Friday, June 3, 2011

Wanderlust by Ann Aguirre

I've just finished Wanderlust, the second Sirantha Jax novel. I enjoyed the first one so much, I was really looking forward to this one. Unfortunately, something just didn't click for me.

My Rating: ★★

Jax and company have upset the social order of the galaxy, but all that happened in the first book. Now they (and everyone else) has to deal with the backlash. As part of that “dealing,” Jax has been named Ambassador and sent to get a hostile alien species to join the government. Wanderlust covers her attempt to reach them, and all the obstacles thrown in. There were parts I enjoyed, but some of the chemistry was missing in this one.

Pros -

Jax and company can banter like pros. I love the bickering between them. It made me laugh, and gives a real insight to the characters. The back and forth sounded genuine, like I'd expect from people forced to like and work in close quarters. It was dialog like this that I loved from the first book.

Cons -

Maybe I wasn't in the mood for this type of book, but it seemed to spend way to much time going over Jax's own internal dilemmas. I never felt like she was whining, per se, but I just wanted to move on with the story. About half way through the book, I almost stopped reading it. I grew tired of the internal drama. It picked up again later, but it slowed the story down.

Off the top of my head, I can name two examples of blatant forecasting on the author's part. (I'll try to keep these vague to avoid any possible spoilers. No names, besides Jax's, mentioned.) First, Jax meets a new character who has a duplicate skill to another of her crew, right as they're planning to leave the planet. I had to wonder if the original crew member wasn't leaving with them. After all, why would they need two people with the same skill? Lo and behold, I was right. And the second, Jax kept mentioning wanting to get a certain piece of equipment, which she couldn't afford. She talks about it several times, even stating a brand name. Near the end, she just finds one laying around, which she fixes. Those “coincidences” could have been slid in more carefully. Maybe the extra person gets introduced at the beginning of the book, or doesn't have the exact same skills, but can “wing it.” And with the piece of equipment? Have Jax run into it, then realize its value and fix it, not broadcast how she wants that very thing for several chapters.

I don't know if I'll continue this series. It ended at a spot that promised more emotional drama ahead, and if it's like this book, I don't know if I want to read that. Wanderlust had its moments, but they were both good and bad. If you liked the first one, try this one. But you may want to borrow it before buying, just in case.


Andrea said...

Hey! I like your blog! Could be b/c we have the same background!
Anyhow, I've never even heard of this series. Sorry you didn't like this book. I'll be curious to see if you read book3.

Scribal Goddess said...

Weekend Reviewer hee:

Thanks for being honest! I am often disappointed by second books, perhaps because my expectations are unrealistic, but it's important to be honest about it!

Lisa said...

@Andrea - I love this background! It's so neat, isn't it? I'm still up in the air about book 3. I have so many other series and new books to catch up on.

@Scribal Goddess - I really, really wanted to like this one. Maybe I did expect too much. I don't know. But if I'm going to review it, I feel I have to be honest with my review.