Aftermath - Ann Aguirre

I have no choice but to get this off of my chest because this book is killing me.


It took me about three years before I could sit down and read this, after purchasing, because I knew that I would need closure. So, I waited until the last book came out.


And here we are now.


I went into this with trepidation simply because when we last left Jax, she decided to betray March in order to save the world.


I get why she did it, I don't agree with how.


And again, here we are.


The books title accurately reflects Jax's mood and life after changing the star system in order to stop the Morgut from taking over planets and enslaving human and other sentient life forms. Her world is unraveling and she is trying to figure out her place, her role and herself.


Jax has always been a brilliant pilot. She has been a flawed and bad-ass heroine. She hasn't always been the best person.


And it took me this long to realize that Jax, while easy to root for, is hard to like and even harder to sympathize with. It's a testament to Aguirre's writing that it took me this long to realize that Jax has the emotional IQ of an ant and a stubborn + selfish streak that could fit the Grand Canyon.


I'm a little more than half way through the book and Sirantha is killing me.


I like that she is looking for a purpose, that she needs to right some of her wrongs before she can continue her life and I love that she's a fighter.


I hate that she doesn't understand compromise, empathy or relationships.


Yes, I'm talking about her relationship with March, which comprises a lot of this book. He's not in it, because I will admit that he took a decidedly selfish jaunt to look for his nephew while Jax was being held for High Treason (his reasons were good, as always, but they could've waited).


It all comes down to need.


It was telling when Jax partitioned her thoughts from March so as not to tell him about her plan, which was stupid in two ways:


1. With better foresight or perhaps a quickly hammered out plan, more lives could've been saved and Jax might never have needed to set foot in prison


2. She betrayed a good thing in her life due to selfishness and fear


At the end of the day, she broke a piece of herself away from him because she didn't want to have to explain herself, she didn't want to have to say good-bye (her words, not mine) and she didn't want to lean on him.


That's the thing with Jax, she doesn't lean. Perhaps it's because she equates leaning with breaking? Perhaps because she doesn't understand that the person you love would like to feel needed, even if you don't need him to breathe, as if you can confide in them and ask for comfort.


Which highlights some issues with Jax and March's relationship. March has usually bent, he went along with her, willingly, until his own personality began to surface and suddenly she was uncomfortable.


Don't get me wrong, March is no saint. He has a tendency to put things ahead of Jax. He also has a hard time compromising, and while he might not want to change the core of her, there are things he would love to be more pliable.


They never seem to be on the same page at the same time. And every time they are, something always happens.


This relationship has been about fighting. Fighting for the world, fighting for each other but they've never had a stable moment. What happens when the adrenaline runs out? What happens when they have to talk to each other?


March always has good reasons, he's an extremely good person, loyal and righteous, but he can also fail to see the big picture. Such as, even if Jax doesn't ask you to stay or whatnot, doesn't mean she isn't radiating with it.


However, I noticed it's a lot harder for Jax to support some of March's wants than the other way around. True, she'd go nuts if she stayed dirtside for too long and March needs to be on land every once in a blue, she hasn't ever tried.


She is hurt in this book and her only source of comfort is her "friend" Vel. A being that completes her emotionally...but only because he never asks for too much. He lets her get away with her comfort level and doesn't mind sitting passively next to her. I like Vel, don't get me wrong, but I don't like this weird transcendental love triangle that Aguirre is trying to pull.


I, of course, am going to root for March because despite all of the pain that they have caused one another, Jax and March fit. March treats her like a person in the sense that he doesn't always let her get away with shit. He challenges her and he loves her.


But my God, they need to actually vocalize their issues. That's what a relationship is.


I think I'm so annoyed because it's book 5. This relationship should be progressing, not regressing. Not only bound together by the ties of "love".


I don't fault Jax for her bitterness toward March's decision to leave. I don't fully blame March for leaving.


I do blame them for not trying. Not once have they just decided to lay all of their cards on the table and try.


The timing has never been right and then Jax went and screwed the pooch.


March was right when he said she doesn't need him, that she's never leaned on him and I gotta tell ya, that makes me wonder about them.


They are growing apart and Jax seems to be getting her emotional kicks from Vel. Which is not cool.


Also, not cool that this is happening in the penultimate book when this wasn't set up prior. I'm feeling a little blind sided here.


I do not want them together romantically but I absolutely love their friendship.


There also seems to be an issue with convenience. Jax keeps saying she's changed, that she is not the type to love the one she's with.


And yet.....


Anyway, this book is getting to me and it's a hard book to read. Especially with all of the deaths and the loss of some very awesome characters.


While Jax is growing up, she is also regressing.


And you know what? Comm codes are two ways streets.