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Book Review: Breakout by Ann Aguirre

Breakout by Ann Aguirre

Title: Breakout

Author: Ann Aguirre

Series: The Dred Chronicles #3

Genre: Science Fiction

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

The Overview: The prison ship Perdition has become a post-battle charnel house with only a handful of Dred’s soldiers still standing and now being hunted by Silence’s trained tongueless assassins. Forging an uneasy alliance with mercenary commander Vost—who is their only chance at escape—the Dread Queen will do whatever it takes to end her life sentence on Perdition and keep the survivors alive long enough to cobble together a transport capable of getting them off station. If Dred and her crew can win the deadly game of cat and mouse, the payoff is not only life but freedom—a prize sweeter than their wildest dreams. Yet the sadistic Silence would rather destroy Perdition than let a single soul slip from her grasp…

The Review:

I love Ann Aguirre’s work. She always manages to take me on an amazing adventure alongside quirky, memorable characters. The Dred Chronicles were no different, and I sit here in awe at how she managed to incorporate a tender love story amidst bloodly battles on a space station prison. And you know what? It totally worked, providing a stellar balance of action and romance. All I can say is, I thoroughly enjoyed this series and sincerely hope it’s not the last story she tells from this universe.

I think it’s important to note that Havoc, book 2 in this series, is one of the best books I’ve ever read. It was action-packed, fast-paced, and heart-wrenching, topped off with great characters, cool aliens, freaky enemies, and a killer setting (seriously – the overall atmosphere was unlike anything I’ve ever read – it was awesome!). Breakout had all of those same elements but, while I still appreciate it as a series ender, I’m sad to say I didn’t like it quite as much (but definitely think it’s still worth the read!!!). And my reasoning comes down to pacing:

The first half of the book, where I felt the most intensity and emotional investment, was kind of rushed. There were several major events illustrated by only a few paragraphs, and I don’t think either my brain or my emotions had enough time to process everything. Simultaneously, the end half of the book, where I felt the story had reached its climax and was already in its resolution phase, was unproportionately drawn out. Personally, I would’ve loved to see the pacing distribution more heavily weighted towards the front, but that’s just me.

All that said though, I still loved this series as a whole and consider Aguirre one of my favorite authors. Although this is a spinoff of her Sirantha Jax series, I think it stands solidly on its own (but you should still totally read about Jax if you can because her story is amazing). Space opera fans, hold onto your seats because The Dred Chronicles are nothing if not a wild ride!

*Thank you Penguin Group Berkley, NAL / Signet Romance, DAW, NetGalley, and Ann Aguirre for the chance to read and review an early copy of Breakout!

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by Niki Hawkes

2 comments on “Book Review: Breakout by Ann Aguirre

  1. I loved this series!!! On the edge of your seat, totally engrossed, can’t put it down, loved each and every one of these books!!! I am not as analytical of the structure of the writing…meaning I don’t critique in the same manner as a writer (Niki) would…I’m just a reader. I only know and care if it held my interest, got me personally involved with the characters and the world, and could I not put it down. This book did all of those things for me. I understand what you are saying about the front and back heaviness, or lack there of, but personally, I didn’t care. I, in disagreement with you, Niki, loved, that for once, the ending was not just a cutoff,…done…no closure. It was heavier and I liked that. In fact it was surprising, refreshing, and out of the norm for book endings. I also hope there is more to come in this world. I Love Ann Aguirre!Read this series, you won’t be sorry.

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    • Wow – great comment! You make a lot of compelling points. I agree that the ending wasn’t typical and that it offered a ton more resolution than most, so I guess it’s a double edged sword haha. Maybe if the beginning had been slower and the ending the exact same I would be singing a different tune…

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