I loved Grimspace so damn much!
Let’s start with the lead character, Jax. Jax is seriously kick-ass, but God, is she far from perfect. We meet her at her lowest: she’s grieving, vaguely suicidal and – unknowingly – a bit spoiled. Jax is the corporate-gal who needed to lose everything to see what assholes her employers are. So while she goes through some pretty horrific trauma in Grimspace, it helps her “grow up”. She doesn’t doesn’t truly change, per say, it’s more like she grows into herself.
It is fabulous to read, because honestly, who doesn’t love some good old-fashioned character development in their fiction.
Grimspace is filled with non-stop twist and turns – literally. Space battles, crazy alien planets and new enemies at every port – kicking ass and running like hell. I am in love with the verse. I’m also in love with Aguirre’s writing style. She managed to turn the whole tale around half a dozen times without making the book bi-polar. In retrospect, it was one of the most coherent novels I’ve read – although it seemed out of control (in a “Dude, that’s crazy awesome” sort of way) while I was reading it.
I also want to go on a fangirl rant about March, who was one of my all-time favourite male characters. Ann Aguirre writes what I consider the ideal “bad boy”. I use that term lightly, because what I actually mean is this:
Bastard. But I don’t mean it. […] I wouldn’t trade March for someone nice. Well, I don’t mean that like it sounds. March is a good man, just not a nice one. Does that even make sense?
Chapter 33 – Grimspace by Ann Aguirre
March is a good man but he can be cruel. In fact, he is constantly struggling to keep from letting his cruelty take him over. And that ever present instability? It is exactly what makes him exactly the kind of hero you love to learn to love. He isn’t easy and he isn’t kind, but he always has his heart in the right place. There’s a fine line between a honest and cruel, and Aguirre straddles it perfectly.
Grimspace is labelled “Sci-Fi Romance” by some, and while it has a seriously epic romance… I think I’d keep it off the romance shelf. Grimspace follows zero romance rules: it does not centre around a single relationship, has a heroine with more than one “tru wuv” and forgoes the whole dual-POV. And considering the strong, mystery-filled, dangerous world Ann Aguirre creates in Grimspace – I think it would be a shame to read it solely for a romance.
Bottom line? READ THIS BOOK. It has intergalactic global corporations and human trafficking, lesbian mechanics and scarred strippers, adorable bog aliens and unionised!bounty hunter aliens. It’s brilliant.