Friday, May 15, 2009

Blue Diablo by Ann Aguirre (review)

I had quite a time reading Blue Diablo. I waited forever for it to come out, then finally got it at Borders. I started reading it, was at first a little hesitant about it. Then I started really getting involved with the story. So I got to page 272, just finished an intense fight scene, and put the book down so I could get something to drink. My puppy was unfortunately sitting by the book. He chewed five pages. Chewed them enough that I couldn't even fake read those five pages. I e-mailed the author, asking if there was any way I could get some info on those pages without having to buy another book. I didn't hear anything from her and was beginning to feel a little impatient, losing faith with authors, etc. Well it turns out she was out of town. She ended up sending me those pages. So I finished the book and posted a review on I was going to copy and paste it here, but was unable to (must be security) So anyway, I'm going to write a review here, because I'm using her book for the Colorful Reading Challenge by Rebecca in ( . So here goes:

I was very entertained by Blue Diablo (Ann Aguirre who is kind enough to send by e-mail to a fan pages of her book that a puppy has chewed through.) This book is in the first person, pov is Corinne who is a handler - she can see visions of events by touching certain objects - though she pays a painful physical price for her "gift" everytime she uses this gift. She is a regular person, except for her gift, no special physical prowess, or talents. This is past history that comes back to her in the form of an ex-boyfriend. Chance comes to her for help in finding his missing mother. Since Corinne was very close to her ex's mother, she agrees to help, even through there is and will be some painfully awkward moments in store for her and her ex. At first I was put off by some of the dialogue between these two, as some of it was bitter, bitchy and angsty, but it actually fits. If you were suddently in touch with someone you left (sneaking out in the middle of the night) there would be some awkward conversation and some verbal jabs - especially with unresolved emotional baggage and anger.

But these two pull together to find Chance's mom. Chance has found Corinne in Mexico, where she is in hiding from her past and other people she doesn't want to find her (you find out bits and pieces as the book progresses) so the first thing they have to do is leave Mexico and travel to the last place Min (Chance's mother) was seen. Adventure begins then. Things happen to these two from the beginning, some of it dangerous and some of it "luck".

Corinne and Chance are aided in their search by acquaintances who become friends. The secondary characters in this book are as interesting as the main characters. My favorite are Kel (the hand of god) and a dog (Butch).

This is a dark urban fantasy. People die in horrific ways, black magic is used, and there are gunfights. But an unlikely alliance of characters (those interesting secondary characters) all band together to find Min and try to put a crime boss out of business.Blue Diablo contains plenty of action. There are physical fight scenes as well as supernatural fights. There is a scary scene in a cemetary - a metaphysical attack by a wizard. There is plenty of action. Corinne finds out a little more about her "gift". She had been going along with no training by anyone, no mentoring, all her life.

More information would be giving out spoilers. This book is worth the time to read it. I would give it (with my arbitrary rating system) six out of six stars. I love the interactions of the characters, even the bitter zingers, as well as some whiny bits from Chance to Corinne fit. Corinne has some interest in a hot cop, which she's not sure she should fight, and she flirts with him even though she knows it bothers Chance. She's not a perfect character (not a marysue!) with perfect ethics, but she's also not back together with Chance so she has the right to flirt. I like that she makes friends with another female character, and this character is an attractive woman; I also like that there is no character assasination just because the other female is attractive. I like that even though there are two men attracted to Corinne, it's believable. Not all the men in the vicinity have the hots for her. I also like that even though Chance makes it clear he wants Corinne back, she resists, because she feels it's not healthy for her to be with him.

At the end of the book there is material for sequels. Even though there are questions that will lead to another book, the ending was still satisfying. The questions I'm waiting for another book to answer; Will Corinne go back to Mexico or will she make her home with Chuch and Eva (her new friends who welcome her)? Will she end up back with Chance or will she follow her interest in the hot cop (Jesse)? The hand of god - will he help Corinne in the future or hunt her (he hunts evil with a single mindeness, going where God shows a need)? Who ends of with the dog Butch? What is up with their online ally? Will they ever meet face to face?

I have read Ann Aguirre's other books (Sci-Fi Grimspace and Wanderlust) and after reading this book, I feel that anything Ann writes will be worth reading. She is a hell of a storyteller.

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