The War Is Not Over

Aftermath: Star Wars: Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Chuck Wendig

I freaking hate Chuck Wendig's writing style (not his fault, your mileage may vary), which I shall hereafter refer to as the SQUIRREL! style. I had never read one of his books before this, and I can't say I'm eager to repeat the experience. It was like watching a vaguely Star Wars themed Youtube video compilation that switches video clips every 5-10 seconds. Strangely hypnotic, yet at the same time you can feel part of yourself dying. Maybe brain cells, maybe your soul. It's hard to tell. The whole time, in the back of my mind I was thinking, "Oh lordy, his poor editors!" They were probably so overwhelmed by all the fragments and colons and general intentional sentence structure abuse that they didn't even notice Jom reminiscing about flying a shuttle through a hale storm and Adea lunching at Wedge.

 

After a while SQUIRREL! started to grow on me (like a fungus). There is a sort of rhythm to it, so while I still freaking hated it I could look past it in an attempt to enjoy the story. But, oh my, Chuck didn't make it easy for me. The way he writes dialogue? Everybody sounds the same. See what I just did there with the full sentence cut into two by an unnecessary question mark? Everybody in the book speaks that way. Imperials, Rebels (er, New Republicans?), psychotic crime lords, bounty hunters, pilots, what have you: no matter their race or station, they all sound the same to the point that I wonder if that's how Mr. Wendig speaks.

 

As for the story itself, I don't have much to say about it. After all of my complaining is done, I can honestly say I didn't totally hate it. My expectations were already at rock bottom going in, so it would have had to be spectacularly bad to truly disappoint me. And while it wasn't a wonderfully enjoyable experience, it wasn't pluck-my-suffering-eyeballs-out bad. It does a half decent job of showing an Empire reeling but still fighting and a New Republic that really hasn't got a clue yet how to do anything but be Rebels fighting a rebellion. I did enjoy parts of it, but I couldn't help thinking the stuff going on in the interludes was a lot more interesting than the main story. I think I would have liked it a lot more if it had been written by someone else not conversant in SQUIRREL! and/or didn't have a Star Wars label on it.

 

I will probably read the rest of the trilogy because I'm a completist when it comes to series. And it's Star Wars (sort of, trying to be).  And I may also be a masochist. (Definitely a masochist, but not so much that I'll be reading Wendig's non-Star Wars books.)