Author: Ann Aguirre
Series: Sirantha Jax #5
Cover Art: N/A
Genre: Science Fiction
Reviewed by: Julia
References and descriptions of sex, sex scenes.
Near Perfect – Buy two copies: one for you and one for a friend.
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…
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.