REVIEW: Grimspace (Sirantha Jax, #1)

Grimspace - Ann Aguirre

Awesome book. I'm so mad at myself for constantly thinking about reading this, and then, for whatever reason, deciding not to. I'm glad I finally pulled the trigger, though, because Grimspace was one hell of a ride.

What I liked:
(1) The characters. First off, Sirantha Jax? One bad-ass chick. Not just bad-ass, but snarky, crazy, flawed, brave, strong, and downright awesome. I can't see how some people have a love/hate relationship with her, because I just completely loved her. She definitely reminded me of a Joss Whedon-esque, strong, female character. Now, did I agree with everything she did or thought or said? Hell, no. But that didn't mean I wasn't behind her all the way.

As for the rest of the crew, they were (almost) equally awesome. Every character had a distinct personality, which made them all memorable, even the ones who didn't get much page time. Hell, even 245 was great.

(2) The writing. Aguirre has a cool writing style - fragmented at times, but always meant to deliver a punch. I really enjoyed it. The book worked well through Jax's POV, especially with Aguirre's style of portraying her internal dialogue. Also, Aguirre uses some great vocabulary throughout the book. I just love it when I have to bust out my Kindle's dictionary when reading (note: you may think I'm being sarcastic here, but I'm being totally serious).

(3) The story. While the overarching plot was a bit tired (evil corporations, conspiracy theories, yadda yadda), the story itself was fast-paced and exciting. I love when books find a good balance between action and character-building, and Grimspace hit the nail on the head there. I couldn't put this book down - enough said.

(4) The world building. Grimspace itself, jumpers, pilots, and the unique relationship between jumpers and pilots. The planets, the different kinds of aliens, as well as the idea of some aliens being "less than human" and xenophobia. Aspects of alien culture. Terrifying, killer animals (or, whatever you'd call Teras). Clan relationships. So many things made the world (er, universe) in Grimspace really exciting, with seemingly endless possibilities for future exploration in future books.

What I didn't like:
(1) The romance. Gah, don't hate me! I mean, I love Jax, I love March, and since they're both crazy and broken, I can definitely see that they're perfect together. My gripe with this relationship, though, is that it just seemed to get too intense too fast. Yes, it wasn't insta-love, which is a plus, but the "all-consuming" level that their relationship eventually gets to just seems like too much for one book. I just didn't really get it. Maybe I understood somewhat on Jax's side, since we follow the book through her POV, but a lot of March's feelings seemed to come out of nowhere for me, with no good explanation of why he felt the way he did or when he started feeling that way. I just couldn't buy into their relationship all the way, and even thought that it got a little distracting at times.

(2) The ending. I'm not saying that I didn't like how the book ended - there were just a lot of weak aspects to the ending, namely, the pacing. It just felt so *rushed* in the last few pages, and as far as some characters' actions are concerned, there was a lot of WTFery in that regard as well.

(3) As for Jax/March/the initial Lachion crew's mission, and the reason they even busted her out of Corp prison in the first place -

uh, for a jumper academy?!?

(show spoiler)

- I just didn't get how that was something worth dying for. Maybe I missed something? But, it just didn't resonate with me.

(4) Spoilers here...

Speaking of dying, I had a gripe with some of the character deaths. I'm totally in favor of offing a character when it works well for the story, but I got the impression that Aguirre had a few characters that she didn't know what to do with (Baby Z, Loras, to name a few). Rather than figure it out, it was more convenient to kill them. Plus, they were a great vehicle to add more guilt upon the main characters. Maybe I'm just being cynical here, but that's just kind of the impression that I got when a couple of characters bit the bucket.

(show spoiler)


All in all, even though Grimspace certainly had its flaws, this was a blast to read, and I can't wait to continue on in the series. It has everything that a sci-fi lover would want in a book, especially female sci-fi lovers looking for a kick-ass female protagonist. So, if you're doing what I did, and are dragging your heels when it comes to reading this - don't. Go and read it now, because you won't regret it. I can't even describe the pull that this book will have on you, so I guess you just ought to find out for yourself.