Review: Empire’s End (mostly) crushes the empire, finishes off Aftermath trilogy

Empire’s End finishes off the Aftermath trilogy with a satisfying conclusion for some, and even more questions for others! In other words, it’s a Star Wars novel in the year 2017.

I’ve found myself cooling a bit on the trilogy as time goes on. Not enough that I won’t still recommend it, but simply as a function of the timing involved. When Aftermath was released, we were months away from The Force Awakens, and in the fever-pitch of anticipation. Anything was a possible hint! Life Debt came out months after, and we had a better idea of what to expect. And now, Empire’s End, when we’re just barely starting to ramp up to The Last Jedi. And I’m finding my old intertrilogy/original character apathy begin to creep in, a little.

Which is not to say Empire’s End is a bad read, mind.

A continued lack of spoilers beneath the cut.

I enjoyed the book, and read it quickly. Sloane is the real star of this book, and her storyline contains both mysteries and answers for those who are only reading these books as a backstory delivery device. Fittingly, a big chunk of the book is set in Jakku, even before the actual battle truly begins.

Han and Leia continue to be important characters here, and yes, Ben does get born. (And we finally learn his last name!) We check back in with a few of the interlude characters. Sinjir Rath Velus discovers feelings. That one character appears briefly in an interlude, apparently a thing we needed to know. (Not really, but it’s harmless enough.)

Wendig’s cast mostly has their story come to a fitting end, at least for the moment. (In Star Wars, after all, there’s always room for more.) The lingering mysteries are certainly ones we’ll see addressed sooner rather than later.

If you haven’t been able to get into the trilogy before, chances are Empire’s End won’t change your mind. But overall, I found it to be a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy. Just don’t expect to get every answer you’ve been hoping for.

Grade: B

Aftermath: Empire’s End is available now in hardcover and eBook. A copy of the book was provided by Del Rey for review.

One thought on “Review: Empire’s End (mostly) crushes the empire, finishes off Aftermath trilogy

  1. Eric

    I didn’t like this — it seemed too… sadistic, too mystopian where too much of the plot was driven by stupidity and folly.

    No pride, not anger – not the classic Star Wars motivations. Just… eh.

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