Oct 27, 11
Read from October 25 to 27, 2011
** spoiler alert **
Ann Aguirre starts out with a lot of promise in her first book, but it degenerates by the end of it, and gets much worse in the second book. She created a great character, Sirantha Jax, who is flawed, difficult, and often weak. In other words, wickedly human. But rather than develop this story into something her audience can connect to, Aguirre ruins the series by devolving into sloppy romance, bad plot devices, and static characters that never change.
Her second book has a basic premise that is poorly imagined from the start: Jax is chosen as the ambassador of the new government, in hopes to draw in other races, specifically the Ithiss-Tor species. Why oh why would a new government choose someone who has no proven leadership skill? Of course, the logical explanation: because she is a hero, even though most people hate her...yeah, that makes sense. Then there's the mafia boss who wants her to fail in her mission, which he assumes she will do anyway, but sweetens the pot by threatening to destroy her mother...whom Jax could give two-you-know-whats about. Sure, this is REALLY logical.
Next comes pregnant aliens whom we drop from the plot when they are no longer needed, other unexplained pilots which we add when we need them, poor representations of the characters from the first book, and a winding, incoherent plot that doesn't even provide much tension. Subtlety is apparently lost on Aguirre's audiences, as she ensures her characters tell us the subtext...multiple times.
Aguirre is so excited to have a lesbian mechanic that she can't resist pointing it out over and over. A sad fact, as Dina is one of the few characters who maintains her peronsality consistently and holds some real mystery.
Jax is pathetic in this book: weak, whining, and lacking any draw for the reader. She has no inner strength beyond her crying over her love interest March, and most times, she's not even sympathetic. To make it worse, now she's ill with bone disease, so she can only sit on the sidelines and either describe the action she thinks is happening, or be told later by her friends. Oh, and moan at how she wishes things were different.
I could go on, but why bother? It was disappointing, and the only reason I chose to finish it was in hopes that I'd see a glimmer of that first couple of chapters in the first book. Unforunately, Aguirre never returns to that moment of brilliance.