Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Blue Diablo by Ann Aguirre

On the upside, Blue Diablo has no vampires or werewolves. On the downside, it's just not very interesting.

Not that it's exactly bad. It's a solid book with characters that aren't actually repellent, so I don't feel like I wasted my time reading it. It did feel very much like it was setting up the series, though, and when I'm reading a book I want to be reading this book, not setting up for the next book.

Corine Solomon is a woman with a Past. Her mother was a witch who died in a fire set by vengeful townsfolk--no word on if they carried pitchforks, but they probably did. As a result, when Corine uses her own extraordinary gift, that of handling objects and being able to sense what happened to the person who held them last, she ends up with burn scars on her hands. Corine keeps trying to help people with her power but it all ends in misery and fire and people wanting her dead or in jail, so she keeps having to start over fresh.

Last time, she left her lover Chance, a man with the extraordinary ability to attract luck. She runs a little pawn shop in Mexico City now and she likes it there. Then Chance shows up. His mother has disappeared and he needs Corine's help to find her.

The plot is actually pretty thin and Corine doesn't do much. She handles a few objects and gets obscure information that somehow leads to the next clue. Chance does most of the active work. Corine mostly just thinks about her past--all the damn time, huge chunks of flashback dumped into almost every chapter--and broods about how she really feels about Chance.

I think what bothers me most about the book is Corine's and Chance's relationship. It's so high school. For instance, Corine makes sure Chance believes she's going out with the friendly cop even though she's actually just getting the cop's help, because she wants Chance to squirm; but when Chance has to spend a few hours with another woman who's obviously also helping them, Corine immediately assumes they're having hawt sex and is so jealous she goes out and almost gets herself killed. I caught myself wishing repeatedly that they would start acting like adults.

I don't want to seem too down about the book, though. I liked the setting and the characters (despite their contrived relationship troubles), and while there wasn't much action, the book never sagged. I'm quite sure the sequel will be a lot better. After all, this book was just the set-up.

B&N link

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