by Ann Aguirre
I really like the Sirantha Jax series and completely enjoyed this installment as well. I loved the show Firefly and while March isn’t Mal and Jax isn’t Inara, there are enough similarities in the setting and some of the issues that it feels like a little cousin to the show. Or at least the first book was, but this series is going in directions all its own. This is an urban fantasy in space with aliens and new planets, survival and friendship and a smidge of romance stuff.
Summary: Sirantha Jax is a “Jumper,” a woman who possesses the unique genetic makeup needed to navigate faster than light ships through grimspace. With no tolerance for political diplomacy, she quits her ambassador post so she can get back to saving the universe the way she does best—by mouthing off and kicking butt.
And her tactics are needed more than ever. Flesh-eating aliens are attacking stations on the outskirts of space, and for many people, the Conglomerate’s forces are arriving too late to serve and protect them.
Now, Jax must take matters into her own hands by recruiting a militia to defend the frontiers—out of the worst criminals, mercenaries, and raiders that ever traveled through grimspace…(taken from goodreads.com)
Jax and March are a couple, and like in previous books, their relationship must wait out the current crisis. They are back from their diplomatic mission and now are helping the Conglomerate create a new armada to help police the universe, mainly from the Morgut (those flesh eating aliens). There is no money or time for new ships and soldiers so March starts recruiting among the pirates and raiders currently wreaking havoc in the universe. It is a bit of a war book. Fight, plan, fight, train, plan, fight.
It also really has some good scenes fighting the Morgut. They are totally scary, weird looking (I envision a cockroach type thing, human-ish size) and eat human flesh. They nest in ships, create spider web booby traps and Jax and the crew have to fight these things. Very alien-esque and tense.
But ultimately this book is about Jax transforming. Not just from the experimental tech inside her body, but in her relationships with friends and family. The whole book is about Jax becoming more isolated as her close friends are being pulled to different areas. Even though this is a fairly triumphant book as they pull things together and are able to do a heck of a lot more than they expect, many people die, leave and change in so many different ways. It is a bit sad.
The end is slightly cliffhangerish because she is starting on another adventure that you don’t know if it will be a disaster or something good. But knowing Jax, probably a disaster! I love the series and this was another great installation, every book is something completely different. 4 stars.