Review: Breakout by Ann Aguirre

breakoutReviewed by Jen

This book gave me absolutely everything I wanted. That’s no small feat, considering it wraps up the second series of books set in a world I have loved from the word “go.” It’s sci-fi fantasy, with just the right amount of romance to hit my sweet spot. The characters are richly drawn, with depth and nuance. They are heroic and vulnerable, fallible and fierce. The worldbuilding is fascinating and really second to none. The plot is interesting; the pacing is perfect. And the ending satisfied me in every way.

The title of the book really says it all. This is all about Dred and her gang’s Breakout from Perdition. And it’s a herculean task. After all, this is a prison ship designed to hold its prisoners indefinitely. They’re cut off. They have no supplies. They’re in a hostile environment, facing the risk of betrayal from Vost and his mercenaries, death at the hand of Silence and her minions, and that’s not even touching on the plague carrying mutant rodents. Basically, every step could lead to freedom or unmitigated disaster. And Ann Aguirre makes you feel it.

There are really only a handful of survivors left from Queensland. But Dred refuses to give up hope. She soldiers on, holding on to the last vestiges of the Dread Queen to carry her friends to the other side of this last battle. It’s impossible not to love and respect her for it, especially as she slowly lets that persona slip away. We see more and more of the real Dred, and she’s so awesome, especially as we see her through Jael’s eyes. I love how he loves her. To him, she may as well as hung the moon. Because she sees worth in him. To her, he is a man instead of a thing. And for the first time, he really starts to believe that too. He starts to be the kind of man he never dreamed possible.

The relationship between Dred and Jael is so great. I believed in them 100%. I believed that these two would live and die for one another. And they prove it over and over again.

So many things I loved here, like the fact we get a backstory for Silence. It’s kind of obvious from the moment Aguirre starts to lay the foundation, but it didn’t detract from it at all. It didn’t make her any less creepy, but it introduces a layer of tragedy to her –and her descent into madness. I loved that the book doesn’t end with the team flying away from Perdition. The story takes us far beyond that. It takes me where I want to go. It shows me what their lives become. I love how this feels not just like an ending to this trilogy, but for the entire Grimspace world. It shows us what became of other characters from the original series –not enough to overshadow this story, but just the right amount to produce the feels for longtime fans.

If you haven’t read this series –or the Sirantha Jax books—I can’t recommend them highly enough. I’m sad there are no more left to read, but I couldn’t be happier with the way they went out. Very, very good.

Rating: A

Click to purchase: Amazon

by Ann Aguirre
Release Date: August 25, 2015
Publisher: Ace

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