Review: Chuck Wendig’s Life Debt could help sell the Aftermath trilogy to doubters (maybe)

Aftermath: Life DEbtGood news for folks who had trouble with Chuck Wendig’s first Aftermath novel – the sequel, Life Debt is far more accessible. No, Wendig doesn’t change things up too much, but plotwise, the book is slightly more traditional. (Those who can’t move beyond his writing style, well… Good luck.)

It also helps that we’re well past The Force Awakens. The first Aftermath found itself targeted for a lot of things, but I think the most notable (and least discussed) was the burden of expectation. As the first important canon novel to tread into the newly-cleared territory after Return of the Jedi, it was bound to disappoint readers who thought they’d be getting Heir to the Empire 2.0 – or at least Truce at Bakura 2.0. The reality turned out to be something more off the beaten track and with Life Debt, we have a far better idea of what we’re getting.

With the ground laid in the first book, Life Debt gets off the ground quickly. Wendig is free to use (sparingly) characters like Han and Leia in the A-plot, which gives readers an anchor. But the majority of the action is still with the newer characters.

Minor spoilers, if that, behind the cut. Continue reading

Out this week: Wendig’s Aftermath: Life Debt

aftermath-life-debt-cropOut Tuesday is Aftermath: Life Debt, Chuck Wendig’s followup to last year’s pre-The Force Awakens novelAftermath. Post-movie, we can expect more major movie characters as well the team from the first book – excerpts have featured Han and Leia, plus part of an interlude featuring Maz Kanata.

There are already few reviews live on Barnes & Noble and SciFiNow. And don’t forget that B&N also has a special edition of the book that comes with posters. On the fence? Tosche Station has a Go/No-Go.

UPDATE: A fourth excerpt from the book, featuring… Malakili, the rancor keeper from Return of the Jedi. Oh, Chuck.

The week in Star Wars: Slow fuse burning

Mark steals a golf cart #beardwatchWe wait (and wait and wait) for so many things: Celebration, more Rogue One stuff, more Aftermath… Here’s what we did learn this week:

→ Filming for Episode VIII ends on July 22, per golfcart-stealer Mark Hamill. Yet there’s already a distinct last-week-of-school feel to a a delightful array of social media posts from Rian Johnson and the cast.

→ With the release of Aftermath: Life Debt nearing, we got a cover for Empire’s End as well as a new excerpt. Plus official art of breakout character Mr. Bones.

The livestream is back for Celebration Europe. I’m sad I’m not going, but also happy that I’ll be able to blog the happenings in a timely fashion. So who is going? James!

→ Our Tumblr themes this week were pets, the Millennium Falcon, Legends, Leia and Finn. Get all that and the news right on your dash by following us! (Or you can always amuse/annoy me with random asks.)

→ FLASHBACK POST: James’ guide on how to photograph fans in costume is evergreen and essential.

Etc. Because there is only so much time in a week, here’s some of the stuff we didn’t get to. FRESH(ISH) CONTENT FOR YOU!

Janine K. Spendlove→ On StarWars.com, James interviewed Jader Janine K. Spendlove about her short story ‘Inbrief,’ which first appeared in the Star Wars Insider and is now available in the Battlefront: Twilight Company, paperback.

→ Here are all the places you can get in your preliminary votes the new Hasbro Fan Choice, or I guess we’re calling it the Star Wars Fan Figure Vote now. All I know is that last year covering this was exhausting, so this time I’m not going to bother with it until it’s time for the final vote.

→ Kevin J. Anderson’s Darksaber is an awful, awful book and yet also directly responsible for me meeting and bonding (saltily) with many other Club Jaders, as it was the hot new release way back in the dark ages when I first got online. I bring this up because Katharine Trendacosta reread it and then wrote about it for io9. Katharine, you are SO BRAVE. I salute you.

Wear Star Wars Every Day: Week 27


Kicking off the second half of the year with a random batch of shirts for #WearStarWarsEveryDay! But in better news, with three donations this past week, we have now raised more than $2,000 total for Collateral Repair Project, about $1,600 via the GoFundMe and the rest via check, cash, and employee match. Also, I met Greg Grunberg at a book signing and he approved of the campaign so much that he signed by shirt on the spot! Two shirts this week are mine, and thanks to Paul, Mike, Darren, and Margaret for lending me the rest! We’ve got some original art, plus Coffee with Kenobi and Skywalking Through Neverland podcasts, the 501st Legion, and the NY Line. This review for Week 27 covers July 1 to July 7 of my wearathon, and an update on fundraising for Collateral Repair Project, a non-profit organization that provides emergency assistance, education, and community support to urban refugees.

Going to a convention this month? So am I! I’ll be at Star Wars Celebration Europe in London and San Diego Comic-Con, so if you have an article of clothing that you’d like to lend me or just donate, contact me and we can arrange a meetup!

Thanks to everyone who has supported Wear Star Wars Every Day so far, both our one-time donors and our per-day pledgemakers. Each day I continue my project is another $4.65 donated by our pledge makers. I’d love to get that total up to $5.00 even (or higher!) for the second half of 2016. If you’d like to chip in at a dime a day or a quarter per day (or more), make your pledge at the per-day pledge form and you can choose whether to support the project for the entire year, or just start at the beginning of July. Or you can just make a one-time or monthly donation at GoFundMe.com/WearStarWars2016.

Get more info on what Wear Star Wars Every Day is all about, or make a donation or a per-day pledge!

Episode VIII set shenanigans (with Instagram and Twitter)

A tweet roundup is due, but as things wind down, there’s just been so much out there on Instagram and tweet from the Episode VIII cast and crew that they’re breaking out on their own.

Daisy Ridley shared an already infamous face swap with director Rian Johnson, as well as teasing a new hairstyle. (Join me in hoping it’s not a padawan braid, please.) Johnson himself is sharing (recognizable, mostly) images of the Millennium Falcon. Also spotted: One Pablo Hidalgo, who punned.

Finishing up – or at least admitting to it – are John Boyega and Anthony Daniels.

Perhaps we were too quick to assume that Mark Hamill had lost the beard, though he does seem to be pulling double duty. (UPDATE: He’s now wrapped as well.)

And finally, your moment of zen: Gary Fisher with “his two favorite stalkers.” A weird thing happens when you start to see enough of those emoji: They start making sense. Maybe one day I’ll wake up being able to read Aurebesh after all.

A new (old) friend makes a novel debut in latest Aftermath: Life Debt excerpt

STILL-tfa-maz

The third excerpt from Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath: Life Debt features Maz Kanata, the orange alien played by Lupita Nyong’o who made her Star Wars debut in The Force Awakens. It seems that Maz features in an interlude, not the main ongoing story like our previous excerptees. As excepts go, it’s the shortest so far: You can read it at USA Today.

Aftermath: Life Debt will be out in hardcover and eBook on Tuesday.