character? He mentions in one offhand comment that he likes men. Big fucking deal.
There you have it. That'll be my review on this one until I feel like rewriting it, which probably won't happen if I'm going to be honest.