by Ann Aguirre is the entertaining finish to the mesmerizing 'Sirantha Jax' series that began with Grimspace. This fascinating universe is populated by intriguing aliens, including the Ithtorian, Vel, who has shared such a complicated relationship with Jax...starting with his contract to kill her. The evolution of their bond, including their respective tattoos which reflect their tie and the complex communication that they share has been enlightening to follow over the series. No less fascinating is the just as complicated relationship that Jax has with her lover March, from whom she has been separated yet again as he tries to guide his orphaned nephew through the difficulties of learning how to cope with his formidable mental powers of telekinesis.
Sirantha is embroiled in trying to help Loras free his oppressed planet, La'heng, from its subjugation by making the cure they have discovered available to all of those who want it. The risks of the cure make it slightly less palatable but the benefits are virtually overwhelming. Naturally, the oppressors do not want their slaves freed and are used to being in power. The struggle to start a guerrilla uprising is partially fueled by Sirantha's guilt but also because of her distaste for the way Loras' people are treated. The gradual evolution of the deeper relationships that have been established throughout the series has been great to watch and it was enlightening to see Jax's maturation after all of her trials. This is a great science fiction series filled with creative situations in a very well-built universe. I will miss Sirantha Jax and her allies but I am looking forward to the next intriguing chapter in this author's other two series.
We have been on a cookie baking kick since just before Christmas. My hubby has a wonderful recipe for oatmeal cookies from one of the America's Test Kitchen's cookbook. I have never been particularly fond of this type of cookie (I am more of a chocolate chip cookie aficionado) but I have to admit that these are fantastic...although I have discovered that they pretty much disintegrate if you are so clumsy as to drop them on the floor (sigh). The horrific problem came when I tried to soften my very hard brown sugar by microwaving it...it got soft but I didn't realize that the sugar on the bottom of the plastic package had melted! Let me tell you, that is not a good experience, but fortunately the pain has subsided and I am just dealing with the blisters, having given myself second degree burns on my thumb and forefinger. A lesson to just buy a new package of brown sugar next time we make cookies! A radical way to get out of helping to make up the cookies...but it hasn't stopped me from eating them (and yes, I managed to sneak in chocolate chips for the final batch that went into the oven, lol).