Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Devil's Punch (Corine Solomon, #4)

Devil's Punch (Corine Solomon, #4)Author: Ann Aguirre
Series: Corine Solomon, #4
Published: April 3rd 2012
Publisher: Roc
Mass market paperback, 316 pages
Buy: The Book Depository

How far would you go to save your best friend? If you’re anything like Corine Solomon, you would take a one-way ticket to hell without a second thought.

This is my tenth book by Ann Aguirre, and she has yet to write a single sentence that I won’t like. From her restrained writing style to her astonishing worlds, everything she does demonstrates calmness, precision and experience not many authors have.

My relationship with Corine Solomon got off to a rocky start. Just like Sirantha Jax, she was insufferable at first, mildly infuriating later and a role model by the end. Not that we got to see much of Corine this time around, as she was sharing her body with a vicious demon queen. She was mostly in the background, a helpless spectator in her own life, and even when she found the strength to push the queen down, she was rarely the Corine I know and love. She and the queen started out as complete opposites, one gentle and mellow, the other evil incarnate, but the lines started blurring pretty soon and suddenly I had no idea where one ends and the other begins. Just like Chance, I was unsure about her actions, constantly wondering which part was Corine, and which the demon queen. If that isn’t proof enough of superior writing skills, I don’t know what is.

I adore that Aguirre toys with the genre, stepping in and out as she sees fit and abandoning it altogether when the need arises. Hell Fire, book two in the series, was really a small-town horror story, compelling, utterly creepy and so much better than the small town horror story that won 2011 GoodReads choice award. That’s when it became clear that the author refuses to be confined by the genre and it was around that time that I started worshiping the ground she walks on… with much dignity, of course. ;) She took a step back with the third book, Shady Lady, which was a real urban fantasy if I ever read one. It was, at that moment, the best one of the series. I loved an impossible man together with Corine, I suffered with her, I fought right alongside her and I cried when she lost the things she valued most. I thought it would be a hard one to top, and it was, but I might have underestimated Aguirre’s ability to surprise her readers. She wrote a book so unlike Shady Lady, or any of her books for that matter, that it’s simply impossible to compare them.

Flirting with high fantasy did wonders for this series. The second Corine and Chance jumped (literally, they jumped) into the demon realm, my jaw dropped and that’s where it stayed. From the gate and the sacrifice the crossing required to Xibalba, a huge demon city they ended up in, every single detail was in its place. The demon queen’s palace was as real to me as my own back yard, and the creatures that gathered there will feature in my nightmares for a long time to come. I’ve said this before, but it deems repeating: nobody builds worlds like Ann Aguirre. Each one is a work of art, but when the time comes to destroy them, she shows no mercy. I think that’s what I appreciate the most.

Make sure to stop by The Nocturnal Library tomorrow for an interview and triple giveaway with the amazing Ann Aguirre. We will be giving away first installments of her three ongoing series: Enclave, Grimspace, and Blue Diablo.


  1. This is the first I've heard of this book. Great review! I'm going to take a closer look at the series.

    Safari Poet

  2. Maja you are on a serious roll with your reviews! You're contributing more and more to by tbr pile each day! I love it really! This is again an amazing review. I can't wait to pick up an Ann Aguire book now! :)

    1. Thanks, Jasprit! Knowing a thing or two about your tastes, I'd recommend that you start with Enclave. :)
      And I am! I've been choosing my every read very carefully, and I was rewarded for it. :)

  3. I've never heard of this author, but your review makes me want to check out more of her books!

  4. Ground worshiping with dignity!!! LOL! Yes, I am guilty of doing that too with some of my favorite authors. So your 10th Ann Aguirre and I have yet to read a single one! What is wrong with me??? I like the way you've describe the author's style as flirting with genres. That alone, definitely makes me curious.

    1. Missie, I must be going crazy! I was convinced that you'd read Enclave just a little while ago. Huh. It was probably someone else, it's entirely possible that I'm losing my mind. :D

    2. Wait a minute?!! Yes I have! Thanks for putting two and two together for me. I feel like such a winner now. :)

  5. I really love that she writes urban fantasy (esque) books but isn't afraid to step out into romance, sci-fi, high fantasy, post-apocalyptic, horror...whatever strikes her at the time! Her books definitely stand out because of it - they aren't just the same old stuff. I am starting Killbox today, btw. :)

    Definitely coming back tomorrow!

  6. I have only read Enclave by Ann Agguire and I LOVED it so I hope I feel the same way about some of her adult books. Great review, Maja! I'm glad you enjoyed this. I will have to see how Sirantha Jax goes for me and then I will try and start this series. :)

  7. I have been eyeing this series, now I am sorry I haven't jumped in, yet. I did read Enclave, and yes Aguirre builds worlds with amazing detail. I really loved that she is willing to write outside the constainments of her genre. I will certainly be by tomorrow for the interview and giveaway!

  8. Oh my gosh, how is it that I had no idea that Ann Aguirre wrote over ten books??? *quickly goes to investigate and add more of them to be read* Enclave may not have been my favourite book, but I LOVED the way she created her world so I'm not surprised (but am very happy) that she manages to do the same thing here! :) It sounds like she has a definite gift for high fantasy, which is one of my favourite genres!! :D

    Beautiful review, Maja! As if the cool-sounding world wasn't enough, you still managed to make me extra excited to start this series! :) <3

  9. She has yet to write a single sentence that I won’t like.

    Maja, that sure is a big statement! I don't know that there is a series that can make you write that sentence! This is my first time looking at the series *blush* but I surely will check it out! This sounds like SUPER amazing series, and I can't wait to find how amazing her writing is! Thanks for contributing more to my TBR list, Maja! <3


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