19 February 2008
Ann Aguirre's Grimpspace

I really liked it. You should buy it and I need to read more SciFi.

What, not enough?

Ok, fine. Has no one told you how tough it is to write a positive review? This is the real reason I don’t think I’d ever be tempted to work for a review site, free books or not. Gimme a bad one I can rip to pieces and I’m good. Saying why I like a book without sounding like a gushing idiot or like I’m kissing ass? Much tougher.

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 like SciFi, but I’m picky about it. I had to take Biology twice and I never made it past Geometry, so the pages and pages of explanations found in a lot of hard SciFi makes my eyes glaze over. I’m not so big on magic in my reading material either, and a lot of the soft SciFi (that I’ve read at least) seems to blend the line to fantasy. Not good for my reading tastes. Grimspace? Ooh, nice blend. Only thing resembling magic is a touch of ESP and it’s got this great space-opera type thing going. They’re zipping here and there and there’s several different alien worlds. But it’s very much a romance at the same time.

I don’t want to be Sirantha Jax – she’s just a tiny bit too screwed up for that – but I’d sure like to have a couple beers with her. She’s snarky and a little bitchy and a little self-centered too – but in a fun way. March? Omigod yummy. I’m a sucker for guys who run around the pages going “I’ve been so bad, I’m not worthy – here, let me work my ass off trying to be a good man,” but only if the reader can buy the dichotomy. I have to believe they were once sucky-evil and also believe they’re good now. (Those rare books where the villain from earlier in the series can become the successful hero later? Yay-ness.) Ann Aguirre has that down pat.

The plot is kinda “episodic”, but it works for the style. There’s a bunch of little steps and a few bigger plot threads that one assumes will weave through the whole series. I was a little . . . I dunno, surprised at one of the smaller plot points ‘cause I’d gotten a bit attached to . . . jeeze *something* and was kinda annoyed by a development. (Holy hell, this would be the second reason I hate writing positive reviews. I have such a hard time doing it without spoilers.) And I was definitely surprised when Ann tied off one thread I thought would be something woven through the whole series. It seemed like a good opportunity to paint one of those epic good vs evil things SciFi’s good with. :::shrug::: But what do I know.

So my point would be: Go! Buy! Loose about a day of productive time ‘cause you can’t do anything without this book in one hand!


Blogger Carolyn Jean said...

Ooh, an intriguing review! I'm thinking about this one for my TBR lately. Let me say also, I appreciate your pullback on the spoilers. I totally know how tempting it is to really talk about them.

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