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 rouge 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.
Grimspace, the first of the Jax series, opens with Sirantha Jax in prison just days after she is pulled from the Sargasso wreck that killed hundreds of diplomats and the love of her life. Readers meet Jax when she is at her lowest and spiraling the mental drain, and then we are drug along on a wild wide as she is rescued within the next few pages and whisked off on a desperate mission. The rest of the story progresses at a similar speed and Aguirre drops you in to this new universe expecting you to just pick up the pace. And it works folks, because by the end of the novel I was totally invested in Jax’s universe.
The novel reads as a faced-paced space opera and the story revolves around Jax (who is beyond mentally scarred), March (the pilot with a tortured past), and the rest of the odd crew determined to bring down the Corps and establish their own jumper training facility. Jumpers, like Jax, are navigators with a genetic mutation that allows them to ‘plug in’ to the ship’s mainframe and guide the ship through celestial beacons found in grimspace. I spent the entire read wishing that this was a real occupation because I would definitely sign up to do it!
Just know that this is a rough book. The team is stuck on a ship together for an extended period of time and Aguirre has no problems airing all of their dirty laundry. Jax comes with a lot of baggage; she is a tortured and damaged individual who resists human connection and delights in her fantasies of death. I liked her, but some readers may find it difficult to connect with the character. Just remember that Aguirre pulls no punches and enjoys showing the gritty aspects associated with living in space. Grimspace is rugged, jumpy, and at times hard to handle, and yet these are all the things I enjoyed about it.
Let me know what you think about Grimspace and check out the rest of the series!