Please note that this review will contain spoilers for Aftermath, the first book in the trilogy.
Life Debt is a bit better than the first Aftermath book, but holds its fair share of problems. The first book came out before the release of The Force Awakens and was the first story in Disney’s new continuity to take place after Return of the Jedi. People were expecting lots of post-Episode VI details and that did not happen. Understandably, that did not go over well with the fans. But now that Episode VII is out we can get into more details, right? Yeah, not so much.
Now there are some things in this book that are interesting, such as Han Solo and Chewbacca’s battle to free Chewie’s home planet from enslavement. Other than that, not much happens. The characters from the first book (take note: you will be totally lost if you did not read the first one) are basically Rebel/New Republic sanctioned bounty hunters. Their job is to hunt down forming high ranking Imperials who have gone into hiding. And…that is kind of it. There seems to be a larger, greater plot that will (hopefully) be developed in book three, but this whole novel feels like a little side adventure.
Like the previous book, there are little in-between tidbits featuring more well-known characters from the Star Wars universe. While knowing the ultimate fates of minor characters that were more fleshed out in the old canon is neat, it does nothing to advance the main story. If anything, these little bits are the most entertaining parts of the book. Characters that are more important such as Princess Leia, Admiral Ackbar, and Mon Mothma are not exactly written well. Remember how Luke behaved really out of character in the old canon’s worst novel, The Crystal Star? It is kind of like that.
While this book is better than its predecessor, that is not exactly setting the high bar. This is by no means something that you need to read to understand the Expanded Universe as a whole. The last book ended with the show of a Grand Admiral who was hinted to possibly be Thrawn; thank The Force that did not happen and he was used in season 3 of Star Wars: Rebels instead. Now maybe, maybe, the third and final book will be something good. Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaybe (probably not).