Review | Wonderlust by: Ann Aguirre

Title: Wonderlust
Author: Ann Aguirre
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Ace
Date Published: February 26, 2008

Summary:

Broke and unemployed, “Jumper” Sirantha Jax accepts a diplomatic mission for the government— only to find herself up against Syndicate criminals, man-eating aliens, and her own grimspace weakened body.

Why I Read This Book:

It was book two in the Sirantha Jax series.  I wasn’t quite ready to give up on the series even after the previous disapointment of the first book.  I had a feeling the author would come more into her own with the second novel.  Following that instinct was definately a good idea.

Review/Reaction:

This book showed a significant improvement from Grimspace.  The writing was much better.  Aguirre didn’t drop her I’s from the beginning of her sentences, and her sentences were much better constructed and far less jarring.  The narrative was still in first person present, however after spending one novel with Jax and going straight into the next in the series I found it was far easier to deal with.  I was already firmly in the main characters head space, so there was no adjustments needed.

The book is more than just the synopsis.  She doesn’t get to her diplomatic mission until the end of the book. Like the first books plot, Grimspace, it is just the shove that gets the ball rolling for a myriad of other events.  In this installment we see Jax start to push March away because she doesn’t want to lean on him.  We get to know Deena much better, and instead of her just being a bitch, we start to see behind that façade.

Jax as a character is all talk little action.  I found her week.  I know she is dealing with some health issues and the “where do I belong in this universe” question, but I thought she should be stronger.  But maybe this book was meant to be a look inside the head of a person who pretends to be tough on the outside, but is actually not so much when looking on the inside.  When scenes go down for some serious ass kicking Jax was cowering near the back and hiding.  It was frustrating because I wanted her to be more than that. At the same time though the character acknowledges that she is the weaker link and shouldn’t get in the way.  She also acknowledges that she isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed and that perhaps she should hone up on some of her skills for which other people may be relying on her for.  I guess I am just frustrated because she’s all hot air and I wanted to see more growth, although the first step to growth is admitting that you need it.  Which she did.

The book has a great twist near the ending but once again suffered from 20 page wrap up syndrome.  A little rushed with timelines that I would question.  But a fun read nonetheless.

Final Thoughts:

Overall I found this to be a much stronger book than the first one. The authors style of story telling doesn’t seam to be to deal immediately with the main obstacle as presented at the beginning of the book.  It is more about the journey of getting to the point of were they are able to start accomplishing that goal.  Some may like this approach, others may want to see the goal accomplished and how it is accomplished.  Some may argue that those are the same things.  They are not.

Rating: 7/10 Very Good. (but a little shaky on the dismount)

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