Review – Grimspace; Wanderlust
I am loving this series. I have only read the first two books, which are being reviewed here…but I am so much enjoying them! I don’t know if it is because there aren’t any vampires, werewolves or other supernatural creatures, but there are plenty of extra-terrestrials ones, or it if is because it is an urban fantasy, with some romance, but in space! I found these books because the publisher sent the newly published Corine Solomon novel Shady Lady. I checked out Aguirre’s other stuff and I guess I am contrary (read between the lines – a pain the ass!!!) because these appealed to me more.
Sirantha Jax is a kick-ass heroine with a smart-ass wit, a pretty big ego and a record to back it all up. These books are quite different in comparison (except for kick-ass heroine, I read about a lot of those) to some of the other stuff I have been reading, with a peppering of Firefly, Aliens, a little bit of Farscape.
In Grimspace Jax is being held by the Corporation, the government in charge of everything, after a crash that left her entire ship dead and her without any memory of it. She is being blamed for the crash and is basically a prisoner until she is rescued by a crew who needs her abilities off the grid. Mankind has found a way to get through space quickly by using a pilot and a navigator, someone with Jax’s abilities that lets them jump the ship through “grimspace” with beacons as jump spots. It is never explained but seems like light speed and a tesseract combined, or a wormhole that can move a ship a large distance in one jump. Unfortunately navigators like Jax burn out fairly young and have a short life span. Jax is old for her career and a well-known celebrity of sorts. There are settlements on many planets, both human and alien and the universe is well-traveled.
So in Grimspace, Jax is out for herself, messed up mentally and physically from the crash in which her former pilot/lover perished. The Company has told her it was her fault and she cannot reason out why she would have landed the ship in the wrong spot, killing everyone. The crew she is “rescued” by has taken her to further their own agenda and she has no control over what is going on. She feels she doesn’t need anyone else, but the longer she is out on her own, the more she realizes how coddled she was in her former job and how false her superiority complex really is. The outer planet world she is brought to is a wonderful blend of advanced technology, magic and rugged western, part of the reason it reminds me of the show Firefly.
These books are great fun. For me, they are totally unpredictable. I love that they bend and wind in directions I would never have guessed. The bad creatures on planet Lachion were really creepy. In fact, you really wonder why the settlers have stayed on this planet. These things can get through practically anything. But it was certainly action packed and tension filled when they arrived. There is romance and lots of issues to work through, and Baby Z was quite sweet. The characters are great and Aguirre isn’t scared of killing them off, I think that is why the story kept throwing me for a loop. I just never see the full calamity coming.
In Wanderlust, the objective has changed. Jax needs a job and is coerced into being an ambassador. Jax pretty much speaks her own mind, can’t reign herself in and knows she will become an interesting ambassador at best. But, she is willing to try. However, this book is about the trials and tribulations and new crew they pick up on the way there. This book is more about the characters than the journey. There are life threatening bits at every turn, they go back to Lachion and get stuck there for a while. They get stuck somewhere else, there is something wrong with Jax and the romance story line goes off kilter. So get ready for action, tension and a lot of wondering if they are ever going to make it to their destination!
Wanderlust is just what the title indicates, the need to keep moving whether you get to a particular destination or not. The romance thing, while disapointing, did not ruin my enjoyment of the book. You get a feeling that these two aren’t done and that there are going to be plenty of roadblocks they will have to overcome to finally be together without issues. There are some really fun characters in these books. Don’t read them for romance, you get some, but the real treasure trove is full of characters, backdrop and the wandering ride through space, which is anything but restful. Also, while they hint at sci fi, being in space and all, they aren’t really all that techno geeky. They just don’t have the technical aspect I have seen in so many sci fi books. Things makes sense, but aren’t that deeply explained. I am really enjoying these books and give them each 4 stars.