04 SepGrimspace 34/52

When I’m bored I have a bad habit of logging onto Fantastic Fiction and browsing the “Visitors to this page also looked at these authors” list for authors that I love (similar to a readalike list). I admit I can spend hours doing something similar to a wikiwalk on there, making lists of authors I think I might like to read.

And so I stumbled onto the page for Ann Aguirre. Suddenly I was caught by her Sirantha Jax series that instead of just putting it on my list, I went and ordered the first book.

Grimspace centers on Sirantha Jax, serving in the Corp because she has the rare gene that gives her the ability to navigate ships through grimspace. She wakes up in the hospital, blamed for crashing the last ship she jumped and killing all those on board. Subjected to intense interrogation, Jax thinks this is the beginning of the end. Until a complete stranger breaks her out of her hospital prison and the pair flee. But this escape has a price: March wants Jax to help break the Corp’s monopoly on grimspace by training jumpers.

While the description grabbed me, the first few chapters had me starting to doubt my selection. I had the feeling that this was turning more into a “paranormal romance in space” than the scifi with a bit of romance thrown in. Just the way Jax acts and her constant reminders to the readers that she’s good in bed almost made me put this book down several times. Cocky characters shouldn’t need to constantly remind you of this by telling you, their actions should speak for themselves.

One of the things that really bothered me was the fact that the planet they decide to colonize has these people eating critters who 1- you can’t detect or see 2- come out when they smell blood 3- there’s nothing you can do to stop them. Are they nuts? Why would you colonize a place like this?

That aside, I hunkered through and I’m glad I did. The pacing of the book was enjoyable, and I found the writing improved as I made my way to the end. Aguirre seems to get a hold of the universe she’s created and the characters within as the book progresses.

Jax is gritty and bitchy for a lot of the book; someone so rough and messed in the head could probably turn a lot of people off this book. But the character evolves throughout the story, and it’s those flaws that make you like Jax as she tries to piece her life back together.

I have to admit there were times I was caught off guard by the storyline, to the point where I had to devour this book all the way through!

I’m eager to read the next book and see where the author takes things now that she’s gotten her legs for the story. The series definitely has potential.

Three stars.

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