Monday, 6 September 2010

Blue Diablo Review

Blue Diablo (Corine Solomon 1)
- Ann Aguirre

Publisher: UK – Gollancz

Right now, I'm a redhead. I've been blonde and brunette as the situation requires, though an unscheduled colour change usually means relocating in the middle of the night. So far, I'm doing well here. Nobody knows what I'm running from. And I'd like to keep it that way. Eighteen months ago, Corine Solomon crossed the border to Mexico City, fleeing her past, her lover, and her 'gift' - for Corine is a handler: she can touch something and know its history, and sometimes, its future. Using her ability, she can find the missing - and that's why people never stop trying to find her. People like her ex, Chance . . . Chance's uncanny luck has led him to her doorstep. He needs her help. Someone dear to them both has gone missing in Laredo, Texas, and the only hope of finding her is through Corine's gift. But their search is going to get dangerous as the trail leads them into a strange dark world of demons and sorcerers, ghosts and witchcraft, zombies - and the blackest of black magic.

Blue Diablo introduces Corine Solomon, her ex, Chance and a new world where there are gifted – people who can read emotions, sorcerers and mediums, and handlers. Most of this novel is set on the border between Mexico and the US – which is a new area for me. Being a Londoner I don’t know much about the border and how people live there but to me there was a certain atmosphere about the border that added to the feel of the story. The book reads more of a mystery and detective novel rather than a paranormal romance and while there was some sexual tension – both between Corine and Chance and with Corine and Jesse, a local cop who helps them out, it is not the backbone of the story. There are some interesting action scenes – especially towards the end. Overall, it adds something slightly different to the crowded Urban Fantasy genre

Corine isn’t the only one who can save the world – she’s just a regular person with a troubled past and I liked that. The world isn't even at risk - this a very personal apocalypse to the main characters. The cast of characters is varied – I really liked Chuch and Eva, who feel like a real couple and I love the way they actually help out and add to the story rather than just act as comic relief or get kidnapped. Eva especially helps out and I’d like to see more of her. (One of my pet peeves in a lot of Urban Fantasy is the feisty heroine who is tough, independent and surrounded by men – AND NEVER MEETS ANOTHER WOMAN! Come on! There are as many flavours of women out there as there are men – why just have one in a novel, even if she is the kick-ass heroine? Ok, rant over). It’s not a perfect novel – the ending feels kind of rushed and the reason for  the kidnapping doesn’t ring true to me – I’m hoping that can be explored in future books as I think Min is hiding something...but I’m just speculating!

There is still a lot to explore with Corine and Chance and I’m looking forward to finding out more about her past and future. One quibble – the UK cover has a girl in shadow with a blue tattoo – not related to the story at all (unless I missed something) – what’s with that?
Recommended for fans of Mercy Thompson and Sabina Kane. 7.5 out of 10.

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