Century, out now
Some debts must be paid…
The second novel in Chuck Wendig’s post-Return of the Jedi trilogy maintains the high standard of the first, keeping the realistic edge to the Star Wars universe. If the original trilogy was a fairy tale then this is the franchise’s Into the Woods – and in the case of those who suffered post-the Battle of Endor, that’s very appropriate.
Wendig juggles multiple plotlines, involving the core characters of the saga far more than in the first book; now that we’ve seen where they end up in The Force Awakens, we can see the seeds of problems being sown. We also get backstory development for those introduced in the seventh movie. His writing style doesn’t lend itself to long interior monologues, but instead to the sort of occasionally chaotic and random thoughts that rush across anyone’s minds, providing a different, but equally clear, perspective on their outlook. There are plenty of references to events across the whole franchise (and even the odd Easter egg for other book – some of Wendig’s own, and, if I’ve read it right, some of his friends’ too!).
We spend plenty of time with the new characters Wendig has brought to the Star Wars universe – Norra and her “crew”, as well as Admiral Rae Sloane whose journey through the book is one of the most interesting… and ends up in a surprising yet now familiar environment. I’m just starting to wonder whether homonyms are going to play a key role in some of the future revelations, and indeed whether questions that you might expect to see answered in the big screen stories actually end up being dealt with in the novels.
Verdict: Ignore the haters and treat yourself to another highly enjoyable Star Wars tale. 9/10