Catie's Reviews > Doubleblind

Doubleblind by Ann Aguirre
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's review
Sep 06, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: read-in-2011, sci-fi, series
Read from September 06 to 10, 2011

Well, all I have to say is, if you’ve stopped reading this series after book two (Wanderlust), then please give it another chance! This was the best installment so far. With the first two books my reviews were a bit like, “I loved it…except for…” and “if it weren’t for this then I would have loved it.” But this book needs no qualifiers. I loved it all the way through!

Sirantha has just arrived on Ithiss-Tor (finally), in an attempt to gain an alliance against the brutal, gluttonous Morgut. Everyone expects her to fail, and they have good reason. Sirantha Jax isn’t exactly known for her tact or diplomacy skills (more like her drinking and table-dancing skills), and the Ithtorians are notoriously xenophobic and insular. To complicate matters, March has retreated into his cold, volatile mercenary persona after leading a violent rebellion to victory. With so many lives resting on her shoulders, Jax may find herself having to choose between the love of her life and the welfare of the entire universe.

This book feels more mature than both of the others: the action and horror elements are toned down, and there is a wonderful mix of political intrigue, mystery, and moral dilemma in their place. This is the kind of book that I really love, where the action takes place in significant glances and intellectual maneuvering instead of hand to hand combat. Although, there’s a bit of the other too if that’s what you prefer.

For the majority of this book, the side characters that I’ve come to know and love (Dina, Hit, Dr. Solaith, Jael, Constance, even March) are largely absent. But I think that Aguirre accomplishes something extraordinary by making me not care. The Ithtorian characters are subtle but compelling; I love all of the nuance that fills their imaginative customs and communication. And Vel, the mysterious Ithtorian bounty hunter, really steps out of the shadows in this book. His ostracism and quiet faith in Sirantha are so moving.

And I was also completely reminded of why I fell in love with Sirantha Jax herself in the first place. She’s strong but in a vulnerable, lay-it-all-out-there kind of way. She has that self-acceptance and maturity that only comes with age. And she’s just about the antithesis of TSTL.

The romance felt more real and mature in this installment than ever before, and it also surprised me. I love how March somehow manages to fill the stereotype of every damaged, “rabid dog barely on a leash” alpha male hero out there, but also completely destroys that stereotype. Maybe because Aguirre seems to realize that having an inner core of controlled violence might actually be a bad thing.

For us voracious genre-fiction readers, originality is worth its weight in Book Depository gift cards. There are only so many ways that two people can fall in love, or the day can be saved, or the murderer unveiled. Well, you’ll find it here. At the same time, this series reminds me in a good way of so many fantasy and sci-fi shows that I’ve loved. If you’ve been mourning the loss of Firefly since 2003, then I don’t think you’ll find a better balm than this series.

Perfect Musical Pairing

Marvin Gaye and Tammy Terrell – Ain’t No Mountain High Enough

At around page 86, I really thought this book was going in a certain direction, which immediately brought to mind a Marvin Gaye hit that I love. But then Aguirre went in a completely different direction, and I can’t say that I was sorry about that. It’s hard to let go of Marvin once I’ve got him in mind though…. Luckily I am a huge fan and I could probably find a way to fit every book this month with a Marvin Gaye song. This one is just right. “Ain’t no Ithtorian mining prison secure enough…”
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Reading Progress

09/07/2011 page 23
7.0% "Recap? Aren't we past all that Sirantha? No need for introductions...just get to the good stuff!" 3 comments
09/09/2011 page 83
26.0% ""There are no words for how much I hate this plan." Haha, oh March. You poor bastard." 3 comments
07/13/2016 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-15 of 15) (15 new)

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Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Careful, Catie. You might find yourself attracted to an Ithtorian bounty hunter. :D

Catie Oh I already am. I think he's my favorite character!

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Yey, you liked it!

Catie OMG, Maja, yes!!! It was great!! My favorite book in the series so far.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) You'll love the the other two as well, then, especially Aftermath! :)

Catie Yay! I am very excited to keep going.

BTW, that other song that I had picked out...sooooo doesn't apply. Must come up with something else now. :)

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) What was it? Since you obviously aren't going to use it. :D

I sometimes have to take a break between Aguirre's books or even while reading one. She does angst so well that it can be quite exhausting.

Catie This.

But, you can see that...where I was in the seemed like it was going that way.

I'm glad that she didn't!

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Haha, how do you think of these songs? :D
No, she's much braver than that, and she'll keep surprising you, I think. I love some of the choices she's made and I really love how Jax has changed. AND I have a crush on Vel.

Catie Yeah, I love that about this series. It's not predictable. I love being surprised.

And I completely agree about Vel. When he says, "I am with you to the end" that really got to me. He's such a great character.

(view spoiler)

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Yeah, that was a surprise. Hit is a great character, though, she is SO interesting. In Aftermath, you get to know a little more about her being raised as an assassin.

Catie Great! I love her with Dina.

Also, I think that Aguirre had a lot of fun with the saying, "she could kill you with her little finger." LOL!

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) For us voracious genre-fiction readers, originality is worth its weight in Book Depository gift cards.

And for this, I offer you my most eloquent wa.

Catie Brown bird acknowledges white wave's superior taste in literature.


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