From the back of the book:
Sirantha Jax is a “jumper,” a woman who possesses the unique genetic makeup needed to navigate faster-than-light ships through grimspace. Jax has worked for Farwan Corporation her entire career. But now word’s out that the Corp deliberately crashed a passenger ship, and its strangehold on intergalactic commerce has crumbled – which means that Jax is out of a job.
She’s also broke due to being declared dead a little prematurely. So when the government asks her to head up a vital diplomatic mission, Jax agrees to do it. Her mandate: journey to the planet Ithiss-Tor and convince its inhabitants to join the Conglomerate.
But Jax’s payday is light-years away. First she’ll have to contend with Syndicate criminals, a stormy relationship with her pilot, man-eating aliens, and her own grimspace-weakened body. She’ll be lucky just to make it to Ithiss-Tor alive…
I absolutely loved and adored the first Sirantha Jax book (Grimspace) when I read it way back February 2014. And yet, AND YET! it took me a whole year to purchase and then read the second one. But all is well, because I own the third one and I do not want to wait that long to read this book, because I am seriously loving this series.
The Sirantha Jax books actually remind me quite a bit of Karen Marie Moning’s Fever books. They’re soft scifi, so are much more emotional, character-based and world-based, and don’t get too into the technical details of the scifi universe. Similar to how the Fever books aren’t high fantasy – they’ve made them very accessible to people who aren’t super familiar with genre reading. The characters are relatable and understandable in both. And there’s so much action right from the beginning that you don’t really have time to wonder if you’ll like or get the universe before being thrown into all of the excitement.
There was quite a bit about the characters and events that I had a hard time remembering when I first started the book – I remembered generalities about Sirantha, March and Dina, but that was it. Thankfully, because this book got into the action so quickly, there wasn’t a lot of time spent trying to figure out what happened before. Important events were mentioned enough in passing that they served as a good reminder about past events. Anything else seems to not be too important to this book (though that may change as the series progresses!). That said though, it was definitely necessary to read the first one before this, as it does continue with certain themes and other events grow from where they had started in the first book.
We were introduced to a handful of new characters in this book as well – particularly Hit and Jael, both of whom I really enjoyed. Actually, especially Jael – he’s a genetically engineered human who can heal himself very quickly, is super strong, and smart, and is used to people everywhere fearing and hating him even though he is a pretty awesome dude. Oh, I do like him; I have a feeling that he is going to be an even more interesting character as the series proceeds.
I really could have done without the relationship between Sirantha and March. It’s at That Angst Stage. You know what I’m talking about. I got sick of YA books because of “omg! All the anxt!”
This has become one of my preferred scifi universes. I love the universe that Aguirre has created, and really wish there were more than just this series set in this universe. Even at 6 books, I feel like there could be so much more explored in here – and not just from these characters. I want to know more about the different worlds, more about the Syndicate, more about Grimspace, and all of it! Gimme more! (Edit: Ohhh, apparently there’s another trilogy set in this universe – The Dred Chronicles! Yes!)
I don’t expect that it will take me too long to actually get around to reading the third book in this series, and I am very much looking forward to it.
The Bottom Line
If you aren’t sure whether you’d be into scifi books, this series would probably be a good place for you to start. It’s so much fun, doesn’t talk a lot of technical stuff like some scifi does, and has an amazing cast of characters. I am really thoroughly enjoying these books!