Customer Reviews: Wanderlust (Sirantha Jax, Book 2)
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on October 24, 2008
I've read all the other reviews, so I know that I am definitely on a different page than they are. I enjoyed "Grimspace". I enjoyed it enough to read it throughout one weekend and then go and buy Wanderlust on the Monday after that weekend. I was interested enough to wonder what would happen next.

Unfortunately, it's been a disappointment. The relationship with March is not there in this book. The story is sporadic. It's not fully fleshed out. The characters are good and well written, but the storyline itself is lacking and not well defined, plus I get images from various movies I have seen, so I don't really feel that there is much originality. This book makes me think that the writer has seen more science fiction movies than read science fiction books. For instance, the Morguts? I see a combo of "Aliens" and "Predator". The Teras? Yeah, saw them in "Pitch Black".
I love the strong female character(s). But I think the whole "jumper" theme is vague in this book. It seems to be what she is all about, and yet there is very little on it.
The storyline tries to keep "action" in every scene. Jax is always going from the frying pan to the fire and then back to the frying pan. This isn't really a bad thing but it doesn't let the story evolve.

As a new writer I think Ann Aguirre has potential to be a really good writer...someday and with more practice. Regardless of my weak review, I would still buy her next book because of that. P.S. I would love to read a book based on the "Hit" character.
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VINE VOICEon November 13, 2008
Wanderlust is the second book in Ann Aguirre's mesmerizing futuristic series by ACE. Warning: this book is NOT the typical romance. This is because it has a grittiness and realism that makes you feel like you are part of the story. The author writes her characters with care and doesn't try to hide their flaws like most romances would. If you are a reader who enjoys Sci Fic novels with romance this book is a perfect fit for you. I deeply enjoyed this book and thought it well worth the wait and the price. This is because both main characters are deeply wounded. They love each other but the stressful conditions combined with their need to protect their vulnerabilities do not make their relationship cut and dried. So if you enjoy romances that are lighter or looking for a quick summer read, this book may be too dark and emotionally charged for your tastes . Especially since most of the romance simmers beneath the surface. But this book has it all: self-sacrifice, action and heartache.

Sirantha is a strong woman with skills that could kill her if she keeps using them. Out of work she agrees to take a diplomatic mission with the man she cares for. But the diplomatic mission is not all that it seems and Sirantha begins to feel that she has been set up to be the `fall guy.' To make matters worse the man that she loves chooses duty over her love. Through this all Sirantha is able to keep her integrity and fight for what she believes in.

This book had a lot of emotional upheaval and I found myself getting quite teary-eyed. (This also happened to me in the author's first book.) I really cared about Sirantha and rooted for her. This book has a lot of angst and drama that kept up well into the morning and feeling emotionally satisfied...but wanting more. The only thing is the author left the ending hanging a bit and now I will have to wait again to find out what's coming next! While I don't want the series to end, the suspense is killing me!
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on March 17, 2015
-- "Sometimes the truth doesn’t set you free; it just presents a different set of problems"

I completely fell in love with Sirantha Jax in Grimspace and totally dived headfirst into Wanderlust expecting that love to grow and bloom for Jax into something of epic proportions. The only problem is that most of the things that I found so fantastic about her before tended to grate on my nerves a bit as she went to a few extremes. I get it everything wrapped up very nicely in Grimspace and so the author needed to shake some stuff up but I was not a fan of the direction of the Jax and subsequently March arcs…I’ll get back to that because first I want to talk about the things that were still awesome.

❀Supporting Characters❀

The thing that made this book for me was really the supporting cast. They really shined and made me forget sometimes that I was really mad a Jax and her stupid ‘I don’t need anyone I must work everything out on my own’ attitude.

✤ Vel - the shapeshifting mimicking bug like creature stole almost every scene he was in. He is the most honorable of all the crew and performs the role of cultural tutor to Jax on her upcoming role as ambassador to the bug people of Ithiss-Tor. Vel is badass and comes in handy in a fight as always not to mention he has computer skills that are out of this world.

✤ Dina – is again a great female character. She is tough and strong and even though she lost so much in her past life she makes every moment of this one count. She also has more mac-daddy skills than Joey from friends.

Seriously she makes even straight girls come running. I love how loyal Dina is to the people she considers friends and at the same time she isn’t all mushy and gushy…nope nothing so lame Dina is who she is and if that means she flips you off from time to time well that is just her way of showing affection.

✤ Jael – is a new addition to the crew and it seems that he has quite an interesting past that make him a perfect fit for our rag-tag crew of misfits. He is pretty but don’t let that handsome face fool you he has some brains and deadly skills under that good looking façade. It seems though that Jael might have a few secrets that could creep out in one of the next books and I’m totally ready to learn what really makes him tick.

✤ Hit – is another great female character. She is some sort of deadly assassin that will probably come into play a little more in the future. It seems the syndicate is a little afraid of her so I’m glad she is on our team at least for now it seems.

✤ AI-245 – I have a secret love of AIs that seem to develop personalities greater than their programming,I blame R2D2 and Weebo from Flubber for this. She is completely interesting and I love the direction the author is taking with her character. It will be interesting to see now that she is a bit more mobile how much her character can do in upcoming installments.

✿The Story✿

Overall this seemed like a transition book to me. Everything was tied up so well in Grimspace that I wasn’t really ready for it all to become so broken again so fast. Basically the premise is that Jax is being sent with Vel and crew on a diplomatic mission to forge an alliance with the Bug People of Ithiss-Tor. It doesn’t take long for everything Jax touches to really just blow up in her face. Nothing goes right from the beginning as it appears that for as many people that want her to succeed there are just as many that want her to fail, and those people are not above killing her.

The thing I really like about these books is that there is a lot of action constantly happening as all these things are going wrong. Jax is always in some sort of danger or crisis and it makes it a lot of fun to read. I get drawn in and I’m not ashamed to admit that even though I hated the Jax/March trope, yes, I’ll still get to that, I finished the entire book in a day as I couldn’t put it down.Everything moves along so fast and some situations are funny and others are just dire but all are entertaining.

….And Finally we come to the part I hated ღRocky Relationship Roadღ:

***************Warning unmarked spoilers below********************

Who are these people???what happened to the March and Jax from Grimspace???

❤March❤ - became two very different people in this book. The extremes were so extraordinary in the beginning he is really needy and later in the book he was almost completely detached. Talk about flopping around. At first I wondered if it would be too mushy with dialogue like

A shudder runs through him. “Sometimes I’m afraid I’ll wake up and you won’t be here.”
Part of me—the part that’s still raw over losing Kai— wants to back away from such unabashed need. I’m afraid I can’t handle it, that I’ll hurt him again like I did on Gehenna. Part of me needs him every bit as much, though. I’m afraid of that, too. I wasn’t always such a contrary bundle of fears

But there is no fear of that since it doesn’t take long before Jax needs to have space and time to deal with her issues.

I wasn’t a huge fan of the health issues given to Jax in this either. I liked how strong and wreckless she was in Grimspace but here she is a shadow of that and almost fragile. The way she pushes March away, hurting him, so she wouldn’t hurt him more…bleh I think I just threw up a little in my mouth. I get the direction of the story and it is building how will she save herself and be the Jax of old, but I seriously hope that it doesn’t last that long.

So then there is the uncaring March who decided to stay with the clan to fight instead of leaving with Jax. I actually accept this and really like it for a few reasons.

● March has always said that Mair saved him and now she is gone and he along with Jax are part of the reason why. I accept that he feels like he needs to atone for that and help save the rest of the clan people and Kerri who he has always thought of as a little sister and known for 8ish years. He might love Jax but they have been together for only a few months, compared to the years he spent with his new makeshift family. One needs him to survive the other can probably handle it on her own.

● He and Jax are a bit up in the air and she pretty much told him to give her space and time…so he is giving her a lot of space and time. He didn’t like it when she shut him out and she doesn’t have to like it when he treats her in exactly same manor but I felt like it was fair.

● Here are the repercussions for the almost insta-love thing that happened in the first book. It was all excitement and intensity but how much did they really understand each other. Here they are two separate people and Jax is so busy trying to stand on her own and not need anyone that she has cut him off in a lot of ways. March jumped in both feet and decided to desperately give into all those feelings and need Jax but she didn’t do the same. So they are at an impasse of sorts until they figure that out.

“I need you more than sleep.” The words feel barbed coming out of my mouth. There, I said it, damn him.
“You don’t need me,” he says with quiet finality. “You want me. You might even love me. But you don’t need me. I wish you did.”

● And last but not least is that the more March uses the Psi power of his mind the less in tune he seems to be with his emotions. I actually liked this development, I think it sets things up very nicely for the future and how to bring him back from that and make sure he doesn’t lose what humanity he has.

So pretty much I just blame Jax for stupid relationship drama.

Normally all the angsty relationship stuff would have ruined this for me to the point I’d give it 2 stars. But the supporting cast and all the crazy situations plus the twist toward the end, [you thought I’d tell you what it was but I’m not going to, made everything else so great that I’m going to let it go ahead and give it a solid 4 star rating.
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VINE VOICEon October 18, 2008
Wanderlust is the second novel featuring Sirantha Jax. She has a rare gene that allows her to navigate in Grimspace - which is essentially wormholes that can move spaceships massive distances in one jump. This story picks up right where Grimspace left off, where she has brought down the primary ruling regime of the universe, the Farwan Corporation. A power vacuum has ensured and the Conglomerate steps in and tries to hold on to power. The Conglomerate appoints Sirantha as ambassador to Ithiss-Tor, a standoffish, xenocentric culture of insectoid like aliens, with a bit of serpent thrown into the mix. But there's a catch, Sirantha has been threatened by the dominant organized criminal operation that would like to see this diplomatic mission fail. So off goes Sirantha with her cast of characters, the mercenary and her lover March, Vel, the Ithiss-Tor bounty hunter who was sent to capture her in Grimspace, Dina the lesbian mechanic, and Jael, a genetically superior human. They escape the capitol planet and to avoid capture set off on a rather circuitous adventure that finds them battling the man-eating Morgut, entering into a vicious war on the planet Lachion, which March most recently called home, and then facing off with the organized crime syndicate out to sabotage Sirantha and her mission.

Overall this book is rollicking good fun, if a little tedious in a few spots. It jumps from one life threatening adventure to another but the novel drags a bit as the group tries to escape through the tunnels of Lachion and the bloody war that is going on there. The story is very much driven by its interesting characters more so than the plot, particularly the protagonist Sirantha Jax. But the characters are very interesting and the aliens unique and compelling. I look forward to seeing more of Sirantha Jax.
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on August 14, 2013
This book went wrong from page 1. I had to skip through it once I realized things were not going to be fixed. The Jax in this book is not the same Jax from book 1. The Jax in book 1 was strong, tough, independent, and kick butt. The Jax in book 2 is weak, soft, and can't handle anything herself. I really don't understand what happened. In book 1 Jax sleeps for three days and stays hydrated to recover. In this book she's a weak cripple that never gets better. Something is very wrong with Jax and we Never get the truth. Jax did not grow into the character I want to read about. In all her soul searching she became weak and boring.

The story itself is misleading. You initially think the story will be great but it quickly turns into something else. Throwing in problems and obstacles that make the story worse.

In addition the banter that was so great in the first book is gone. I don't know if the author tried to establish depth or whatever with characters but it backfired. Jax and March were so good in book 1. Now the author did the typical 'insert unnecessary problem for a future love triangle' thing. It's one of the things in books that irritate me the most. I know there are many more books in the series but I need to check the reviews before I buy any more. For me I need to see the strong and tough Jax and not whatever Jax showed up here.
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on February 6, 2013
Do you ever reach a point in a book where you start to, I don't know, seriously worry that you main character is going to self-destruct in a big way? And then you realize that you're only on the second of six books and you breathe a little easier. But things keep spiraling out of control and you just can't imagine how they're going to survive this without going bats*** crazy? Yeah. That was me. Bad things happen. Bad things. And Sirantha is already a little unhinged so... I'm scared. Hold me.

Seriously, though, Sirantha can't catch a break. After fighting her way out of the crap storm that she was thrust into in the last book, she finds herself in a world of hurt. Physically, she's a mess. Emotionally, she's kind of... you know, I don't even know how to describe her emotional state. She gets some big shocks in this book and they take their toll on her. When Sirantha Jax is up, she's flying. When she's down, she's crawling through man-eating alien bug blood while trying to survive. It isn't pretty.

I think the thing that impresses me so much is how imaginative and *real* this universe feels. The bad aliens are nasty. It's business as usual in the political arena. The characters are flawed and wonderful. Speaking of which, the crew members that Sirantha flies with are outstanding. The new additions are appealing and the relationships she's built with the others is evolving as Sirantha, herself, grows.

Ann Aguirre is a master at drowning you in emotion and this book was no different. I'm worried for what diabolical schemes our Grimspace-addicted heroine will be forced into next. Based on the ending, it's going to be a bumpy ride.

-Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal
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on October 6, 2012
Some authors fill the space between their action with conversations. Can be good (Jack Campbell) or tedious (David Weber). Ann Aquirre gives us too much of Jax' feelings. Way too much! It's a woman's romance disguised as science fiction.

Having said that, the story does get going in between stream of emotional consciousness and that part is quite good.
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on January 12, 2014
I have read Book 1, and was happy with the writer's ability to tell an exciting and interesting story. So much so, that I am now completing Book 2 and look forward to the next books in the series. I enjoy scifi books, but do alternate them with other genres. So each book is an adventure. For anyone who enjoys scifi, this would be a good choice...however, the language is quite pithy, and for some, I suspect, would not be an appropriate read. Even so, and adventure is an adventure!!! Congrats to the author....
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VINE VOICEon October 31, 2008
Grimspace was one of my favorite books of 2007. I loved it because it was nonstop excitement and action, with freaking awesome characters and witty, passionate dialogue. I loved how it ended and would have been happy with that. As I loved the characters so much, I was thrilled to find out Ann Aguirre had a contract for three more books in the series.

WANDERLUST picks up shortly after the cataclysmic close to Grimspace. Sirantha Jax is at a bit of a loss. Having been declared legally dead puts a damper on your spirits, not to mention access to your bank accounts. Jax is in need of a job and so, against her better judgement, she accepts an offer to serve as, of all things, a diplomat on a suicide mission to a hostile planet in order to forge an alliance with the Conglomerate. Fortunately, March, Dina, and Vel are along for the trip to watch Jax's back. And she needs it as things go south rather quickly.

My heart was in my throat for the majority of this book. And even though it was painful to watch at times, everything played out as it should. The characters were their old selves and their new selves (in some cases) and, in the end, it was just a ripping good time being in their company. Particularly Vel. Man, I love that bounty hunter. His developing friendship with Jax was one of the highlights of the book. WANDERLUST is a sadder but wiser sister to Grimspace for sure, but I was highly entertained by it and, until Doubleblind comes out in a year, I remain a faithful, slightly concerned (I heart you, March!) fan.
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on June 21, 2011
Wanderlust introduces readers to a new Jax: feeble and less combative, but also more selfless and aware of other peoples' feelings. This is both a welcome change - it's nice to see her character developing - and problematic in terms of Wanderlust's pacing. Just as Jax's physical deterioration saps her character of the strength and tough persona she displayed in Grimspace, the narrative initially seems sluggish. Jax's new fragility means that she's sidelined from much of the action, which has the unfortunate side-effect of also disconnecting the reader from the story. Thankfully, despite a fairly simplistic plot that never really seems to go where it promises, the book picks up speed as it goes along, propelled by promising new characters and a planet-wide war.

Jax's sickness also causes her to withdraw from March, and this leads to some conflict in their relationship, which is further exacerbated by March's unerring hero complex. In Wanderlust, their on-and-off relationship adds drama without detracting from the plot; I just hope March and Jax's breakups and makeups don't become a too-recurring theme in future books, as it could become tedious. That said, they suit each other so well and their scenes together are so poignantly written that it's impossible not to continue hoping for their Happily Ever After. I also liked that Ann Aguirre doesn't shy away from separating these two characters on occasion, allowing the focus to shift more toward the action and character interactions than the romance.

This definitely benefits Wanderlust, as the side characters in this series are all unique and likeable individuals. In particular, Vel is awesome; I loved his dry humour and awkward politeness, and his growing friendship with Jax is both amusing and thoroughly endearing. Enough new characters are introduced that this installment feels fresh and surprising, but not so many that the cast ever felt overwhelmed by unrecognizable names and faces.

Wanderlust, like its predecessor, would be an enjoyable, quick read even for those who don't usually like science fiction. It also tones down on some of the narrative quirks that grated in Grimspace, such as the overuse of 'frag' as a swearword. Unfortunately, sketchy plotting and an initially slow pace weigh Wanderlust down, and, unlike the fast-paced and self-contained first book, it suffers from trying too hard to set up the next installment in the series. Nevertheless, Wanderlust is effective in that the ending left me pining for the third book, Doubleblind, and I can't wait to see Jax attempting to play the role of gracious diplomat.
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