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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

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Mini Book Review: Havoc by Ann Aguirre

Havoc by Ann Aguirre

Title: Havoc

Author: Ann Aguirre

Series: The Dred Chronicles #2

Genre: Science Fiction

Rating: 5/5 stars!

The Overview: The Conglomerate’s most dangerous convicts have made the prison ship Perdition their home. And they will defend it… Perdition is under siege. Mercenaries have boarded the station with orders to take control of the facility—and execute the prisoners. Their commander is offering full pardons to the first five inmates willing to help the mercs complete their mission. Dresdemona “Dred” Devos hasn’t survived hard time just to surrender to the Conglomerate’s armored thugs. Leading a ragtag army of inmates, Dred and her champion, Jael, wage a bloody guerilla war of chaos and carnage against impossible odds. But no matter how dire the outlook, the Dread Queen never backs down…

The Mini Review:

Havoc has to be one of the best books I’ve read in a long while. The series is about life on an old space station (which has been converted into a massive prison), and the various inmates’ fight for survival. I liked the first one and honestly did not expect to LOVE the second as much as I did, but the direction Aguirre took with the story had me literally canceling plans so I could stay home and read it (sad, I know… but it really was that good). Havoc is an action-packed, page-turning adventure that somehow manages to have excellent character development and a compelling love story mixed in the middle. I don’t know how she does it. It also boasts interesting alien species and a whole bunch of really gnarly bad guys. Really, what’s not to love? I really wanted to make this a full-length review, but I don’t know what else I can say without getting into spoilers. :P

Havoc helped remind me why Aguirre is one of my all-time favorite authors – she gives you a little bit of everything. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that this is the same author who wrote the New Adult 2B Trilogy (which I also loved), Enclave (a fantastic YA zombie apocalypse trilogy), and the Corine Solomon urban fantasy series (involving magic and a whole lot of paranormal). Each of those different types of stories was brilliant, and I have yet to find anything from Aguirre that I didn’t absolutely love. The Dred Chronicles are no exception – if you like space operas, definitely give this series a try (or even pick up Grimspace – the series that first got me hooked on this author), and you’ll see why I’m excited to read anything she wants to write.

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by Niki Hawkes

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Coming Soon: Breakout by Ann Aguirre

BreakoutTitle: Breakout

Author: Ann Aguirre

Series: The Dred Chronicles #3

Genre: Science Fiction

Release Date: August 25, 2015

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…

Waiting on Wednesday:

Ann Aguirre is easily one of my all-time favorite authors. I fell in love with her Grimspace series, and am beginning to love this one just as much! I love the concept of the story, the characters, the setting, and the action! I just started reading the second book in this series, and I’m going to have to pace myself because August is really far away! If you’re in the mood for Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, or even Dystopian, The Dred Chronicles managed to hit the spot for all of them.

What are you waiting on?

by Niki Hawkes