Up front, lest I be accused of hiding it, I know Ann Aguirre. I happen to think she’s fabulous and I talk to her pretty much daily via IM. I also happen to think she’s a really gifted writer and I’ve thought so before I IM’d her all the time.
She’s got a book coming out next week (although I’ve heard it’s on shelves already!) called Grimspace.
Anyway – Ann kindly sent me an early peek at Grimspace some months back and when I read it, it blew me away. It’s one of those books what you look at and think, first person? Present tense? But it works. It conveys a sense of urgency, of breathlessness but every once in while it slows, tensing, making that pause sort of delicious before speeding up again. Aguirre’s words are sharp and tensile and some of the passages are so gorgeous in their description that even alone they’d make Grimspace an above average read.
But there’s more of course by way of a story well matched to the breathless manner in which Aguirre delivers it to the reader.
The first time in the book when Jax sits in her chair and she’s describing how grimspace is indescrible? I was there. Aguirre leads me through as Jax prepares and then jumps. I’m now jumped into the book and the journey begins. I love science fiction and futuristics and I read across sub genres and authors but I tend toward the edgy sort of delivery you see with Gibson and Morgan and Grimspace has that. It’s lush in places but the pace keeps it stark at the same time. I loved the action element as well as the romantic storyline. March is as well drawn as Jax, even through Jax’s eyes and they’re well matched on the page. There’s a lot to March but he’s like an iceburg character – much of what he is is below the surface and so we learn it slowly but surely.
There’s something deliciously flawed in Sirantha Jax. Deeply wounded. Prickly, bitchy at times, defensive and guilt ridden. But you know why. You’re in her head, no one holds her more accountable than she does herself. But there’s a resilience in her. She tells herself she doesn’t need anyone else but she does. She tells herself not to take a risk in reaching out but she does. I just really liked her.
Anyway, as you can tell, I dug Grimspace. I think it’s a great mixture of action, emotion, romance with some startlingly wonderful and memorable characters.
The basics: 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…
Okay so because I think Grimspace is such a fabulous book – I’m going to give one away via Amazon.com. All you need to do is comment and I’ll draw at random on Friday afternoon and order it to send it your way as soon as Amazon ships!