Sunday 29 August 2010

BLUE DIABLO by Ann Aguirre

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.

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.

This is the first book in the Corine Solomon urban fantasy series. I'd been looking forward to reading this book for a while, and boy, it didn't disappoint.

Corine is a handler. She can see the history of an object just by touching it. But the 'gift' doesn't come without a price. Every time she handles something she gets a new burn mark on her palm and it hurts like hell. Both physically and emotionally. She once used this ability as a way of making money with her former lover, Chance. A man with his own bizarre gift of luck that can play havoc on other people.

But when something truly awful happened and she ended up in the hospital, she left Chance and that life behind.

Now she's been living in Mexico City as an illegal. She runs a pawn shop and loves the fact that she's just another normal woman living a normal life. Well, that's until Chance walks into her shop and confuses the hell out of her. Not only does his presence play havoc with her emotional state, but it also rouses a lot of uncomfortable memories about the hard life she'd lived as a child, after her mother died. But the reason why Chance has tracked her down affects her the most. His mother--Yi Min-chin, someone she cares about--has disappeared and he needs her help to find her.

Not happy to get caught up in the life she wanted so badly to escape, Corine agrees to help him at least chase the trail before something horrible happens to Min. And that's when she ventures into Texas with Chance and finds herself caught up in one bad situation after another. But she does meet a very exotic cast of characters. Ranging from Chuch and his estranged wife Eva, to the sexy cop Jesse, as well as a chihuahua called Butch, who seems to have his own doggy abilities. Oh, and the very strange Twila, as well as the resourceful but secretive Booke. All of these characters added an awesome depth to the story with their many talents and contacts.

I found myself getting deeper and deeper into this very dangerous world filled with dark magic, shadows that can kill, warlocks, zombies, and cartels. It's a wonderful blend of real-life action and that of dark magical forces. As well as combining a great dose of emotion, magic, friendship, and confusion when Corine finds herself in a bizarre love triangle, that I really enjoyed.

I also have to mention Kel Ferguson. A killer--though he calls himself a holy warrior--who Corine and Chance put behind bars provides one amazing subplot when they have no choice but to trust him. I can't wait to find out more about Kel.

Blue Diablo is an amazingly fast-paced, well-written, captivating tale that kept me wondering and glued to the page until the very end. It's also another one of those books that makes me realize just why I love this genre SO much! Everything about this book was awesome, and I'm totally hooked on this series.

I can easily see it becoming one of my faves. Lucky for me, I've got the second book in the series already...

Blue Diablo: Corine Solomon #1, July 2010, ISBN 978-057-509397-3, Gollancz Paperback 

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