I picked this up because I wanted to read the sequel Wanderlust and it bothers me to read books out of order. We start off with Sirantha Jax, a jumperI picked this up because I wanted to read the sequel Wanderlust and it bothers me to read books out of order. We start off with Sirantha Jax, a jumper who may or may not have accidentally killed everyone else on ship during her last jump. She is quickly saved from the corporation's mind torture by March and doesn't realize she may be in as much trouble going with him as she was just staying put when the rest of the cast is introduced. There is Dina, ship's mechanic and techno-voodoo lady, who had a thing for the ship's now dead jumper. Doc, who has a bit of a mad scientist streak, but is otherwise one of the nicest characters in the book. Loras, the rubber forehead alien with genetic pacifism, is just sort of there at the beginning. Then the story kicks off, and while everything is seen through Jax's eyes there is still an incredible amount of character growth all around. That alone made it worth my while to continue to the second novel. Add in plot twists that don't feel overly contrived and world building that feels like sitting and listening to a friend talk about a trip, and the book becomes one that I would suggest to any of my friends....more
Several weeks ago I entered a contest held by one of my current favorite authors, Ann Aguirre. Long story short, I won an advanced copy of her new booSeveral weeks ago I entered a contest held by one of my current favorite authors, Ann Aguirre. Long story short, I won an advanced copy of her new book Hell Fire, the second Corine Solomon novel. The story picks up shortly after the first novel, Blue Diablo, as Corine, her ex Chance, and a genius chihuahua enter the town where she grew up and where one night her mother was killed. Like much urban fantasy it hits close to home because the supernatural elements are everyday people. New characters are introduced in a way that feels organic rather than forced. The book has enough action to keep the story flowing with sentimental moments sprinkled throughout that serve to humanize many of the characters and keep them within the realms of suspension of disbelief. Corine deals with the sheer weird of her investigation in a town that, to all appearances, doesn't exist with humor and guts but seems to have a bit of a time choosing between mysterious bad boy Chance and White Knight empath Jesse Saldana. The sheer amount of character development that the returning cast received was a pleasant surprise. I would certainly suggest both this and Blue Diablo to other fantasy readers....more
Ann Aguirre’s Shady Lady is the third of her Corine Solomon series which has so far covered, among other things, drug cartels out for revenge, magic aAnn Aguirre’s Shady Lady is the third of her Corine Solomon series which has so far covered, among other things, drug cartels out for revenge, magic as a street weapon, demons and small towns, and messed up relationships. Shady Lady doesn’t really do anything to change that. Corine finds herself with the Montoya cartel is out for her blood because they can’t attack Min or her son, Chance. This, unfortunately, pulls her way from the nice normal life she so desperately wants and thrusts her back into the role of not-quite heroine. Along with Kel Ferguson, the Hand of God, Corine has to prove herself to one dangerous cartel boss in order to get Montoya out of her life permanently.
First off, I love the amount of character development Kel gets and how strong Corine is for most of the book. Secondly, Corine’s emotional responses tend to ring more true than not. I like the way that Corine worries about becoming a monster. I wish she wasn’t quite so much of a broken record about it, but overall it is a good thing. I like that Shannon responds to Corine’s less heroic decisions with something other than a stoic stiff upper lip, she worries about her friend and how far Corine’s going to go down the slippery slope. I like that the book was relatively Chance free. Corine thinks about him a lot sure, but she doesn’t moon over him like she had a tendency to do in the first two books. She’s made her break from him and started to move on. That said, Corine also does some really stupid things with little apparent planning or reason. She gets lost in her own head a couple of times, resulting in the narrative being broken a bit as she slogs through her own emotions. I’ve also got to admit that I was a bit disappointed in the ending, but that most of my problems with it will probably be tied up in a later novel. I give Shady Lady a four out of five, and suggest picking up the series if at all possible. ...more
Every year there are a scattering of books that I really look forward to seeing released. Ann Aguirre’s Killbox, the fourth Sirantha Jax novel, was o Every year there are a scattering of books that I really look forward to seeing released. Ann Aguirre’s Killbox, the fourth Sirantha Jax novel, was one of them. With the Farwan Corporation gone attacks on merchant ships have increased drastically and the Morgut are becoming a larger and larger threat as they strike and devour Federation settlements. As a result the crew becomes central in the formation of the Federation Armada, which due to lack of funding or training is quickly filled with some of the same pirates that they are fighting.
I’m going to wind up saying this again later, but I really liked the minor characters getting a bit more development in this one. It was nice to see Dina and Hit become more three dimensional and less defined by their jobs on ship. One of the most emotional scenes was effective because it was Dina showing vulnerability rather than any other character. It is also great to see the dynamic between Vel and Jax further developed, though I am a bit worried that Vel’s being set up as the third corner of a romantic triangle. Seeing Doc humanized felt like a bit of a missed moment, and I’m hoping that Aguirre will do more with him in the next book. I would have like to have seen more trouble with the pirates that were recruited, to all accounts they just fit right in with no problems based on old allegiances or places they had attacked. As a final note on characters, I was glad to see Aguirre bring back characters from the earlier books rather than just adding copies to the cast.
Killbox is a good deal more emotionally self-reflective than the previous three books which can get really old really fast. Add that the reader is dealing with Jax’s emotions from inside her head and there are times where she feels like a different character from the Jax of Doubleblind. Jax and March are still mostly worried about each other, but they aren’t allowed to do things their way anymore due to his being the Armada’s Commander. Many of the plans used throughout the book are strictly regulated as opposed to having a plan but then winging it. The more structured plans added another level of difference between Killbox and the previous installments in the series. Even with both characters being irreplaceably important Jax and March still find time to do really idiotic, really heroic things throughout the book which is both irritating and endearing. My biggest complaint on that has to be Jax’s habit of yo-yoing over her own decisions, especially towards the end. Since it is from the middle of the series, I’m not going to suggest Killbox on its own. It is a good read, but not standalone. It isn’t the best of the Sirantha Jax novels so far, but is still an enjoyable book and I am quite looking forward to the next one. ...more