Saturday, November 12, 2011

Review: Grimspace

Title: Grimspace

Author: Ann Aguirre

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Part of a Series?: First in series

Goodreads summary:
 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 found myself enjoying this book way more than I thought I would. Typically, I just don't mesh well with science fiction books. It's hard for me to imagine spaceships, alien environments, and in this book's case, grimspace. Yet Aguirre metaphorically waved the steak in front of my face, and I fell for all of her little traps. Darn you, Aguirre!!

The premise is really interesting. Jumping through grimspace is an amazing power that is highly prized by the Corp for interstellar travel, but it also strips away the soul over the years. Jax (love the name) is a Jumper accused of killing her previous crew. She's rescued by March and his renegades, recruited into their plot to overthrow the Corp's monopoly on space travel.

On the surface, the book is made up of generic components: snarky protagonist, dark male lead, witty one-liners, and action and romance, not necessarily in that order. But I feel like Aguirre's writing made up for most of the book's shortcomings. True, Jax's alpha female persona was a little clichéd, but I enjoyed her character more than I thought I would. She suffers from the guilt of killing 82 people aboard her last ship, the Sargasso, including her lover Kai. But her guilt isn't overwhelmingly depressing or anything. Jax is also incredibly rational. Aside from her strangely sudden hatred for March (I didn't get that), she is very coherent for a woman supposedly losing her mind to grimspace. She understands the weight of her actions--especially when characters started dying around her. Also, I enjoyed Jax and March's relationship. Obviously, there is that underlying sexual tension between them, but it wasn't the main part of the story. 

Action and adventure through space are incredibly important to this book. There are some incredibly intense action with guns, defensive maneuvers, etc. I think Aguirre pulled it off very well. I managed to stick with the characters through the entire book without getting completely lost (sorry, Dune). I wish I could be in Jax's shoes, just to see grimspace the way she does. Description is something that Aguirre specializes in. She definitely fleshes out each species, spaceship, and planet with simple, yet descriptive adjectives. 

All in all, great story. It has its flaws...mainly that it can be read as "just another girl-meets-boy-with-ensuing-sexual-tension story set in space." But in my opinion, there is something much better to this story if you look for it



1 comment:

  1. Hey, that's a great review! Very informative. I'm not a big fan of Sci-fi too, but you make the book sound so cool! I love that the heroine's independent and strong, and all the books I read must have at least a sprinkling of romance. Lol, must be the teen girl hormones thing.

    I really liked your review. Good job, Shelby!