Review: Havoc by Ann Aguirre

havocReviewed by Jen

Ann Aguirre continues to rock my world with this second installment in the Dred Chronicles. And this book is an adrenaline filled ride that doesn’t let up from beginning to end. It picks up right where the last story left off, and sets up an entirely new enemy for the Dred Queen and her crew. It’s an external threat that only piles the danger on top of all other crazy killers already inside Perdition.

If you haven’t gathered already, this is a series that builds book to book. So don’t start here. There’s not much backstory on the page, and you’ll be missing out. Go back to Perdition; you’ll be glad you did.

So just when it looks like Jael and Dred have carved out something decent in their hellish prison, someone sends in mercenaries to wipe out the prisoners on the ship. They’re smart and well armed, and against lesser foes than the Dread Queen, they would be unstoppable. But as we know, Dred and her team are made of sterner stuff. So it’s all out war, as the mercs fight for their payday and the people of Queensland fight for their lives.

As action packed as book 1 was, this one is even more so. You can feel the relentlessness of the attacks on our characters. Sometimes, they feel like they are hanging on by a thread, but they rally. They drag themselves up and they fight on. Aguirre does such a fantastic job of making you feel their exhaustion, their desperation. She has such a way with fleshing out her characters. She makes them feel like real people. They’re flawed; they’re sometimes horrible and sometimes wonderful; and I care what happens to them.

The book doesn’t go easy –either on readers or on its characters. There is so much death. And betrayal. And hopelessness. But just when you think Aguirre has scooped all of your guts out with a melon-baller, there are rays of hope. There’s a chance that all might not be lost. And that’s where she gets you. In those moments where Jael feels love for the first time. When Dred lets herself lean on him; when she makes girlfriends. When we get an unexpected parting gift from a lost character. These small moments are the ones that fill you up and make you care through all of the bloodshed.

It’s really good stuff. You should read it. I’m off to glut myself on Breakout.

Rating: B+

Click to purchase: Amazon

Havoc
by Ann Aguirre
Release Date: August 26, 2014
Publisher: Ace

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