As a handler, Corine Solomon can touch any object and learn its history. Her power is a gift, but one that’s thrown her life off track. The magical inheritance she received from her mother is dangerously powerful, and Corine has managed to mark herself as a black witch by dealing with demons to solve her problems. Back home, Corine is trying to rebuild her pawnshop and her life with her ex Chance, despite the target on her back. But when the demons she provoked kidnap her best friend in retaliation, Corine puts everything on hold to save her. It's undoubtedly a trap, but Corine would do anything to save those she loves, even if it means sacrificing herself...
Corine and Chance are rebuilding their relationship from the foundations up, when Shannon is kidnapped by demons. So Corine, Chance and her dog, Butch go to her rescue. The real issue? She’s being held in the Demon City in another world...there could be trouble, but that’s nothing new to Corrine!
This is a difficult book to review as there are some elements of the story that worked wonderfully. The new feel to the relationship between Chance and Corine is beautifully done – he really is trying to get to know the ‘new’ her and not rush anything. Corrine is struggling to get to understand Chance better now he is finally opening up to her. I loved the way they reconnect and develop together throughout this story. It works better that Kel and Jesse, the other past love interests aren’t here this time around. However, that was one of the drawbacks as well – after three books setting up a colourful cast of characters so few of them make an appearance. Even Shannon and Butch are not given any major roles – they just happen to be with Corine. There was a distinct lack of purpose for vast pages as Crrine and Chance wander aimlessly around the demon city. Even the reasons for the kidnapping seem rather lacklustre. The Demon Queen storyline was interesting but never really felt like it had anywhere to go.
While generally considered to be an Urban Fantasy series, this particular instalment had more of a traditional fantasy feel about it with a long and dangerous journey and a vibrate city full of strange and exotic creatures. I guess I had different expectations for this story and was surprised at how different this was from the previous books. However, this is an Ann Aguirre book so the writing is wonderfully piquant and never-less than entertaining. I still love Corine as a heroine and just want to give her a hug at times – especially after the end of the story. I’ve already pre-ordered the next book!
Recommended for fans of Kelley Armstrong and Kim Harrison. 7 out of 10