Sunday, September 9, 2012

SUNNY: BOOK REVIEW "Endgame" by Ann Aguirre

Sirantha Jax

<Warning:  Spoilers Ahead>

Sirantha Jax is on the planet of  La ’heng fulfilling a promise to Loras helping him free his people from the oppressive rule of the Nicuan.  Since being conquered by the outside world, the La'hengrin are poisoned by sedation and are living with the  shinai-bond - a bond that suppresses any aggressive impulse and forces them into submission to whoever "owns" them.  It is a slave colony no matter how "paternalistic" the Nicuan claim to be.  Jax has the cure to release the bond.  After many attempts to get the government to "do the right thing" and distribute the cure, Jax and crew are left with the only option possible - instigate a revolution.  

The Sirantha Jax series was the first series I read after Harry Potter and the Hunger Games. I cut my Ann Aguirre teeth on Enclave and was seeking another book in which to lose myself. I was thrilled to find stories that were as good as my then favorites, Harry Potter and Katniss Everdeen. 

In past books, Sirantha Jax fights corruption, evil warlords, the terrifying Morguts, and the even the betrayal of one her own. I love Jax’s commitment to do what is right as she hurls herself headlong into the fray. Unfortunately, her willingness to sacrifice all to do the right thing is always at the cost of a loved one. But that’s what makes her life so heartbreaking. It is a sacrifice to those she loves as well. 

But, this is not that book. This is a book about redemption. The redemption of planet La ’heng, the redemption of her relationship with Loras, the redemption of her relationship with March. 

This isn’t the Jax story filled with wild escapes, chases, terrifying creatures and unbearable loss. Despite the fact that the backdrop of this story of is the fight for freedom from the oppressive rule of the Nicuan, it is a love story. There is more romance here than all five previous books combined. It is the reconciliation of Jax and March. And this one is deep. They literally get to the heart of the matter - why it is so difficult to love one another so deeply but keep hurting each other so profoundly? It is also the clarification of the love between Sirantha and Vel. 

Some might claim that Ann Aguirre ties up the end of this series too nicely. Maybe she does. This book does not evoke the roller coaster emotions that is associated with fear and loss as some of the others in the series. Half the time in this book, I was waiting for the other shoe to drop.  In the end, there is no drop dead shocker and really, thank goodness for that. Because when it comes down to it, with everything that Jax has gone through, doesn’t she deserve a happily ever after? I, for one, am not going to begrudge her that. If you are new to Sirantha Jax, I would not recommend starting with this book. It will not accurately represent the heart of the series. Instead this book is truly the concluding episode in the evolution of Sirantha Jax.

This is not a love story.
This is about my life, and as such, there is love, loss, war, death, and sacrifice.  It's about things that needed to be done and choices made.  I regret nothing. 

This is the perfect ending to an amazing journey with Sirantha Jax.  I will miss you, but am so happy you have found your way "home." 

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