Aftermath: Star Wars - Chuck Wendig, Marc Thompson

I just looked up spoilers to see how it all tied together.  Response: even the spoiler summary is two tangled and ??? for me to care.  Seriously, take a look:
http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Aftermath

 

Writing style aside, I think a huge problem with this book is how it starts with 5-6 different character plot lines (plus flashbacks/interludes) for characters we have absolutely no attachment to, and then takes its sweet time to tie them together.  From what I can tell... the number of individual character plot threads increases, or at the very least stays a constant instead of some reduction as characters become intertwined.

 

Most Star Wars novels have an advantage.  They're set in a world that we WANT to read more about, and by and large, start off with characters we are invested in, or characters closely tied to them (ie. Solo children).  Interludes aside (and a very brief appearance of Wedge, who for at least the first third of the book remains a side character at most), there are no characters here that we have pre-existing investment to.  And we're given at least five that we're supposed to buy into.  Well, maybe only four since the focus of the book is more on the Alliance than the Empire, but I found Sloane to be one of the best characters in the book.

 

We get snippets of Mon Mothma, Akbar, Wedge, Leia, and it looks like some Han Solo action way into the book... but it also looks like that TOO is an aside.  The interludes are great flavor text for the galaxy/Alliance/Empire as a whole, but with such a splintered storyline with characters we don't start out invested in, they instead detract from the narrative itself.

 

Again, look at the link I provided to a summary.  Look at all the "meanwhile on ______ stuff happens" paragraphs.

 

I've very much enjoyed Star Wars novels where I'm not previously invested in the characters - for example I've watched none of the TV series, so Dark Disciple was basically unknown characters for me.  But the difference there is we have a tight focus on two main characters, plus asides dealing with antagonists on both sides (I will argue that for at least part of the story of Dark Disciple the Jedi Order to function as antagonists).  That is far different than a splintered narrative bouncing between at least 5 largely disparate characters with a flood of asides each dealing with different characters and situations.

 

This stands for my "book bust" read for Summer Bingo sadly.