Grimspace, by Ann Aguirre, is a fast-paced, science fiction debut.

Sirantha Jax has a rare gene that gives her the ability to navigate ships through grimspace. After a tragic crash that kills everyone on board but Jax, she ends up imprisoned and tortured. But when a stranger shows up to rescue her, his motives are not selfless. Her rescuer needs Jax to help navigate his ship with a mission, breaking the monopoly on travel through space.

Grimspace combines action, wit, and romance, set in a distant futuristic setting. Written in present tense and first person, the style wasn’t one that I was used to. But I quickly discovered that the present tense gave the narrative added suspense. Jax is a very complex character, having gone through extreme heartache and loss. Part of her wants to live a normal life away from the dangers of “jumping,” but the other part would never be content with a mundane life. Jax is on the run from the authorities, so expect plenty of adventure with even a few surprises along the way. The ending has a great twist, and would make for a fun, yet dark, scifi film as well.

Grimspace releases February 26th in bookstores everywhere.