All right, so...just finished Aftermath: Life Debt, the sequel to Aftermath, and thankfully the second time around was much better. I never hated the first book but I didn't love it either. It wasn't so much Chuck Wendig's writing style, which is jarring to read in the first book. I actually didn't mind the present tense style of writing too much. It was more the fact that the events after Return of the Jedi just seemed...weird to read. I was so used to the Expanded Universe's storyline that it was weird to read about these new characters that I'd never heard of, except Temmin, who would grow up to be Snap Wexley from The Force Awakens. And then Wedge plays a large part in the book, but not in his X-Wing, which made it all so surreal. However, Life Debt more than made up for any awkwardness from the first book. I cared more about the characters and was glad to see Han, Chewie and Leia play a major role in the book (but not Luke...what is going on with him? It's like he dropped out of the galaxy after taking the tree he took back during the Shattered Empire comics). Anyway, it is definitely one of my favorites of the new canon.
Now, moving on to the Adventures in Wild Space young adult books. The last time I'd read them I had no idea where to place them on the timeline and just threw them in the middle of Rebels since they were headed to Lothal at the end of the last book. However, having just finished book 3, The Steal, this series of books takes place just months after Palpatine became Emperor. Ezra is an infant on Lothal, and since he was born on Empire Day, it's pretty obvious what year this series is set. Not a bad series so far; it reads fast, each book easily readable in a few hours.
A lot of great things were revealed at Star Wars Celebration in London, including the introduction into canon of Grand Admiral Thrawn. Although the placement in the timeline is much earlier than the Heir to the Empire series and there will be no interaction with Luke or Leia, (or will there?) it is still exciting to see this great character become canon. He still apparently studies his enemies by using their art, which is consistent with his character. But apparently there will be no ysalimiri because the Story Group felt it wasn't consistent with the Star Wars universe, where the force is in ALL things. What other differences will there be? Will there be Noghri? Will he have been chosen by Palpatine after being ostracized by the Chiss? Will Pellaeon be on his ship? *gasp* Will he interact with Darth Vader???? Can't wait for season 3 of Rebels!
And of course, I'm looking forward to the Ahsoka book coming out in October and the Rogue One books coming out before the movie. This movie has me so excited, if for no other reason but to see Darth Vader in action.
The young Han Solo was chosen for the stand-alone movie. I'm not happy about seeing anyone else play Han Solo, to the point I wish they wouldn't make a movie about him. Make it a book. Make it a comic. Anything but a movie where the actor looks nothing like him. But this is my only real complaint about Star Wars at the moment. Other than they should have a book a month coming out! But seriously, the future of Star Wars is still so exciting. I can't wait for more stories to add to the timeline!