Review: Killbox by Ann Aguirre

killboxReviewed by Jen

When I reach the end of this series, I anticipate a period of mourning coming on. I don’t see how it can be avoided, because I am in deep. These characters have me in their grip. I feel like I know them. I laugh with them. I cry with them. I worry and anguish and exalt in time with their tragedies and triumphs.  And then I say very bad words when I am left with their fates hanging in the balance.

This story begins with Jax and her crew headed home from their successful mission at Ithiss-Tor. But the world isn’t quite how she left it. The Morgut are stepping up their attacks and the Conglomerate needs help once again. This time, March is the man of the hour, devising an Armada to defend against them.  It will mean more sacrifice, as he and Jax must again put duty ahead of their emotions. Not only that, but Jax puts her health on the line, trying to bend the rules of Grimspace to help the cause.

I know I sound like a broken record on my reviews of these books, but really, Ann Aguirre does such a phenomenal job. Her worldbuilding is amazing. It’s vast and unique, yet easy to fall into. The pacing is fast. There is a ton of action. But most importantly, despite a backdrop of places and events which are utterly foreign, she gives us this cast of characters that can just reach inside you and squeeze.

There were times I felt like this book was dragging my heart over broken glass. Jax has grown so much over the course of the series. Her connections to her makeshift family run so deep. Each has made an indelible mark on her life. And one by one, walls come up between them. I felt like there were so many goodbyes, each one felt like a punch to the gut.

The love between Jax and March just slays me. But honestly, the connection between Jax and Vel affects me just as strongly. Every single step they each must take away from each other leaves me terrified that something will make their separation permanent. Even Dina and Hit, Doc and Rose, blindsided me with the impact of their personal trials. There is so much happening, but it’s never busy background noise. It all matters.

One of the things I love so much about these books is how Aguirre leaves me with so many questions without ever making me feel like she is withholding.  It’s not like she is being coy. She is just revealing the story in the way that feels like it’s naturally unfolding. I don’t want to put these books down to the point I sometimes resent real life, like food and sleep for getting in the way of my reading.

These books need to be read in order, so if you are new to the series, start with Grimspace. And have the rest of the series waiting. You won’t want to stop.

Rating: A

Click to purchase: Amazon

by Ann Aguirre
Release Date: August 31, 2010
Publisher: Ace

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