From the outset, let me start by acknowledging that I was completely underwhelmed by the first of the Aftermath trilogy. Disclaimer aside, the second venture into the series, Life Debt, is better. It corrects some of what makes the first so atrocious, but I refuse to say that this is any better than “good”.
The plot of Life Debt is much better organized and far more interesting than Aftermath. Wendig does put the narrative “light” on already established Star Wars characters such as Leia, Chewie, and Han, but the majority of the novel follows the team established in Book 1 centered around the Wexleys. It does however also contain more of Rae Sloane and Gallius Rax. Further, it progresses the governments of both the Empire and the New Republic, and we see them vying for control.
There is a minor space battle that is glossed over, and disappointingly so. As with the first novel, Wendig’s writing really hurts the narrative. There are still idioms and words used in modern America that make their way onto the page (“True that” being a glaring example of this). What’s more there’s an obvious push to add political agendas by injecting the Zhe (gender neutral) pronouns in the book.
I’ll say this. I want to hurry up and finish Empire’s End so I can never read this trilogy again and hopefully get any backstory for The Force Awakens.
Except for Bones. I do love that droid. I guess Chuck did something right after all.
tl;dr — Read because you read the first book. Try to ignore political agendas.