Thursday, August 27, 2015

Release Week Blitz, Review, Excerpt and Giveaway: BREAKOUT by Ann Aguirre

Welcome to the Release Week Blitz for Ann Aguirre's Breakout, Book 3 in the Dred Chronicles. We are excited to share with you an excerpt, review and giveaway to celebrate this release.  Breakout is an Adult Romantic Science Fiction novel set in the Jax Universe.  If you are a fan of highly suspenseful, action-packed stories, you do not want to miss this series. 

by Ann Aguirre
Book 3, Dred Chronicles

All hell is breaking loose in the edge-of-your-seat follow-up to Havoc and Perdition fromNew York Times bestselling author Ann Aguirre…

The prison ship Perdition has become a post-battle charnel house with only a handful of Dred’s soldiers still standing and now being hunted by Silence’s trained tongueless assassins. Forging an uneasy alliance with mercenary commander Vost—who is their only chance at escape—the Dread Queen will do whatever it takes to end her life sentence on Perdition and keep the survivors alive long enough to cobble together a transport capable of getting them off station.

If Dred and her crew can win the deadly game of cat and mouse, the payoff is not only life but freedom—a prize sweeter than their wildest dreams. Yet the sadistic Silence would rather destroy Perdition than let a single soul slip from her grasp…

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The Sirantha Jax series by Ann Aguirre is one of my favorite odysseys of all time.  It left an indelible imprint on my reading life.  So when the author started the Dred Chronicles, I was beyond excited. I’ve tore through the first two books, savoring the stories and waited with great anticipation for the final book in the trilogy.  This book is everything I wanted it to be and then some. 

We return to Perdition, a prison outpost located in the outer edges of the galaxy. Perdition houses the worst of the worst criminals.  The prisoners are beyond warehousing, they are incarcerated and then forgotten.  They have created factions along with social and political norms.  As in most prisons, there is a informal hierarchy and each inmate must choose a faction for protection and survival.  The conglomerate has sent a troop of mercenaries to "clean up" the prison by any means necessary.  Now the prisoners are not only fighting each other but are now facing a single-minded, deadly special ops force. Situations change and alliances are re-formed. At the end of Havoc, there only a few people left and it is race to get off the outpost.   

The action and suspense is wound very tightly.  In the confines of the prison, there is a sense of claustrophobia.  There is no place to escape to.  As a reader, you can feel the walls closing in.  Tension spikes as survivors are running out of time.  Silence’s deadly crew stalks them.  This is an exciting page-turner with finger-nail biting stress. 

I had a certain amount of dread (no pun intended) when reading this book.  Ann Aguirre can be unpredictable.  She is not shy about unexpectedly killing off her characters.  I’m the kind of reader that gets emotionally invested and thus, fear for their lives.  You can always expect the unexpected.  It is what makes Ann Aguirre such a great storyteller and this story so compelling.  (On a side note, there is a happy ending.) 

The Epilogue is my favorite part.  Throughout the Dred Chronicles, the narrative is told mainly from Dresdemona’s point-of-view. Her strong character  - her struggles, her justifications, her redemption - is a highlight of the series.  However, for Sirantha Jax fans, the epilogue is about Jael.  It brings his story full circle to a very satisfying end.  And here’s a shout out to my friends at Girls, Guns & Grimoires on Goodreads.  There is a game changer for Team March and Team Vel.  Make sure to read this series!

Breakout is another successful and satisfying ending to a highly suspenseful science fiction trilogy. Consider it a cross between the movies, The Longest Yard and Aliens, with a large dose of romance.  Could it be any better?  I don’t think so!

They didn’t speak until they had put a fair amount of distance behind them, then Dred signaled her desire to pause by tapping his ankle. He couldn’t turn fully because the ducts had narrowed, but he glanced over his shoulder.

“You all right?”

“Just . . . spooked.” The somber tone told him he hadn’t been alone in what he felt, watching those crazy, tongue-less bastards.

“It’s different now,” he said.

“With what she did to Queensland . . . she seems larger than life. I’ve been afraid before, but . . . not quite like this.”

The words were barely a whisper, and they roused an answering prickle of gooseflesh on his arms.

“I know. There’s run-of-the-mill evil, like Priest and Mungo. And then there’s Silence.”

“It’s like she can do worse than kill me. Rationally, I know that’s not true—”

“But it’s uncanny the way she’s last one still standing, moving through the carnage.” He didn’t say it out loud, but he thought, Like Death itself.

Dred nodded. “I’m still here, too, but I’m not the Dread Queen anymore.”

“If it’s any consolation, I don’t miss her.”

“Me either,” she whispered.

There was no space to touch her as he wanted to, and it wasn’t the time anyway, so Jael continued on. They slid out of the ducts near the closet, but when he opened it, there were no droids plugged in. He choked out a curse. It was impossible to predict when a bot would come back, and it was dangerous to wait out in the open. They desperately needed some intel about how many men Silence had left, how often they patrolled, and where, but with manpower as scarce as it had become on their end, recon had to wait.

“Back up?” Dred whispered.

He nodded. This time, they found a way in that gave them vantage over their target, so they’d know when a bot returned. He’d just finished fitting the vent panel in place behind them when he heard the familiar, shuffling sound of Silence’s men. From her expression, Dred registered it, too, and she practically stopped breathing. The fact that her killers were roving freely must signify that she believed herself the undisputed ruler of Perdition.

When they rounded the corner and came into sight, he stifled a surprised sound. This group was huge, compared to the usual numbers, ten this time, and horror jolted through him like lightning when he realized they were carried a human-sized bundle. They’d wrapped their captive in dark fabric, so he couldn’t tell anything about the person, but the worst part was, he or she was still moving, thrashing against his bonds.

Who is that? And why the hell would Silence want someone taken alive?

Ann Aguirre is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author and RITA winner with a degree in English Literature; before she began writing full time, she was a clown, a clerk, a voice actress, and a savior of stray kittens, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in sunny Mexico with her husband, children, and various pets. Ann likes books, emo music, action movies, and she writes all kinds of genre fiction for adults and teens, published with Harlequin, Macmillan, and Penguin, among others.

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