Thursday, August 21, 2008

Wanderlust **KB Exclusive Review**

Jax is back! I have been waiting for months to say those three words and I am beyond excited that Ann Aguirre has written a sequel to her very popular book, Grimspace that came out the beginning of this year. With Wanderlust, Ann proves she is no one-hit wonder author. Remember how I said if you are not reading Nalini Singh, you are lacking in your reading material, well the same goes for Ann Aguirre. And I still stand by my original statement back when I reviewed Grimspace and said that Sirantha Jax is my favorite heroine of 2008. She still very much is.

Wanderlust is no walk in the park type of read. This is one emotionally draining book. Ann is a sly (wench) writer. The way she ends Wanderlust wants to make you scream because there is no neat and tidy ending. Things are left very open and as soon as I finished, Blossum, my inner voice was screaming, “ME WANT NEXT BOOK NOW!” Should I feel embarrassed when such a book like this makes me feel such emotion? *blush*

You would think Sirantha, otherwise known as Jax would have it easy since she saved the universe. Think again. Jax’s former employer, the Farwan Coporation has been eliminated thanks to Jax and her rag tag crew, which also includes her new lover, March. Grimspace is where we were introduced to Jax, a jumper that can make spaceships travel through time and space at the speed of light, a.k.a grimspace. In Wanderlust, Jax is given a new job as an ambassador for the centuries old Conglomerate, which is a coalition of planetary representatives that try to keep peace and order in the universe. The Conglomerate wants Jax to travel to those known planets that still are not a part of the coalition and recruit them into their group. Since Jax is out of a job, she has no choice but to accept. Jax is not happy with these turns of events. She lives and breathes to jump, it is in her blood. But something is very wrong with Jax. She is weak and sick because of all her jumping through grimspace. A few more jumps could kill her. March is scared for Jax and doesn’t want her to jump anymore. But grimspace is like a drug to Jax and she can’t stop, even if it means her death.

Things are not that great between Jax and March. Jax has always assumed she wouldn’t have much longer to live and even tells March so. March feels that Jax holds back a part of herself from him even though he has opened his heart and soul to her. He begins to questions if her love for him is real. They are both hurting, and because of that, their relationship is breaking down before it can even truly begin. Before they can even work things out, they are on another dangerous adventure. Jax’s ambassadorship is not smooth sailing, especially when Jax’s mother, Ramona, who she hasn’t seen in sixteen years, comes to Jax for help. Romona is in a bind and may end up dead by a secret group called the Syndicate unless Jax sabotages her mission. And even though mom lays the guilt on thick, Jax doesn’t fall for it. This may sound a bit cold hearted on Jax’s end, but her mother is a shady bitch.

Jax and March round up their crew, which includes some familiar faces such as Dina, the ship’s mechanic and Vel, an alien bounty hunter. Their intergalactic journey is even more treacherous than before. Not only do they have to keep an eye out for space raiders, killer aliens out for their blood, and the nasty Syndicate, but Jax’s body is slowly weakening to the point that she may indeed be dying. Jax is very scared and constantly thinking morbid thoughts, which make March so angry to the point, he can’t bear to be around Jax. And because of this, he makes a life alternating decision that may destroy their very fragile love along with his soul in the process.

Wanderlust is a rip-roaring adventure tale that sci-fi enthusiasts will embrace. Even if you are not a sci-fi fan, don’t be surprised if Wanderlust ends up being one of your favorite books this year. The way Ann writes Jax and her point of view is so very real and scary. Jax is at her wits end and close to the breaking point. She is somewhat responsible for March’s suffering and the path he has decided to take. Jax knows this and there is nothing she can do, because in order to save March, she has to give up a part of herself that makes her what she is, and that price is just too high for her to pay. Along with Jax and March’s emotional heartbreak there are some intense scenes of destruction and death taken right out of some of my favorite space adventure movies. One such scene, where Jax boards an empty space station, had me freaked out because it was so reminiscent of the 1979 sci-fi horror movie, Alien.

Wanderlust had my hooked from beginning to end, but there are some things that Ann does that made me so angry because she sure does like to make her characters suffer. There is a lot of suffering going in within these pages and my heart broke for both Jax and March because they are not in a good place right now. But even though Jax is going through some intense situations, the thing with Jax that I adore, is her tenacity and determination to overcome roadblocks, whether it be personal or life threatening. Jax may talk about her own death and mortality, but she does have a will to survive. If only Jax can see in herself what others see.

If you were a fan of Grimspace, you will most definitely enjoy Wanderlust, perhaps even more than Grimspace, which I did. This is a fast and furious read that will have you panting for the next book, Doubleblind, which cannot come fast enough.

4 ½ stars out of 5 stars

Katiebabs (KB)


Ann Aguirre said...

Squee! What an amazing review. Thank you so much. I'm going to be glowing for weeks that you put me in the same league as Nalini.

Heather Massey said...

I agree, that was an excellent review. Ann has a strong voice and Sirantha Jax is kick butt yet totally sympathetic. I can't go to the bathroom now without thinking of her peegasm. (But there's certainly more to this SFR adventure than that!)

Carolyn Crane said...

I can't wait to read this. Great review!!

And wow, KB, you have the most amazing exclusives of anybody in blogland. You are exclusively fabulous!

Brandy said...

I totally understand the "Me want book now" feeling. I felt that way after reading Grimpsace and knowing Wanderlust would be released later this year!
Thanks for the review!

Ana said...

Excellent review Katie, as usual.

I am totally scared now. Your thoughts are similar to Kmont's and I am terrified that this is another dark stroll in the park, like Shades of Dark. Not that it will stop me from reading LOL

Anonymous said...

I loved Grimspace and can't wait for this. I'm totally gutted that March and Jax aren't having a smooth ride though.


azteclady said...

Much darker and intense than Grimspace--and that one was not a light weight on that arena.

Lurv me some March. And Vel. And... :grin:

Okay, I also like Jax, but the guys? *ahem*

KT Grant said...

I will take March. Loves march and Vel and the new guy that tries to get down Jax's...
heh heh

Joanna Chambers said...

Looking forward to this one. I loved Jax's voice in book 1

Christine said...

Awesome review, Kate! I'm really looking forward to Wanderlust!! Sounds like another emotionally charged action packed story in the life of our beloved Jax and friends. I'm concerned about the trouble between Jax and March, but not surprised after all they've both been through. Can't wait to read it!

Alyssa said...

I did like Grimspace, but I may wait for the third book to come out before reading book two. I'm not sure I can handle the wait. LOL!

Ciara said...

I'm so behind. I really need to get on it and read her series. I've heard such great things!!! Ann was all out of books when I got to her at RWA. *sob*