Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Review: Wanderlust by Ann Aguirre and Giveaway

Published: August 26, 2008 by Ace

Number of Pages: 312

Genre: Science Fiction

Stand Alone/Series: Jax book 2
Book 1: Grimspace

Why This Book: I really enjoyed Grimspace and the character of Jax.

From the Author Site: Sirantha Jax doesn’t take chances… she jumps at them…

Sirantha Jax is a “Jumper,” a woman who possesses the unique genetic makeup needed to navigate faster than light ships through grimspace. Jax has worked for the Farwan Corporation her entire career. But now the word’s out that the Corp deliberately crashed a passenger ship, and their stranglehold on intergalactic commerce has crumbled—which means that Jax is out of a job.

She’s also broke, due to being declared dead a little prematurely. So when the government asks her to head up a vital diplomatic mission, Jax takes it. Her mandate: journey to the planet Ithiss-Tor and convince them to join the Conglomerate.

But Jax’s payday is light years away. First, she’ll have to contend with Syndicate criminals, a stormy relationship with her pilot, man-eating aliens, and her own grimspace-weakened body. She’ll be lucky just to make it to Ithiss-Tor alive…

Read excerpt here.

Heroine: Sirantha Jax doesn't have to go looking for trouble. It finds her. After blowing the lid on Farwan Corporation and sitting through numerous hearings she's offered a job, one that she can't turn down, as an ambassador for the Conglomerate. Her first mission as ambassador is to get the xenophobic Ithtorian of Ithiss-Tor to join the Conglomerate. Only problem is that someone's out to see that she not only fails but also doesn't live to make it to Ithiss-Tor. It all starts with a new ship and some new crewmates that lead to an unscheduled detour that only leads into more trouble than Jax could have possible dreamed of.

Jax's Crew:
Dina: Ship's mechanic and general bad-ass.

March: An unregistered Psi ex-mercenary who has loyalties to the Dahlgren clan on Lachion and who is Jax's pilot and sometimes lover.

Velith Il-Nok aka Vel: Jax's Ithtorian cultural liaison and translator. The bounty hunter who helped Jax blow the lid on the Farwan Corporation and is a Bug aka Slider, shape-shifter.

PA-245: Jax's personal assistant.

Review: Ann Aguirre drives us right back into the wonderful universe that she has created. Wanderlust starts just weeks after the end of Grimspace and seamlessly continues Jax’s story. Once the story starts to unfold, in one page turning chapter after another in which trouble swarms around Jax and her crew, its non-stop action to the very last sentence.

Jax is pushed into the position of ambassador from all sides. The Conglomerate needs the Ithtorians to help cement their power in the galaxy and Jax is the only one Velith Il-Nok will work with. Jax has no money to pay for a ship and supplies to follow her dreams as an explorer. And the Syndicate is holding Ramona Jax’s, Jax’s estranged mother, life hostage and are only willing to exchange it for Jax’s failure on Ithiss-Tor. So with no choice, Jax is on the job.

Jax’s love for March is undeniable but she’s determined to not let him suffer her death, which is coming anytime now (according to her) by being the first to walk away. And although March loves Jax more than she can imagine, he has a duty to the Dahlgren clan that supercedes his need to be with Jax. If you are looking for the great romance in this book, its not there. Hopefully this is an interlude for Jax and March and that their love will overcome all the obstacles their past and present has placed before them.

Ms. Aguirre takes us on another wonderful journey through the galaxy told through the eyes of Sirantha Jax. Jax, with all her hang-ups, especially her fascination with her own death, is a heroine you can really sink your teeth into. She’s gutsy, indomitable and a bid morbid. What's there not to like?

What I liked best: Vel. He’s a jem. His dry wit and humor makes him a scene-stealer.

What I least liked: Jax’s attitude towards March. At times I wanted to give her a big slap upside the head to knock some sense into her.

Keeper?: Yes

Recommendation: This series is best read in order. Although there is enough background given and the story stands well as a stand alone, I think it would be more enjoyable if read in order. A lot of background and character development would be missed if the previous book (Grimspace) is not read.

Grade: B+
Series Grade to Date: A-

The Giveaway portion:
I have a pretty autographed copy of Wanderlust to give away (thank you Ann!). Leave a comment to enter. To make it interesting tell me who your favorite character is and why. All entries must be in by 5PM on September 14. The winner will be drawn at random and will be announced on the 15th!

For additional entries you can do the following:
- Link back to this post from your blog (come back here with the link)
- Tweet about it (and let me know somehow either here).


Leontine said...

I can't give you a favorite character because, I have to confess, I have not read a single word of Ms. Aguirre. *hangs head in shame* But I hope to remedy this very soon *grin*

I enjoyed your review and is again one that piqued my curiosity for this author!

Donna (Fantasy Dreamer) said...

Oh, I have got to read this series! I think I'm going to start making my weekends or evenings as internet free as possible so I can get more reading time in. Not sure if this is possible but going to try.

Great contest! I'm going to link it in my side bar and post it in my weekly roundup. Don't include me, I have a copy of Wanderlust. *g*

Wendy said...

I love March, he's definitely my favorite character! Awesome review. :)

Renee said...

Great review! I really liked remembering the book as I read it. The thing that really came back to me was how CREEPY a couple of the scenes were. I really enjoy AA's writing.

WRT Jax, she is frustrating--and I did want to smack her for the way she treated Marsh (lol), but I thought is was consistent behavior, given her character and personal damage.

Yes, Vel is the best!

Please don't enter me, as I won an ARC at the time it was released! :-)

CrystalGB said...

I haven't read this series. It sounds great though.


orannia said...

*small voice* I haven't read Grimspace yet *hangs head*

Grimspace is on my TBR list though and I think for the last 4 months of the year I am going to make a concerted effort to get my TBR list down! Great review - thank you Amyless!

And I'm thinking of you today. (((((Aymless)))))

Aymless said...

Leontine: AA is definitely a rising star in SciFi romance. She's definitely on my must buy list.

Donna: Move it closer to the top. Doubleblind is out in Sept and looks to be just as fun.

Wendy: March is dreamy.

Renee: I agree its completely in her character to do as she does. I just don't like it since March is so dreamy *starry eyes*

Crystal: *crosses fingers for you*

Orannia: Move the book up! And thanks. Its been a tough day (and I continue to be a dripping faucet about it all) but I keep thinking how she's not in pain anymore. Its particular hard now as it is night and I don't have my snuggler. Some friends let me pet the heck out their cat as therapy.

Leontine said...

Aymless, I have link to your contest up on my blog. You should also give a shout out on Twitter, the RT frenzy will also give word of mouth. This is not a review or contest to be missed :)

Sarah said...

I also have to confess that I have never read a word of Ann's but hope to win this in order to start. not sure how easy her work is to get hold of in the UK.

kohsamui14 said...
favourite character
Read the reviews earlier today and planning to borrow book from library as Max seems to be a character I really want to get to know
kohsamui rosie

Zeek said...

Me! Me! Pick me!

Fav character? Max- because he's sehhhhxy! :P

Gonna tweet about it now!

Zeek said...

Dangit I meant MARCH- not max!

TJ said...

I've just started Grimspace and I'm getting swept up in it--so I was thinking about getting the second book anyway. I don't have a favorite character yet, but I'd love to enter. :3

spiffyish [at]

I also tweeted about the giveaway here:

Ann Aguirre said...

I tweeted about it, but don't enter me. *g* Thanks for doing this.

Aymless said...

Ann: You're welcome. Always happy to share the book love.

azteclady said...


You gotta read Grimspace. Now.

No excuses, grab that books and READ!

*tapping foot*


(please don't enter me :grin: I have my very own pretty signed ARC)

kalynnick said...

I don't read this series so I really can't tell you my favorite character but I do want to read it because it sounds interesting.

kalynnick AT yahoo DOT com

Patti said...

I loved Blue Diablo by Ms. Aguirre but have not read this series, so I do not have a favorite.

Great contest! Posted on my sidebar:

pspinney AT cox DOT net

buddyt said...

It seems a lot of us leaving comments have not read Ann Aguirre as yet and I confess I am also one.

But I like Sci-Fi and am always open to trying an author new to me.

So please enter me in the giveaway.
Thank you.


buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

Blodeuedd said...

Oh cool, is it open worldwide? Cos then I am in since I just finished Grimspace.

Fav, well the cute little Z cos he was so cute, and they cared for him. Weird of me to choose him but I found the 3 so adorable

blodeuedd1 at gmail dot com

Shaymless Aymless said...

Blodeuedd: yes it's open to everyone (who has a mailing address the nice mail services folks all around the world).

Unfortunately due to mail service difficulties, you must have an address on Earth. ^_~

Shellie (Layers of Thought) said...

New reader here.
I found this linked on Donna's fantasy dreamer site. I have seen this author's books at a couple of locations. They look great. I love strong female characters. Getting this copy will force me to find the first in the series, because I hate reading out of order.
I have linked your contest on my blog.

Lynz Pickles said...

I've been meaning to read Grimspace for so long now, but haven't gotten around to it. It just moved up to the very top of my TBR pile! Since I've yet to read the series, I don't know who my favourite character will be... but I have a feeling it'll be Jax. I have a thing for awesome heroines and she seems to be one.

Anyway, since this is a worldwide contest (yay!) please enter me. I am pretty sure I live on Earth, so that shouldn't be an issue.


Mishel said...

You know what sucks? I picked up Grimspace the other day @ Barnes and put it back on the shelf...I have no idea why? I think another book was calling out to me but I really should have grabbed it. I've wanted to read this series for a while now.

P.S. Linked to this contest on my sidebar

P.S.S. I enjoyed your guest review of Dark Slayer on KB's site and discovered your blog. So glad I did. (Not just cuz of the giveaway =D

Scott Romanski said...

My fav character.....since you didn't specify that it needed to be this series, My fav character is Han Solo in the Star Wars series.

Tweeted at

lastrideusa at yahoo dot com

Shaymless Aymless said...

No more entries! Contest closed!


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