Review: Aftermath by Ann Aguirre

aftermathReviewed by Jen

I am such a complete and utter wretched mess after reading this book, I barely even know where to begin. I feel conflicted. The journey I have taken with these characters has brought me to places I could have never expected… and they are not all places I wanted to go. Things don’t feel the same. But they’re not supposed to. It’s kind of the point. But I loved what it was before and change is hard. Especially if it breaks your heart.

The book is aptly titled. It’s all about the aftermath of Jax’s actions and how she lives in the wake of her own choices. The big one she must face as the book begins: her decision to go rogue and change the beacons of deep space to save the Conglomerate from the Morgut. Obviously, she is a hero in that she saves billions of lives, but it comes with a cost. She kills hundreds of humans by accident. She undermines March. She lands in jail. And while you might think that is her consequence, it’s really just the catalyst for all the changes to come.

I don’t want to spoil too much. I will say that the tone of this book is so different. Gone is the breakneck action and seat of your pants feel. This is all about repercussions, about what can be fixed and what can’t.  Even more so, maybe, it’s about Jax taking ownership for all she has done and deciding where to go from here. Unfortunately, there are some consequences that are simply out of her hands, putting at odds who she is with what she wants.

This is a very Vel-centric story. In a lot of ways, when the chips fall, he is the one Jax can count on most. I’ve always loved Vel and I still do, but I missed the other wonderful supporting characters that make up Jax’s world. They’re all scarce and that is part of what makes this so different. I felt like they were more loose ends to tie up while Jax straightens out her karma.  And then there is March. Aguirre does not make this easy for us. She gives us this good, honorable man. She shows us the depths of his love. She makes us feel it –and then she makes everything so hard. I ache inside.

I can’t imagine anyone can deny that this is quality storytelling. It couldn’t affect me this way if it weren’t. Aguirre maintains the integrity of these characters to such a point that she even makes me understand it as they do things that grieve me. I can’t fathom where this series will go next. But at this point, I have no doubt it will completely gut me before it’s over. I’m pretty much there now.

Click to purchase: Amazon

by Ann Aguirre
Release Date: August 30, 2011
Publisher: Ace

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