Kathy Davie's Reviews > Blue Diablo

Blue Diablo by Ann Aguirre
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4222001
's review
Dec 09, 11

bookshelves: fantasy, urban
Read in November, 2011

First in the Corine Solomon urban fantasy series revolving around Corine, a handler of objects, and the new life she may be making in Laredo.


My Take
This was good! A completely different take on the paranormal emphasizing some unexpected Gifts: handling objects to learn their history and Luck. Aguirre creates a sense of everyone out for themselves at the start and as the story progresses, the truth of the main characters' intentions emerges creating the promise of a very interesting series. In this installment, Corine and Chance uncover a smuggling business that supplies la zona among others in Laredo.

Aguirre does a good job of creating a back story and incorporating it into the story without me feeling as though the information is being dumped on me like an encyclopedia while creating a pleasurable tension at the same time; we're simply continuing on with the characters' lives.

I also enjoyed Aguirre's ability to retain the suspense with Corine's reply to Chance's question about their relationship at the end… I'm anxious to read the next in the series, Hellfire , to discover if Chuch and Eva will continue to be a part of Corine and Chance's lives.

Poor Jesse. Aguirre has this guy bouncing back and forth, torn between his responsibilities as a cop and his knowledge of other. I'm curious as to how he will fit in as well.


The Story
Life is good here in Mexico where Corine has set herself up in her pawnshop business, Casa de Empeño. She's always worked retail. Part of her Gift enables her to convince anyone to buy something and she's making an okay living here. With luck, no one from her past will ever appear and she will have peace from the hurt.

Until Chance shows up. With a need for her help that she cannot withstand. Against her will, fighting against her desire for Chance, Corine goes with him. For she too loves Yi Min-chin. Min was kidnapped in Laredo and Jesse Saladan, the detective in charge of her case, has some unexpected revelations for Corine. He is other as well with a wellspring of information and contacts. Jesse is also interested in Corine for more personal reasons.

Corine can't resist the opportunity to pay back Chance for his coldness when they were together and to use Jesse as a way to prevent restarting her relationship with Chance. A very careful dance between Jesse's interest and Chance's jealousy. And an interest that gets tested with the increased activity that surrounds Corine: attacks, bombings, and executions all have Jesse torn between his duty and his knowledge.

For Corine and Chance uncover a major smuggling operation using a powerful sorcerer.


The Characters
Corine Solomon is a handler. When she touches an object, it's history unveils itself in her mind but at a terrible physical cost. The cost is because her Gift is not one with which she was born. Instead, the Gift came to her when her mother, Cherie Solomon, performed a spell transferring her own magic to her daughter when a Kilmer, Georgia mob came to burn them to death. Her mother gave her life to save Corine.

Chance is luck itself. He focuses his Gift to the best possible outcome of whatever it is he desires, using it to help people although he is not averse to making money off it. This last is what finally pushes Corine to run from him. That last job. The luck favors Chance but not the people with him. His mother, Yi Min-chin, is a licensed homeopathic practitioner who loves Corine.

Señor Alvarez does the buying for Corine's shop and steps in to watch over things when she has to leave for a day or more.

Jesse Saldana is the detective in charge of Yi Min-chin's case in Laredo; Nathan Moon is his querulous partner. Jesse also has a Gift and he introduces her to the underground for people like them: Jeannie is the bartender at the Twilight in San Antonio and her husband, Bucky, has already warned Jesse away from her; Twila has a Gift of Sight and can see threads of fate, she always requires payment; and, Maris is the woman to see about discovering who can create powerful sendings. Butch is the orphaned chihuahua that Corine takes in. A good thing too since Butch is quite knowledgable about his owner's assassins and communicates well.

Jesus Maria "Chuch" Ortiz Obregón is a mechanic now; in a previous life, he ran guns. And he's totally aware of the magic side of life. A good man to have at your back. His wife is Eva with a gift for forgery and an unlicensed private investigator who thinks well on her feet.

Ian Booke is an Internet friend of Chuch's who lives in Stoke, England. His expertise is in hermetic magic and he takes this opportunity to try out astral projection; damned useful for scouting out locations ahead of time. There's a mystery attached to our Ian...

Clayton Mann believed no one should get to tell him no if he wanted to rape a woman and Kel Ferguson is a killer for Jesus, a.k.a., God's Hand; both are locked up through Corine and Chance's actions. Both are threats to the two of them should they ever escape.


The Cover
It's a red-haired Corine leaning up against the bar in a white cotton blouse tied to bare her midriff wearing faded blue jeans and an elaborate belt and buckle with her favorite Blue Diablo drink.
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