Sunday, November 8, 2009


Doubleblind Ann Aguirre ******

I am not, not even close to, a professional reviewer, so what you get with me is just my thoughts on a book that I've read. If I liked it, if I loved it. I don't analize characters and character growth (mainly because I'm not very good at that type of thing!) I just write about what I like with any book.

I picked up Ann Aguirre's Grimspace on a whim a few years ago. I haven't read very many books involving spaceships in the past, and normally wouldn't have read past the blurb. But for some reason, this book was giving me "buy me, read me" vibes. I was in between all the other series books that I like to read, so I decided to try it. I was so glad I did. I loved Grimspace, enough that when Wanderlust came out (book no 2) I bought it. That book was just as entertaining as the first. So of course, when Doubleblind came out, I bought it, knowing I was in for a good read. Nothing has changed.

This series is an excellant series. Ann Aguirre can take angst, suspense, space travel, intrigue, politics, romance and friendships - mix it all up an give us a wonderful book to read. If you've read the first two books, then you know that Sirantha Jax has been picked to be an ambassador to the Ithtorians, a race of bug-like beings that have shut themselves off from the rest of the universe. Her job is to form an alliance with the Ithtorians (who have no respect for humans) to help the rest of the universe deal with a common threat, the Morgut.

SPOILER (FOR PAST TWO BOOKS) Highlight to read. It turns out (Wanderlust) that the head of the crime syndicate (a mafia on a universal scale) is no other than Jax's mom, who has tried to get Jax to intentionally fail the ambassador. Jax has also found out that the reason she has been able to jump so much longer than other jumpers, is because she has a special J-chromozone, courtesy of being conceived in grimspace. This gene or chromozone, has wired her brain to use up other reserves to preserve her brain, so it's been using up her bonemarrow, causing her fatigue and weakness. Vel, the bounty hunter who almost turned her in, but chose instead to travel with her (Grimspace) is her laison and guide to the Ithtorians. March is traveling with her, but he has become so distant and dangerous after fighting the war between clans (Wanderlust) that he is almost a hindrance.

In Doubleblind Jax must negotiate politics, verbal and nonverbal language barriers, survive sabotage to their mission while she is trying to get March (the real March) back, keep Vel's friendship and keep her own life. Jax (or Siri) and her crew find that there is indeed a lot of opposition to forming an alliance from the Ithtorians, and yet there are some who want change and a future in space.

To say anything else about the plot would be giving out too many spoilers. This book is satisfying on so many levels, (intrigue, angst, romance, danger).

Sirantha and March - their relationship has gone through a lot. It will go through more. They do not have your typical happy-go-lucky relationship. Jax has to fight for everything she gains with March. March has been so damaged by past events. Doc is still with the crew, along with Dina and newcomer Hit. I love Hit's character. She's an interesting addition. An AI (artificial intel?) that was introduced in the previous books is still with Jax, and has been steadily "upgrading". Vel is as loyal and stable as always, though there is a hint of a former love. And why is he with Jax through everything? Does he feel intense friendship for her? or something else? This is very subtly done.

If you've never, ever read any of the other two books, go read them. They are worth buying. Then read this great third installment into Jax's story. I'm already looking forward to the fourth book in the series. We are left with a cliffhanger type ending. You just know trouble's on the way.

If you haven't read them yet:

Kill Box (out in 2010)

Blue Diablo (Corrinne Solomon series)
Hellfire (not out yet - coming April 2010)

Skin Game (writing as Ava Gray)

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