Endgame - Ann Aguirre This review is spoiler free, but assumes a familiarity with the Sirantha Jax series.

I have put off writing this review, because it is, for me, the final step in accepting that the Sirantha Jax series is over. How do I write about a book that concludes one of my most cherished series, and somehow manage to do it the justice it deserves? I will certainly try now.

Engame starts out with Sirantha Jax continuing in her mission to liberate La'heng from the Nicuan nobles. A long time ago when humans first arrived to L'heng, they covered the world with a chemical that changed the La'heng natives, making it impossible for them to fight, and easy to enslave. Jax has funded research that has led to a cure, allowing the La'heng natives to become self-sufficient again, but of course the Nicuan nobles want nothing to do with that. After being denied an appeal by the Imperial board of governors to make the cure widespread and available to the La'hengrin, Loras and Jax start a rebellion to deploy the Cavati's Cure to the natives, and begin an initiative to train them to fight back on their own behalf.

As Jax says in the opening line of the book, "This is not a love story." No, this is a war story, and all the things that come along with with fighting a war are present. There is a lot of downtime and waiting, as much as there are chases and battles.

Those who were worried at the end of Aftermath over whether we'd see March again and when, need not worry. March meets up with Jax very early on, with Sasha in tow. Upon their reunion, with Jax's introspection I am easily reminded why I love her so much. This quote sums up one of the many things I love about her:

He’s said that about me before— that I’m the strongest person he’s ever met. I tend to think I’m dumb. No matter how many times I get knocked down, I always stagger up again. If I had a brain in my head, sometimes after one of those hits, I’d just kiss dirt a little while. Save myself the pain. But I always find myself on my feet, swinging wide, no matter what.

March and Jax have many grievances from events over the past five books that they must air in order to move on and salvage any kind of future together. Add to that the uncertaintly of whether they can remain in each other's lives during wartime, and the intensity is jacked up several notches. And then add to it the Sasha factor... you really just don't know if Jax and March will get that HEA, but you want so desperately to believe that they can and will.

“Fair winds carry you from my side and back again, brown bird.” - Vel

And then there is Vel. Sigh... Jax has complete and unwavering faith in Vel, Vel is always there for her, always has her back and sadly… March has not. It’s a fascinating situation, and the way it plays out is beautifully done. Readers will be pleased.

Once the rebellion turns in to an all out War, it is super consuming. I felt myself growing weary with Jax over all the death and waste. Endgame spans several years, and it is dense with battle, strife, drama, tension and loss. Along with all the battles and loss, come the silver linings. Now thoroughly trained in combat, weapons and gunnery, Jax is relieved to discover that when she returns to jumping the star roads, it will be out of love and not necessity. Her ability to do just that becomes part of that HEA I kept holding on to for her.

And what would a final book be without all the secondary characters we have grown to love? There is a lot of Constance, one of my favorite secondaries, Jax's PA. I looked forward to her in each book. I also grew to adore the adult Z, his charming nature kept the spirit of the book up when the events of war became too much to bear. And new characters are introduced that all complement this series conclusion.

Upon finishing Endgame, I was equal parts super sad, and equal parts thoroughly satisfied. Endgame is most definitely a worthy ending to one of my favorite series and now, I must go re-read the entire Sirantha Jax series again. Thank you Ann Aguirre for giving us this incredible series! *snarfle cry*