Review: Wanderlust, Ann Aguirre

Cover comment: I love these covers. I love that she’s hot, and tough, and armed, and actiony. And I love that Jax’s hair is the length it is in the book (or at least the last third of the book — for the rest it’s even shorter: think Natalie Portman in V for Vendetta).

Setting: Future, space, ships, planets.

Series: Yes, the first book was Grimspace, which I also read and reviewed hereDoubleblind and Killbox to follow. You can read a prequel about March, the hero, here.

Main characters: The heroine, Sirantha Jax, genetically gifted with the coveted ability to travel through grimspace; Her boyfriend, March, hard bitten Psi pilot with a dark side and a hero complex. Other members of the Scooby Gang include: Dina, the “bark is worse than her bite” butch lesbian, Vel, the intelligent, unflappable, buglike former bounty hunter turned friend and ally, and Jael, the gorgeous blond mercenary turned Jax’s bodyguard.

Plot: Wanderlust picks up where Grimspace left off. The fall of the Farwan Corporation has left a power vacuum, and the once anemic but now potentially powerful Conglomerate is eager to use Jax, whose image has abruptly gone from murderess fugitive to hero, for their political ends. This entails making her an Ambassador and sending her off to Vel’s planet, Ithiss-Tor, to establish diplomatic ties. Her journey there is eventful, including a stop at a way station where things are not quite right, a stop at Lothian, where they abruptly get embroiled in messy situation, and a detour under duress to Venice Minor to answer to the mysterious Mr. Jewel, leader of the criminal Syndicate.

My take in brief: A lot less romance (which made it a bit less enjoyable for me — no reflection on the book, just my personal tastes), but engaging new characters and an exciting plot that never stops make this a lot of fun.

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Published in: on September 29, 2008 at 7:37 am  Comments (2)  
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Review: Grimspace, Ann Aguirre

Cover comment: The heroine’s hair is not what is described in the book, where the unruly mess is almost a character in itself, and is an important component of the heroine’s identity, but I ought to be used to those discrepancies by now. Otherwise, I think it’s a terrific fun pulpy SF cover.

Setting: Mostly on a ship in space, with eventful visits to several different planets. Earth, or Old Terra, fares about as well in this world as it did in the movie Wall-E.

Series: Yes, the second book, Wanderlust, is out now. Doubleblind and Killbox to follow. You can read a prequel about March, the hero, here.

Main characters: The heroine, Sirantha Jax, genetically gifted with the coveted ability to travel through grimspace; The hero, March, hard bitten pilot with Psi abilities. And several other shipmates, including Dina, the butch lesbian, Doc, the pacific geneticist, and Loras, the subservient protector.

Plot: When we meet her, Jax is an unjustly disgraced former “nav-star”, being held for interrogation about a crash which killed her pilot/lover, and destroyed their ship, killing all 80 persons aboard. March and the crew of the Folly rescue Jax from the evil Corporation, and together the fugitive gang travels to different planets on a mission which becomes clearer as the book progresses.

Distinctive features: This is hard for me to judge, because the book’s genre is SF, not romance. But viewed as a romance, the world building and the characterization of the heroine stand out.

My take in brief: I don’t have time to formulate it because I have to get to Borders before it closes to buy Wanderlust. How’s that?

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Published in: on September 15, 2008 at 7:26 pm  Comments (5)  
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Your Favorite Author and Her Favorite Songs

I was just preparing my review of Ann Aguirre‘s Grimspace, and in one of her interviews, I came across a comment she made about the songs she was listening to when she wrote that book:

Ms. Aguirre writes (over at the Bradford Bunch) that she was listening to the following when writing Grimspace:

I wrote Grimspace over a year ago, was finishing up summer of ‘06. Let me look at my playlist and see what I was listening to back then. Looks like Placebo and Blue October. Here are some songs that influenced Jax and March:

Hate Me – Blue October
Sound of Pulling Heaven Down

Because I Want You – Placebo
Song to Say Goodbye
Infrared
Blind

Music has always been important to me, but it had never occurred to me that writers can use music to enhance their muse (I know. Duh.). This past spring, I was having a slightly difficult time. I can’t complain, because I was choosing between two good things, but one of them would have meant cataclysmic change, and let’s just say not everyone was happy for me. Luckily, I had my husband and other folks to help me process it all.  But I couldn’t have gotten through it without music, and I had three songs in particular on a constant loop: Annie Lennox’s A Thousand Beautiful Things, The Flaming Lips’ Love The World You Find, and, when I felt like saying a big “fuck you” to everyone, the White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army.

So, I thought I would look around and see what some authors I like have to say about the music that inspired them. Here’s what I found:

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Published in: on September 14, 2008 at 8:42 pm  Comments (7)  
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