Life Debt – Chuck Wendig

Synopsis: “It is a dark time for the Empire. . . .”

The Emperor is dead, and the remnants of his former Empire are in retreat. As the New Republic fights to restore a lasting peace to the galaxy, some dare to imagine new beginnings and new destinies. For Han Solo, that means settling his last outstanding debt, by helping Chewbacca liberate the Wookiee’s homeworld of Kashyyyk.

Meanwhile, Norra Wexley and her band of Imperial hunters pursue Grand Admiral Rae Sloane and the Empire’s remaining leadership across the galaxy. Even as more and more officers are brought to justice, Sloane continues to elude the New Republic, and Norra fears Sloane may be searching for a means to save the crumbling Empire from oblivion. But the hunt for Sloane is cut short when Norra receives an urgent request from Princess Leia Organa. The attempt to liberate Kashyyyk has carried Han Solo, Chewbacca, and a band of smugglers into an ambush resulting in Chewie’s capture and Han’s disappearance.

Breaking away from their official mission and racing toward the Millennium Falcon‘s last known location, Norra and her crew prepare for any challenge that stands between them and their missing comrades. But they can’t anticipate the true depth of the danger that awaits them or the ruthlessness of the enemy drawing them into his crosshairs.

“ALL ARE WELCOME. (NO FIGHTING.) That rule is simple on the surface, but not easy in the execution, because Maz Kanata’s castle has been a meeting place since time immemorial– a nexus point drawing together countless lines of allegiance and opposition, a place not only where friend and foe can meet, but where complex conflicts are worn down flat so that all may sit, have a drink and a meal, listen to a song, and broker whatever deals their hearts or politics require. That’s why the flags outside her castle represent hundreds of cities and civilizations and guilds from before forever. The galaxy is not now, nor has it ever been, two polar forces battling for supremacy. It has been thousands of forces: a tug-of-war not with as ingle rope but a spider’s web of influence, dominance, and desire. Clans and cults, tribes and families, governments and anti-governments. Queens, satraps, warlords! Diplomats, buccaneers, droids! Slicers, spicers, ramblers, and gamblers! To repeat: ALL ARE WELCOME. (NO FIGHTING.)” 

In a galaxy far, far away.. I once read Aftermath & then didn’t continue on with the series like a goddamn SAVAGE. What in actual fuck? I blame Miriam Black. And the fact that there is a new Star Wars release approximately every 23 seconds. It’s hard for a fan to keep up on ALL THE STAR WARS!!

That’s neither here nor there. What truly matters is that I’m baaack! I enjoyed Aftermath. A lot. But goddamn. I fucking LOVED Life Debt!

The remnants of the Empire are now under control of Grand Admiral Rae Sloane. Han Solo & Chewbacca tried to free the Wookiees of Kashyyyk from enslavement by the Empire, but Chewie gets captured. Han goes to save him & ends up missing. Norra & her team (Temmin, Sinjir, Jom, Jas & Mister Bones) are asked by General Leia Organa to find them.

Any storyline that involves Han & Chewie is pretty much guaranteed to make my soul happy & my eyes brim with tears. This did not disappoint!

“Yeah, pal. I know.” He sighs. “I love you, too.”

Wendig knows how to write well-rounded female characters, without a doubt. Miriam Black, Norra Wexley, Rae Sloane, Jas Emari. I love Jas so damn much! She’s essentially Miriam Black, but in Star Wars.. AND I AM HERE FOR IT ALL DAMN DAY!! Of course another standout character is Mister Bones. ROGER-ROGER! A delightfully violent, bonkers battle droid that has been reprogrammed by his master Temmin Wexley & is now supporting the good side! Much like L3-37 in Solo, he completely stole each scene he was in. I appreciate his dark & twisted personality, most definitely! Then there is Leia, my beloved Leia. For me, this was the best written characterization of Leia in recent memory. Wendig captured her essence, her strength, which is so hard to replicate. Oof.

If you are looking for unbiased opinions on Chuck Wendig, you may want to just stop reading. I am an unabashed fan of Wendig’s writing, his politics, sense of humor.. the fact that he is an ally (& a vocal one!) He has taken risks with this series & made it his own, while still keeping it decidedly the war of the stars!

More than any other in the franchise, his series appears to be the most polarizing. Is it because of his social media presence? His political rants? Do they just not get his writing? Or.. and this is almost too much to comprehend, do they have something against apples?! THOSE GODDAMN MONSTERS!!

Perhaps because he has included the first ever openly queer protagonist. Not only that, multiple queer secondary characters as well. But Wendig’s just a SJW, trying to force diversity in a fandom that doesn’t want politics waved in their face. The PC culture is killing Star Wars, y’all! Or so I’ve been told ::eye roll:: It’s not like Star Wars hasn’t always been political or anything.

Listen. I’m getting sidetracked. But it’s hard not to when talking about my absolute favorite fandom, something that means the fucking world to me. I’m a lifelong fan & will continue to be. I’ll never let the toxicity take that away from me. It’s just exhausting. And disheartening.

But I digress!

I believe that Wendig just completely delivered with Life Debt. It’s engaging, unique & packs a powerful punch. Breathless action, diverse characters & compulsively readable. This is such a brilliant installment, cover to cover.

Yoda best, Wendig. Yoda best.

-Holly

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7 thoughts on “Life Debt – Chuck Wendig

  1. I really enjoyed this whole series and want to read it again. I feel like i need to start the new canon all over and get better feel for where the whole story is going. So I may read this series again. I think you’ll like book 3.

    As for Wendig I don’t get all the hate for his writing apart from people not liking his diversity inclusion. A lot of people complain about the writing and choppy sentence structure but it doesn’t bother me at all. Hell if Faulkner can write whole chapters with one sentence and be called a genius of American writing why can’t Wendig’s style be good?

    I know some people just don’t like the way the legends books were tossed aside and I get that. There were decades of material that they invested in that got pushed aside. And yeah I loved Zahn’s Heir To The Empire series. But when the franchise went in another direction new books would have to emerge. I think Wendig did a great job with his offering.

    But for those who don’t like the diversity…fuck that.

    And Mr. bones…I loved Mr. Bones.

    Like

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