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Killbox by Ann Aguirre
on September 2, 2010
I forget between the many months that pass between Sirantha Jax books how much I absolutely love them. Ann Aguirre blows me away in each book, and Killbox may be her best yet.
War is coming. The Morguts, flesh eating monsters, that have a 97% kill rate against - everyone - are decimating the universe. Chancellor Tarn, the head of the Conglomerate has asked March, Jax's lover and pilot extraordinaire to become a commander. To build an Armada to fight off the Morgut. Both Jax and March are tired, and beaten but they have that adventurous spirit and the need and the want to help out those in need. Along with their crew, they make a call for anyone and everyone to join up for training, preparation and eventual battle. The odds are against them, and many know this will be their last mission, but camaraderie and perseverance holds strong.
Killbox is a heavy book. There is no light at the tunnel. The world is a dark, bleak place and despair hangs heavy on everyone. Yet, Ann Aguirre writes with such rich emotion that pulls you into these characters and gives you such a strong connection to them. Her characters are so real. Although written in Jax's point of view, I feel like I know them each so intimately. They aren't pretty, they are exhausted, injured, and they look like Hell. They get cranky, and scared. And they are some of my favorite characters to read.
Jax so selfless, and although knows she is a top class jumper among many talents, she has this humble vibe to her - much in part to her lover March. March has taught her love, devotion, and loyalty - or at least has reawakened these attributes in her. They share such private moments in this book, such quiet, hushed, longing embraces, that make the emotion swell out of you. Also, because March can hear Jax's thoughts, we get the intimate not-spoken moments. This book is filled with Morgut slime and guts, spaceship fighting, and gore. But Ann Aguirre somehow weaves in these amazing relationships with prose that takes my breath away.
March is not the only one who gets attention. Vel, Jax's best friend has wonderful page time in this book. He is her rock, who may understand her even more than March. He is such a gentlemen, and is one of the best supporting characters out there. Rounding out the crew are Dina and Hit, who add just a touch of sarcastic humor to the book.
But like I said, this book is gloomy - it's amazing, but war sucks, and Ann Aguirre holds nothing back in showing the face of battle. I don't read a lot of sci-fi but the world, and all the odd phrases and words read very easy and I am able to keep track of everything without difficulty. This series must be read in order. So much has happened in the previous three books to bring us to where we stand with Killbox. And with two books left in the series, I am nervous and excited to reach the end of this journey.