5bat! Review: Aftermath by Ann Aguirre

August 30, 2011 Review 8 ★★★★★

 

Aftermath (Sirantha Jax, #5) Title: Aftermath
Author: Ann Aguirre
Series: Sirantha Jax #5
Cover Art: N/A
Genre: Science Fiction
Excerpt: Yes
Source: Publisher
Reviewed by: Julia

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ace; August 30, 2011
  • ISBN-10: 044102078X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441020782

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Sexual Content:

References and descriptions of sex, sex scenes.


Rating:

Near Perfect – Buy two copies: one for you and one for a friend.

Description

DEAD HEROES GET MONUMENTS. LIVE ONES GET TRIALS.

Sirantha Jax has the right genes—ones that enable her to “jump” faster-than-light ships through grimspace. But it’s also in her genetic makeup to go it alone. It’s a character trait that has gotten her into—and out of—hot water time and time again, but now she’s caused one of the most horrific events in military history…

During the war against murderous, flesh-eating aliens, Sirantha went AWOL and shifted grimspace beacons to keep the enemy from invading humanity’s homeworld. The cost of her actions: the destruction of modern interstellar travel—and the lives of six hundred Conglomerate soldiers.

Accused of dereliction of duty, desertion, mass murder, and high treason, Sirantha is on trial for her life. And only time will tell if she’s one of the Conglomerate’s greatest heroes—or most infamous criminals…

Review

The Sirantha Jax series feels like it’s changed so much from those first, frenetic, action-packed books, but I know that’s not wholly accurate . Jax’s world is as messy and political and fraught with peril as ever, but my relationship with the characters has deepened to the point where they are almost all I see anymore.  Though not in an urban fantasy setting, fans will find the species and technologies in this world are written as accessibly as any magic, and the romance and action portrayed definitely fit the kick-butt heroine bill.  AFTERMATH, more than any other book in the series, has the flavors of an epistolary novel. Not in the sense that current events are shown only through letters, but the characters that I’ve grown to love so much pour their hearts out to each other through the emptiness of space in letters and stories and memories.

Those letters are necessary, as political strife and responsibilities separate lovers Jax and March again and again. Nothing brings home the inexorable movement of life than March searching for his nephew on a far away planet while Jax is on trial for her life.  That turns out to be the first of many necessary separations for these two over the course of the book. Of course, while March is physically absent, that doesn’t mean Jax is alone.  Vel is there for her, endlessly loyal and supportive and undemanding.  Jax and Vel, each so different from others of their own species, have joined together in a singular tribe of two.  Aguirre writes the most human of relationships, without ever glossing over the truly alien differences between them.  Aguirre has not created anything so common as a love triangle between Jax and March and Vel. Rather, she has written two distinct futures for our heroine, in which Jax’s dreams take on distinctly different, though beautiful, forms.

Maturity feels like too light a word for the transformation Jax has been going through over the last few books. Perhaps Vel has given me a chitinous frame of mind, but I can see Jax breaking free from a brightly colored chrysalis. AFTERMATH is the book where she begins to dry her wings, pulling free of the bonds that have kept her to earth for so long.  I would definitely recommend readers start at the beginning for the entire, glorious ride.  As for me, my heart is in my throat at the thought of reading the last of this series, ENDGAME.  Part of me can’t wait for Aguirre to continue weaving her spell, but the rest of me will always remember Jax at the end of AFTERMATH: poised between the poles of two such beautiful destinies, limitless possibilities laid out at her feet.

Previous Books in Series
Also Reviewed By:
  1. Grimspace
  2. Wanderlust
  3. Doubleblind
  4. Killbox

8 Responses to “5bat! Review: Aftermath by Ann Aguirre”

  1. Lexi

    This series has been in my TBR list for a while, maybe I should start reading it! Nice review!

  2. Julia

    @Lexi – Reading AFTERMATH sent me back to GRIMSPACE to re-enjoy the series, I can't get over how much it's grown since then (GRIMSPACE is great, but wow). Reminds me a lot of the Kate Daniels series. When I go back to MAGIC BITES, I can't believe how much the characters have been through.

  3. Mandi

    Jax's world is as messy and political and fraught with peril as ever, but my relationship with the characters has deepened to the point where they are almost all I see anymore.

    This x 1000!!! LOVE this series

  4. Julia

    @Tina – I was so excited when my copy arrived, you're going to love it!

    @Rain – GRIMSPACE wanders a little bit at the end (plot-wise), but that's just because there's so much packed into the book. I hope you like it, this series blindsided me, I picked up GRIMSPACE from the library on a whim, totally fell in love.

    @Mandi – When I sat down to write the review, I just had paragraph after paragraph of analysis of Jax and Vel and March… and then I remembered, "Oh, and plot stuff happened, too." Isn't it amazing what gets packed into these books? Ann Aguirre blows me away, all her series are such unique worlds, but this one is definitely my favorite.

  5. Julia

    @Jeanette – I had a little exchange with Ann Aguirre on twitter, basically talking about how all my attempts to write reviews were coming out like adolescent poetry. Just so deeply in love!