Review: Killbox by Ann AguirreKillbox by Ann Aguirre
Series: Sirantha Jax #4
Published by Ace/Roc
Pages: 353
Genres: Science Fiction
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Also in this series: Grimspace, Wanderlust, Doubleblind

Sirantha Jax is a “Jumper,” a woman who possesses the unique genetic makeup needed to navigate faster than light ships through grimspace. With no tolerance for political diplomacy, she quits her ambassador post so she can get back to saving the universe the way she does best—by mouthing off and kicking butt.

And her tactics are needed more than ever. Flesh-eating aliens are attacking stations on the outskirts of space, and for many people, the Conglomerate’s forces are arriving too late to serve and protect them.

Now, Jax must take matters into her own hands by recruiting a militia to defend the frontiers—out of the worst criminals, mercenaries, and raiders that ever traveled through grimspace…

Thoughts: Killbox was… different. More than any of the previous books, Killbox was a war book. March, Jax, Vel, Dina, Constance, Doc – hell, everyone – is at war and there is no time for them to sit about thinking about what they want out of life. There’s a galactic threat on the horizon and selfishness is not the word of the day.

In other words, there was a lot of killing, training and marching in uniforms. Great stuff, in the plotty sense, but I felt as though it was a bit rushed. Months would pass in a couple of sentences and, as a result, it seemed as though Jax wasn’t interacting with certain characters. *cough* Vel. *cough* I know it was necessary in order to cover the various plotlines Aguirre had set out, but that didn’t make it all that enjoyable.

Also, I had issue with the Morgot. For the first 3 books, I considered them rather like Reevers (from Firefly) – pure, unadultered evil with no redeemable qualities. But there is one scene in the book that made me pause and consider think: hey, maybe these guys are open to parlay? And then suddenly the scene was over and my idea was never followed up on. Will it be covered in other books? I doubt it… but I hope so. I can handle pure evil, but I am not OK with simple assumptions about a species!

But on to my real issue with Killbox: March. March. God, I remember the days when he and Jax had me in tears – when just the word “March” made me whimper. Now, when I try to access those feelings… I find I have nothing to give. To be honest, I have grown sick of his man-angst. I am sick of his constant, “Oh Jax, I love you! But now I have to leave you as the fate of the world is in my hands (or so I think).” I get that he is a good guy. I get that he is a good soldier. I still care about him, but I really just want to hit him over the head and tell him to get over himself. Because this misery he insists on putting himself through? It is not good for Jax anymore. He isn’t good for Jax anymore.

Vel, on the other hand? He hasn’t wavered. He stayed true to himself and developed as a character – just as March did – and yet he has never abandoned Jax. Aguirre acknowledges this and, yes, she is clearly a fan of the Vel/Jax relationship… and yet there was a terrible lack of Vel in Killbox. Why, Aguirre, why? *sobs silently*

Bottom line? Killbox is the weakest book in the Jax series – although maybe if all the Jax/March misery had been written out of it, I may have enjoyed it more.

Kay

Your ghost host at Dead Book Darling
Kay's been blogging about urban fantasy, young adult and werewolves since 2009. She's a firm believer in the many uses of the towel, the science of deduction and other fandom in-jokes. To support her book-buying habit, Kay keeps up a day-job as a science journalist (so feel free to ask her about Physics).

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