Review: Wanderlust by Ann Aguirre

wanderlustReviewed by Jen

This series is just… So… Good. Ann Aguirre continues to rock my socks off with this sci-fi story, with her multi-dimensional characters, amazing worldbuilding, and emotional whammies I never saw coming. These book are just flat out fantastic. And if you haven’t read them already, you should stop reading this review right now and go “one-click” these bad boys straight to your e-reader.  Then get comfortable, because you are not going to want to stop reading.

All that being said, I didn’t love this book quite as much as Grimspace, though it was pretty close. There are some frustrating moments, as our characters try to find their respective places in their new lives. But Aguirre does so many things right that I would quickly get over the things that would bother me. Too much is happening to linger too long on any one thing. The pace moves at breakneck speed and never lets up from beginning to end.

The story picks up right on the heels of the last book and it’s a whole new world in the aftermath of the Corp’s downfall. Now Jax has to find a new life and when the Conglomerate offers her an ambassador job on Velith’s homeworld, it really kind of is a job she can’t refuse. Let me just say how excited I was to see Vel again. He was one of my favorite characters from Grimspace and I love that Aguirre is developing his character and his unique homeworld. Anyway, it’s a very difficult journey to Ithiss-Tor and it puts Jax and her crew through the wringer even more than anyone could have imagined.

I don’t want to spoil all of the bombs that blow up in their faces.  I will say, though, that it’s gory and physically grueling. And Jax is fighting an illness she doesn’t understand –which is driving a major wedge between her and March. This is one of those frustrating things I was talking about. These two are so good together, but they are both so very damaged. I really thought things were great with them as the book began, but they make bad choices out of fear and hurt, and it made me angry and sad and I may have cried a little before raging at the injustice of it all. You could also say that is a testament to how much I have come to care about these characters that I got to this point.  You could also say that their choices completely reflect their general state of emotional disrepair. But that didn’t stop me from cursing out loud when things went south.

All of our main characters are evolving. Some just take steps back along with their steps forward. I am so impressed by how distinct and vital all of these characters are: Jax and March, of course, but also Vel and Dina, as well as an intriguing new guy named Jael. Each is so unique and engaging. I want more of them all. And each helps Jax grow in their own way. I’ve got to say that it’s hard to see Jax so weakened after we’ve seen the strength within her, but I have to believe some of that strength will be back –either physically or emotionally, as her story continues.

This book isn’t all sunshine and roses. But it’s full of action, romance, and so many surprises. And it’s really kind of epic. I can’t wait to jump into book 3.

Rating: B+

Click to purchase: Amazon

by Ann Aguirre
Release Date: August 26, 2008
Publisher: Ace

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