With the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, not only has a new trilogy been launched, but, in a sense, a whole new Star Wars universe. Star Wars fans may be familiar with the Expanded Universe, the novels, graphic novels, games, and other sources that developed the story after the fall of the second Death Star. All of that has now been swept off the table. Consider the new Star Wars material a separate timeline.
The first major novel, Chuck Wendig's Aftermath, is the first of an expected trilogy. It sets up the new era, just after the destruction of the second Death Star. The Empire did not just disappear when the Death Star blew up. The rebels did not step in immediately with a new democratic governance over the galaxy. Everything is in flux; no one is sure where loyalties will lie or who is in power.
Aftermath features a few characters we know and love from the movies. Mostly, though, new characters are introduced. The novel retains the tone of the movies, although it seemed to have more of a I-III feel than a IV-VI feel (which, most would agree, isn't necessarily a good thing). It's a serviceable interlude, taking the reader from VI toward The Force Awakens. The story seemed secondary to some of the background development.
I like the fact that Aftermath throws a bucket of cold water on the celebrations at the end of VI (extended edition). The destruction of the Death Star was but a battle; the Empire won't be put down so easily. I didn't love the book, but it certainly piqued my interest in The Force Awakens, which ultimately, is probably the main point.