Customer Reviews for

Doubleblind (Sirantha Jax Series #3)

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Posted November 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Love, love, love Vel!

    I bought this book.

    Doubleblind, the third book in Aguirre's SF-romance series, isn't going to be my favorite book in the series. In this volume jumper (a special kind of person who can navigate the subspace area that makes deep space travel possible), ex-criminal and formerly broken Sirantha Jax lands on the infamously closed planet Ithiss-Tor, home of bounty hunter-turned-friend, Vel, on a mission to forge an alliance between humans and Ithtorians to save both from the savage cannibal Morgut who are raiding space ports and far planets, leaving occupants dead. With her mother (head of the criminal Syndicate) trying to make sure she fails, and lives depending on Jax's success, not to mention the Ithtorian repulsion of humans, disaster is not just possible, it's imminent.

    First the good, Aguirre maintains a full cast of characters, each with unique strengths and weaknesses and stories. Jax's struggle to shuck her selfish, party-girl past comes to odds with the responsibilities and expectations others unfairly put on her creating a tense, conflicted inner dialog as the story moves on. Jax's personal quest to rebuild the mind of March, once her lover, a psi forced to cut himself off from his emotions to mentally survive a war thrust on him by manipulations of his personal honor, is especially heart breaking.

    Aguirre spins a fascinating world in Ithiss-Tor, home world of a bug species that, true to type, communicate as much with body language and scent as with verbalized language. This is truly a reason to pick up this book, as the imagery is complex and solid, not to mention the Ithtorian characters are full developed despite being such a inhuman race.

    Aguirre's rich and descriptive world and characters are as solid as ever in Doubleblind, so already established fans will definitely want to continue with their story.

    And, finally the bad. Aguirre, with Doubleblind clearly comes down on the side of romance rather than maintaining a fine split between romance and science fiction as in the previous novels. A large amount of the drama and tension has to do with the personal relationships between the characters. In the end I was left with a feeling that conflicts were tied up too neatly, with very little actually conflict, just emotional strain.

    March's method of recovery is truly interesting, but easier than I expected. Add to that only one true fight scene in the whole book, which Jax largely avoids, and a climax with wired in tension, but no conflict after all is said and done and I was left with a bit of a dissatisfied feeling with this addition to the Jax world.

    I badly wanted to see Jax throwing down in some sort of ritual combat to prove her worth to the Ithtorians and earn at least some respect from them instead of primarily suffering emotionally and playing politics. She is such a contrary, stubborn and steel-souled character that all the politics, as Jax herself worries about in the book, neuters her too much for my tastes.

    I hope Aguirre finds a place between emotionality and action for the next book. Coupled with the vivid details, fine characterization and inspired writing it makes for excellent writing, which is what I've come to expect from this series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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