Monday, March 31, 2008

Grimspace by Ann Aguirre

When I said I had a lot of books to blog about, I wasn't kidding! Here's the back blurb for Grimspace-

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…

How to even describe this book? Maybe I should start by saying I came across Grimspace on Bam/Dionne Galace's blog. I thought the book sounded interesting, but I haven't read straight sci-fi in a LONG time. The other day I was at B & N, saw it & decided to finally bite the bullet. Boy am I glad I did.

Grimspace is termed a romantic sci-fi. It's definltey sci-fi more than a romance, but there are definitely romantic overtones throughout the whole story. The story is told in 1st person via Sirantha Jax (or Jax as she's called 99% of the time).

When the story first starts out, Jax is being held for questioning in the death of her pilot & lover, as well as the people in the ship they were flying. Jax has no memory of any of it, other than a vague idea of what happened. She miserable and very much alone.

When March shows up, she's basically at the end of her rope. She knows it's not long before she loses her mind. She's scared, confused and just wants it all to end. March gives her an option; she can either stay there & go insane or she can come with him. Since that's not much of an option, she decides to go with him.

Grimspace is very action-packed. From the moment she escapes her prison until the end of the book, things never really slow down. There are moments of quiet, but they are few and far between. What I like about this story is the fact that though the story is told by Jax's POV, we get to know the other characters very well. There's no major info-dump, which is one of my biggest pet peeves with sci-fi in general. Things are revealed, but done so in a way that fits the story itself.

There are also moments of levity too. Near the end of the book, Jax is forced to cut her hair & dress like a boy. Here's a little snippet of what I mean....

March bends his head to mine, kissing me in a delicate brush of warmth. "You're gorgeous. All that hair hiding such beautiful bones, I can't believe it."

Though I know he's bsing me, trying to smooth me past the desire to throw a fit, it helps. "You're so full of it."

March shakes his head, solemn as a barrister. "No, really. You might even look better this way." I narrow my eyes on him, knotting my fist in his shirt. "Too much?"

"Uh, yeah."

After lacing our fingers together, he leads me toward the others. Maha City twinkles against the dark, glints of scarlet and silver snaking together as if to form a cogent images. We're just not high enough to appreciate the art.

"So who are you, Jax?" I see him smiling, teeth gleaming in the moonlight. Oh, he's teasing me, but his comeuppance is nigh. "My little brother?"

I shrug, studiedly casual. "That's not what you need to worry about."

His thum slides of my index finger in a soft, proprietary caress. "And what would that be?"

"Being the guy who wants to shag your own little brother."

That's the first time I've gotten the last word on March.

See, this is what I mean. She has a way with words that really makes the story come alive. She's created a world that's so very different from our own but I never feel like it's too foreign. You can tell she spent a lot of time getting everything just so.

The next book in the series comes out in a few months & I will definitely pick it out. Even if you don't usually like sci-fi, I really do recommend this story. It's got action, adventure, romance, danger....basically all of the things I love in a great story. Honestly, it's phenomenal!

My Rating-A

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