Basics: Science Fiction Romance told in first person present tense (as other reviewers noted, that tense WORKED with this book). Sirantha Jax has the ability to navigate her ship through the galaxy utitlizing hyperspace jumps (grimspace). She has been framed for a crime she did not commit, she must grieve the lover she lost, she must stay a step ahead of those who hunt her, and despite all this, she makes friends, falls in love again, and... changes the world (this is FANTASY after all!)
Main Characters: Heroine: Sirantha Jax: VERY likable. Imperfect but good-hearted and honest; very good sense of humor; very competent and capable heroine. Liked the way she evolved throughout the book. Definitely not a stagnant character!
Hero: March: Strong, but not described as good looking; brave but practical (with a few exceptions); not a typical romance hero (alpha, but doesn't always or even OFTEN save the day); great sense of humor. REALLY likable guy!
Best About this Book: The characters were really well drawn, the dialogue between them was VERY entertaining, the world building was very good, the writing was descriptive and intense (NOT YA!). VERY funny dialogue between characters.
Worst About this Book: I was surprised not to see this mentioned before... this book dances on-- but doesn't quite cross-- into the realm of preachiness. There is a section where the author's views on abortion are VERY clear and at the end of the book there is such a strong endorsement of free- market capitalism that I could practically HEAR the National Anthem playing. Not necessarily a bad thing but I found it jarring... as if the author's agenda was spilling out and threatening BUT not ever ruining the story.
Summary: I really enjoyed this book. It is Definitely worth a credit, and I paid full price for the second book in the series "Wanderlust" although I have not read it yet, I have high hopes.
I discovered Grimspace through reading the author's e-published romances. I really liked her voice in those stories, so I thought I'd give this a try, though sci-fi isn't usually my first choice. While not perfect, I still found myself sucked in, and devoured this book in record time.
The 1st person/present tense is a risky choice, and for me, works. It creates an urgency within the action that propels it forward even more than the short, clipping chapters do. It puts us into Jax's head, and makes it impossible to see her as anything but a very damaged woman. She's had a lot of trouble heaped on top of her, and the only way to deal with it is to compartmentalize it away. It makes her brittle and caustic, but getting to see her own insecurities, her fallibility, helped me sympathize with her. Though she makes less than heroic choices during the course of the story, they're true to who she is, and make her far more human than if she suddenly always did the most honorable thing. I was on her side, almost the entire way.
There's a very large cast of characters, as people and creatures come and go in her life. Some of their characterizations suffer for their short time on the pages; others thrive. March and Vel are the best drawn of the supporting cast, and falling for the relationships they have with Jax was easy.
Another criticism I have with the book - even as much as I like the author - is the one-liner endings she put on each chapter. It was fine in the beginning, but grew wearisome halfway through. I didn't need the reminder of Jax's quippy nature. I already had that through the rest of the text.
But I thoroughly enjoyed myself. And I'm going out tomorrow to get the second book. I like Jax and March enough to follow them, mostly because they are so flawed. It just makes them human.
A good new author. This book is written in the first person, present tense, which the author does a good job with. Enough adult content, I wouldn't label it YA. Lots of angst and adventure, and some romance too.
There are several sequels.
Science Fiction adventure by Ann Aguirre, first in series. Sirantha Jax is a Grimspace jumper. Jumpers have a limited life expectancy, and she's been doing longer than anybody else. The story begins with Jax detained, and interrogated about a crash that killed everyone else on the ship. Jax is being made a scapegoat. Then an unknown man enters her cell, and offers to get her out. Thus begins Jax's adventure. This is a great tale. The characters are interesting, lots of action, a love story, great storyline, complete with twists. Worth a credit. I can't wait to get a hold on #2. Worth a credit.
I really enjoyed this book and the whole world Aguirre has created. It took me a few chapters to become full enmeshed, but it sucks you in and won't let go! It channels a little Firefly feel and Farscape ideas and is great fun. Urban fantasy in space, don't miss out.
The main character Sirantha Jax is a jumper - someone with a rare J-gene, that allows her to "jack into grimspace" and with a pilot, send a spaceship through a hyperspace jump. Sirantha finds herself confined and under surveillance by the Corp after a horrific accident which has killed everyone on her ship but herself. They seem to think that Sirantha made a mistake, and she may go to trial for it. She also feels worried about her sanity. In steps March, who offers to break her out of her prison - telling her it's either escape or let the Corp break her with their therapy. Overall very enjoyable and addictive to read. It delivers what I wanted, which was action, space stuff and some romance.
Each chapter reminds me like a chapter in a Nancy Drew mystery - it tends to end on a "dun dun dun!" note, which I found slightly odd but not bothersome. The story reminds me of Linnea Sinclair's writing, but there is a lot more grit in this - more death, more grey areas, especially with the heroine - she's not always a good person. Also - a lot of interesting secondary characters make appearances. Some of them do not stay around for long. They may show up in later books. Some of them I wish I got to know better before they disappeared. The book ends with a definite conclusion and it feels like a stand alone, but there is a larger story arc you catch a glimpse of, and so I can see where the author could continue.
Jax & Co. operate in an interplanetary system that is a blend of old and new: advanced Conglomerate planets exist in deliberate ignorance of planets occupied by non-human species that have only just begun to be explored. This is more Firefly than Star Trekbut let the comparisons stop there, lest you be disappointed. Firefly has a kind of ensemble-cast, Joss Whedon-directed magic that I have yet to see translate into the written form. GRIMSPACE doesnt quite have that magic, but is still a pretty decent read, especially if you dont read much sci-fi.
I found the characters a littleinconsistent. Jax was supposed to be this tough but damaged woman, and yet, thinking about my favorite fictional tough-girl heroine to whom I compare everything else (Kate Daniels from Ilona Andrews series), Jax didnt strike me as being consistently what she says she is. The romance felt very sudden, too, initial sparks of attraction flaming into declarations of love. Hrm. Color me unconvinced.
On a more personal note, I was quite distressed at the number of deaths in this book. I know death is a natural part of life and all, but the softie in me couldnt help but cringe every time a character I had just begun to get to know and like ended up dying in the most terrible way. I respect a few character deaths here and there, but killing off nearly everyone but the major characters felt excessive.
Still, I enjoyed GRIMSPACE for the most part. Im not sure Ill continue reading the series, but the ideas a good one, and the characters (those that are still alive by the end, that is) are pretty cool. Its no Firefly for me, but then again, what will be?
The first person present tense writing really takes some getting used to! Totally confusing at first. As is the environment. It's a fine line to walk when describing a new universe with rules completely removed from our own and over-saturating the reader with useless information. But here I feel like I could use a little bit more information! Sometimes I feel completely confused, almost like the reader is just not meant to understand because it is just that complex.
Totally makes me think of the television show Firefly. A captain and his first mate, the rest of the crew with this very specific jobs/duties, fighting a universe wide government. Love it!
I really wanted to like this book, and it started out pretty good. Then Jax's whining began. Then she seemed to mature, but that was an illusion. Her whining returns, and returns, and returns.
Great beginning, lots of action. A bit confusing at first, but gets better as book progresses. The world building takes a little time to "get." Its done well and Jax is a perfectly imperfect character. She has many layers. This author most definitely a must.
This was a quick but enjoyable read. The characters are strong and the plot is interesting. There is enough sex and other adult content to make it not fall under the "Young Adult" category. Recommended.
I have nothing to add to the excellent reviews posted here by other members, except to say that the book is written in first person present tense, and to me that's an annoying, amateurish affectation better left in 7th grade creative writing classes. I see another reviewer has remarked on the "preachiness" -- what I see here is not that I necessarily agree or disagree with the positions stated, but that they appear to be those of the author; the author did not convince me that they were the views of her character. I wound up not finishing the book and can't recommend it.
I did not like this book. I just couldn't connect with Jax or March. March is a very quiet reserved kind of guy who doesn't open up...hell most of the time, he didn't even speak. There was just something about Jax that I didn't like. I can't really put my finger on it but I couldn't care less what happened next which made it hard to finish the book. This also was a little too sci-fi for me. Not really my kinda of book.
This is one of the best Science Fiction books I have read in a long time...and I'm picky. I loved the plot, the characters, and the context. It is very similar to Serenity and Firefly, but I enjoyed it on it's own. GREAT read!