narfna’s #CBR5 Review #69: Endgame by Ann Aguirre

endgameI’m not sure reading all six of these books back to back was such a great idea. I kind of got burnout and had a hard time finishing. But at the same time, I really liked what Aguirre ultimately did with this series. I thought Endgame was a great ending and really served to showcase just exactly what was important to her about Jax and Jax’s story. Jax herself tells us in the opening sentence, “This is not a love story,” so I’m not sure exactly how much clearer Aguirre could have made that.

Spoilers ahoy (probably shouldn’t read this unless you’ve already read the book).

This book wraps up the last and biggest of the dangling threads from the previous three books: Jax’s promise to help her friend Loras free his people from the genetic slavery they’ve been condemned to for the last century or so. It’s interesting the way that Aguirre has Jax recognize that a large part of her motivation comes from guilt — and the way other characters interact with her because of that — but also just because she knows it’s the right thing to do. Endgame takes us from the very beginnings of the revolution in La’Heng, with Jax covering their asses legally with the occupying government by submitting formal request after formal request for trials for their “cure” (which would end La’Heng dependence for good, essentially wiping out a planet-wide source of free labor for those used to taking advantage of it). And of course the current occupiers (the Nicuans) don’t want to give that power up, so they block her at every turn. From there, she and her group of friends build up the resistance piece by piece, and it’s to her credit that the whole thing reads as believable as it does. She also doesn’t give in to the temptation to have everything resolved in a short period of time. The span of this book covers years of story.

And then there’s Jax’s personal issues, which I thought were also handled very well. She kind of gets to have her cake and eat it, too. Due to events from previous books, Jax has a drastically expanded life expectancy, and she can certainly expect to outlive almost everyone she knows and loves, including her lover, March, who has accepted that fact and the two end up committing to each other for as he long as he lives. But once he goes, she’s got Vel to travel the universe with. I can see how some people might be discomfitted by this ending, but it worked for me. Overally, glad I picked this series up, and will definitely be checking out Aguirre’s other (many) books.