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GRIMSPACE
ANN AGUIRRE
ISBN# 978-0-441-01599-3
February 2008
Ace Books
375 Hudson Street New York, NY 10014-3657
Mass Market Paperback
$7.99 USD
320 Pages
Science Fiction
Rating: 4 Cups

Sirantha Jax is a jumper, a human with the rare J-gene needed to navigate in jump space, also known as grimspace. Jumpers are linked to their pilots in a unique symbiotic relationship, providing them with the instructions needed to successfully navigate grimspace. Sirantha’s original pilot and partner are dead and no one seems interested in learning why. The Corp is only interested in blaming her for the accident that killed him, and her rescuers are only interested in her because she is a jumper.

March is one of her rescuers, a pilot with a psi talent. His psi talents have made him suspicious and distrustful, forcing him to be hard and tightly controlled. He becomes Sirantha’s pilot, a circumstance that forces them into close proximity. March’s psi talents combined with the intimate symbiotic connection that jumpers and their pilots share, results in a unique relationship between Sirantha and March.

Sirantha accompanies March and her other rescuers as they attempt to circumvent the oppressive monopoly on jumping held by the Corp. As they stumble from one crisis to another, the relationship between Sirantha and March deepens, yet neither of them is willing to acknowledge its importance. Will they get the chance to take this step before it is too late?

Grimspace is a surprisingly engaging novel. The plot rambles a bit before wrapping up with breath taking quickness, and the political background seems sketchy at times, but the characterization is first rate. These are characters that we are interested in despite the meandering nature of their adventures. Sirantha is a self-centered smart ass who is forced to deal with the messiness of life for perhaps the first time. The story is told from her point of view and her dawning realization of her flaws and weaknesses is both convincing and appealing. The other supporting characters are also well articulated. The novel abounds with minor characters that have the unfortunate privilege of providing the needed life lessons for her, often at the cost of their own lives. The author attempts to defuse this through repeated references to Sirantha being ‘bad juju’ and succeeds only because Sirantha’s character is so strong. The relationship between Sirantha and March is complex and uneven, just like in real life. Both characters are well written; two strong yet flawed personalities who have finally met their match. I found the use of March’s psi talents more intriguing in the beginning, when it was used to help lay the groundwork for their relationship. Once their relationship is established, the psi talent reverts to the almost standard tool for enhancing sex and clearing up major relationship mistakes. The ending seems a little forced and overly simple, particularly given the complexity of the characters, but overall Grimspace is an enjoyable read. I look forward to future efforts by this author.

Alex
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance
Reviewer for Karen Find Out About New Books

 

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