VIRTUALLY HERS came out Oct. 2009. Get it at SAMHAIN Publishing. VIRTUALLY ONE coming soon.

I've also made available at Amazon BIG BAD WOLF a COS Commando book, an earlier manuscript about Killian Nicholas Langley. You can sample the first five chapters right here. EBOOK now available for KINDLE, NOOK, and at SMASHWORDS for $4.99.

I appreciate all your emails. If you'd like to buy Virtually His NEW, please contact me. Thank you.


Big Bad Wolf Author's Note/CH. 1

Big Bad Wolf CH. 2

Big Bad Wolf Ch. 3

(more chapters on left side bar below)

To read excerpts of VIRTUALLY HERS, scroll down & click on the links on the right.



VIRTUALLY HERS OUT IN PRINT AUG 2010! Discounted at Amazon!

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Book Review: Grimspace

Want to read something different? Try Grimspace, a space/science fiction romance, by Ann Aguirre. The plot, involving space travel, conjures up many delightful elements one would find in television shows like Whedon's Firefly, Futurama, Babylon Five, and even a very twisted version of Star Trek. Written in FIRST PERSON PRESENT, we see the world through the heroine's eyes, and Aguirre really did a fabulous job using the most difficult of point-of-views.

A first-person story has to be intense to keep a reader's attention and the character has to be intriguing enough for the reader to want to stay in her head. Sirantha Jax, the heroine in Grimspace, is definitely layered and intriguing. As a "jumper," she has a unique gene that enables her to guide the space pilot (ala the Navigators in Frank Herbert's Dune series, except without the melange/spice) through space. She works for a Consortium that has the stranglehold on space travel (also very Dune-ish) and at the beginning of the novel, she's in confinement, having somehow managed to cause the deaths of an entire spaceship filled with VIPs, along with her pilot-lover.

So, in the beginning, we see Jax in a not very happy time of her life. Enters March. Renagade. Savior. Maybe even Avenger. Jax isn't sure. But he gives her a choice--leave with him or die being interrogated. Jax chooses the former.

From here, the story settles into an action-packed planetary chase that moves the plot of conspiracy, Jax's role in it, and March's plans for her. What saves the story from becoming another planetary exploration ala Star Trek type tale is Jax's voice. Done in first person, she has the feel of an urban fantasy heroine, a snarky, daredevil, and distrustful voice that keeps the reader on the edge because everything and everyone around her seems to be using or hiding something from her. Jax is kick-ass without being too tough and smart-ass without being overly snarky. She's also surprisingly comfortable in her own skin because when she finds out that in "jumping" with her new pilot, March, there is the side effect of him being able to read her thoughts. March, it seems, has hidden PSI talents. That doesn't even scare our girl here; she, unlike him, has nothing to hide except her own demon, the knowledge that she'd caused so many deaths.

Sometimes not being able to read the other characters' POV, esp. the hero's, irritates me. Sometimes too much heroine POV becomes a whine-fest. I didn't find either problem with Grimspace. Jax grows as a person when she realizes she isn't just a tool for space travel. March's slow capitulation into letting Jax into his mind is a pleasure to watch (read). There's not enough of it, but hey, give this couple a few more bedromps.

The romance itself isn't very romantic. There are, like I said, some urban fantasy elements, such as Jax's still grieving her dead lover while wanting March as a man. It doesn't bother me, but may bother some traditional readers. The ending is very satisfying, though, and the leap from an "arranged marriage" (as jumpers and pilots are bonded psychically) to real deep love is very believable.

The worldbuilding is standard space opera, twisting familiar words to convey food and strange beasts. Choclaste immediately gives you an idea, yes? For some reason, the word "fragging" (which was used a lot, e.g. "frag you" and "what the frag") kept taking me out of the story. It's...a bit out-of-character for world-wearied renegades, who've lost many of their loved ones (there are tragic endings in this book), and who are also able to rough up and kill when they need to. Just a minor quibble.

So, if you don't mind cyber-talk and spaceship quarters, if you're looking for something other than werewolves and vampires, I highly recommend Grimspace. Loved the heroine's sense of humor. Loved her journey of self-discovery. And still crying about Baby Z :::boohoo:::

So, what have you guys been reading? Your turn!

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Wendy said...

I read Grimspace a few weeks ago and loved it, what happened to baby Z was awful though!

I've just started reading Happy Hour of the Damned by Mark Henry. :)

vanessa jaye said...

It's sitting in my tbr pile. I'm a mood reader, and I'm not *quite* in the mood to read this yet.

Anonymous said...

[ps, now I understand the biker pics lol] [and pps. or pss lool, you shouldn't be lost with lost, cuz lost is so good!] And now you mentioned a book about space travel, and the last weeks' epi was about time travel! it was uber cool.

Anyhow, I am reading about the UN. but when i don't have to, im a big romance/suspense reader slut. so i really don't stray too far unfortunately.

LadyZannah said...

Sounds like a good read, I'll check it out. I am very happy for I receive one or two new books a month this year, all the way till V-Hers comes out. Stuff that's been on order for ever. Just finished Killer Secrets by Lora Leigh and it was a bittersweet ending to the Tempting SEAL's series. Tried to read a first person point of view book called Dead To Me and I just cannot follow along. The main character is just annoying & makes me wanna smack him just so he'd shut up. So I did not finish that one and now I'm reading some romantic comedies by writers such as Lori Foster and Kate Angell. They are a nice change of pace from the sci-fi and preternatural creatures I have become addicted to.

Lauren Dane said...

I love, love, loved this book!!!

Ann Aguirre said...

Thanks for this lovely review! I'm so glad you liked the book.

Gennita said...

Yes, not Baby Z! That was not a happy reading moment ;-(. I also didn't like it that the hero went up there, causing all this to happen!

Let me know what you think when you do read it!

Lost is all lost. Now it's in space. Last time I peeked, they were flashing forward in time. I think they just don't want to write about the present because they (the writers) are LOST in plot.

Lady Zannah,
I really enjoyed Grimspace. Very snappy dialogue and not too much angst.

You and I love most of the same books ;-).

You're welcome! It was a pleasure to read and I wanted to share this great story with other readers too.

Ann Aguirre said...

Oh, in the giddy, I forgot to answer the initial question.

Just finished WITCH BLOOD by Anya Bast. Yum!

Currently reading SCOUNDREL'S KISS by Carrie Lofty. (Y'all can't get a hold of it until like 2010, I'm afraid. But it's wicked good. She has meat and intensity to her historicals. She also pushes the boundaries like Kinsale)

Next up: The Spymaster's Lady by Joanna Bourne.


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