Thursday, February 26, 2009

Grimspace by Ann Aguirre

By all accounts, Sirantha Jax should have burned out years ago…

As the carrier of a rare gene, Jax has the ability to jump ships through grimspace—a talent which cuts into her life expectancy, but makes her a highly prized navigator for the Corp. But then the ship she’s navigating crash-lands, and she’s accused of killing everyone on board. It’s hard for Jax to defend herself: she has no memory of the crash.

Now imprisoned and the subject of a ruthless interrogation, Jax is on the verge of madness. Then a mysterious man breaks into her cell, offering her freedom—for a price. March needs Jax to help his small band of rogue fighters break the Corp monopoly on interstellar travel—and establish a new breed of jumper.

Jax is only good at one thing—grimspace—and it will eventually kill her. So she may as well have some fun in the meantime…

I first heard about this book over at Ramblings on Romance just about a year ago, and even though I knew that it would be something very different for me, I bought the book. Since then the book has languished on my bookshelf waiting for the right moment to be discovered!

That moment came when I needed to nominate a book to read for the Sci-fi Experience. With the cross genre combination of sci fi and romance, it seemed to be a perfect fit. Since reading this book I have bought another sci-fi romance novel by Susan Grant, so it is a good thing that I enjoyed this one!

Sirantha Jax is a jumper, or at least she was, and she thinks she still is. At the opening of the book she is being held prisoner by her employer, with interrogators trying to find out what happened during the fatal crash that killed many people, including some dignitaries and her co pilot and lover Kai. When a group of mercenaries, led by the enigmatic March, break Jax out of her captivity, she has no idea what they want from her other than her skills as a jumper. She soon finds herself drawn into a plot against the government, and one that has her travelling from one world to another.

Jax is a complex character. She can be harsh and bitchy, emotionally brittle, but she is also intelligent, strong and very entertaining. She is a woman who has been pushed to the edge of her limits and has managed to hang on. She is also someone who at first is being forced to move on from a past that she is not yet ready to let go of.

As a hero, March is pretty darned good! He is dark and broody, damaged and aloof and yet highly principled and prepared to do what it takes to firstly get the job done but on his terms, and also to provide as much support for Jax as she is willing to accept, always knowing when not to push her too far. This is a delicate balance because the relationship between jumper and pilot has a much higher degree of intimacy than just crew member to crew member would normally entail.

I loved the secondary characters, particularly with the introduction of Velith towards the end. The action moves through several different worlds, and there was enough information to be able to separately identify the worlds and their individual dangers without there being an info dump in terms of descriptions of worlds and aliens.

The end of the book was wrapped up very neatly, but I am sufficiently engaged to want to read the next one! I should also point out that Aguirre has the first book in a new series coming out soon, called Blue Diablo, and you can see the ticker in my side bar!

Rating 4/5


  1. Hello! Stop by my blog....I gave you an award!

  2. Wanderlust, the second book, made me cry.

  3. This book is sitting on my bed side table. As soon as I get through my library books, I'm diving in. I have read nothing but great things about Aguirre.
    Great review!