Jax has reconfigured the beacons to stop their enemy, but its disabled the Conglomerate and everyone else from jumping as well. And what about anyone who might have been jumping at the time she reconfigured? She needs to tell everyone not to jump, and how to jump the new configurations. When Jax and Hit make it back to Venice Minor they see the Morguts have attacked the planet, burning the hanger and buildings. There's no sign of life. Jax is worried the Conglomerate will find her guilty of working without orders, High Treason, going AWOL, and death of ships full of crew in grimspace. Jax fights to get back to civilization and is imprisoned for her way of saving so many lives. Then Jax has a whole journey to correct her wrongs, and hold her promises and Vel goes with her.
By the time you have gotten to this book, you know what's going on. You don't need the rehashing of all the previous events and you are ready to move on. This book briefly mentions the ending of Killbox, but that is because Aftermath starts exactly at that point. This is the wonderful thing about this series, you are fully invested by now. As we come to the carrying through with promises and old friends revisited, you remember the feelings and happenings right with Jax as you need them. Ann does a wonderful job of bringing back those feelings and not bogging down the story with old events.
Jax has grown so much as a person in these books. She is now aware of the results her actions leave behind and tries to correct those, or at least make amends with them. Then we have all the promises Jax has made along the way through the last four books. This book is one that ties a lot of those up, cleaning up lots of lose ends. Jax is paying her debts, training the new patterns, and making visits on needed promises.
While Jax was incarcerated we get to read letters back and forth between Jax and March. We start to see these two might have different paths to follow, but love each other so. But this is the way we get to keep March in the picture. We get Vel back in this book. God is he a great friend to Jax. The only one who seems to completely get her and her ways. Vel is the rock that Jax needs here. They get their own adventure in the Makers land, which brings them EXTREMELY closer.
We still have correspondents between Edun and Tarn. This gives us a small glimpse of the political end and what they are doing to help with the trial. These letters seem more personable along with business. Then Tarn and Edun are done with their business here as well. But! I'm hoping we might get to meet Edun in person in the next book. I am left with a small glimmer of hope that it could happen.
This series has taken me on an amazing ride of emotions. We have had fun and laughed, been serious, fought a war, lost friends along the way, fell in love, and now cried when life's paths go askew. This book brought tears to my eyes for the last hundred or so pages, and I cried at the end. I loved how Ann has taken these characters to the point of no return and makes those tough choices. All along the way I have fallen for these characters.