Sunday, April 8, 2012

Blue Diablo (Corine Solomon, #1)

Blue Diablo (Corine Solomon, #1)Author: Ann Aguirre
Series: Corine Solomon, #1
Published: April 7th 2009
Publisher: Roc
Mass market paperback, 336 pages
Buy: The Book Depository

After reading this for the second time, I had to resist the urge to write Ann Aguirre a lengthy fan letter with a bunch of exclamation points and possibly even a heart or two. I never get tired of her worlds or her characters, nor can I stop admiring the ease with which she pulls me into one of her stories.

Corine Solomon is a handler. She has the gift (or rather the curse) of psychometry: she can see things by touching a charged object. Unfortunately, no matter how many people she helped by using her ability, handling brought her powerful enemies as well so she’s been forced to live in Mexico under a different name for the past eighteen months. To make matters more complicated, she’s also been hiding from her ex-boyfriend and manager Chance, whom she abandoned in the middle of the night after a job gone wrong. Corine is convinced that Chance never loved her the way she needed him to, so when he shows up in her small shop in Mexico and asks her to help him find his missing mother, her first instinct is to run and hide before she gets heartbroken once again. However, Chance’s mother was always kind to her and Corine simply doesn’t have it in her to turn her back on either one of them when they really need her. Instead she chooses to return to the US with Chance, where she is forced to face demons, powerful necromancers, zombies and the scariest thing of all, her ex’s vulnerability.

Corine is not an easy character to love, that’s for sure. She can be petty, vindictive and completely blind to what’s right in front of her. She often made choices that made me want to strangle her with my bare hands. But she’s also smart, unflinchingly loyal and brave, even when she’s at her most vulnerable.
Ann Aguirre never writes simple, easily likable characters. Those of you who are familiar with her Sirantha Jax series will remember some of Jax’s actions and know exactly what I’m talking about. But the best thing about that is that it leaves a lot of room for character growth and, even though it takes her a while, she always brings her characters to the point where I admire them completely, possibly even more because I know how they started out. Knowing what I know now, after reading four Corine Solomon books, I can see exactly what she was aiming for at the beginning and what risks she took to make her characters seem more human.

The first time I was reading this (exactly a year ago, thank you, GoodReads) I didn’t know what to make of Chance. He was saying and doing all the right things and I believed him, I did, but there was just something missing, there was an emotional distance present even when he was proclaiming his love for Corine. I guess I understood and liked him better this time around, and I was able to read his actions (or lack thereof) much better. Needless to say, there was a lot of sighing and swooning involved.
And then there’s Kel Ferguson (yep, Ferguson, like my Kindle :D). I won’t even try to explain that complicated story, but suffice it to say that he’s one of the most intriguing characters ever and that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about him this past year.

I can’t emphasize enough how much I love this series and everything else Aguirre writes.
Oh, and did I mention the zombies?


  1. If by some crazy chance I win tomorrow, I will be asking for this book! I love stories about the one who got away. Your last couple of paragraphs make me wonder if he's genuine or not but I guess I'll have to read them to find out. (Also to find out what makes an object "charged.") Great review today!

    1. Strong emotions make objects charged, I think. Or, if I understood that part right, it can be done intentionally, to leave a message if you expect a handler to pick it up at some point.
      Thanks, Catie!

  2. I have had this book in my shelf for ages, I just never seem to get round to it, but from your review it sounds good. I will keep an open mind when I read it though if she starts to annoy me lol. Great review.


  3. I read this one a while ago and wasn't that engaged, but I think I might have to try a couple more books in this series now. It sounds like they get better, and I did think Corine and Chance's abilities were quite interesting. I'm glad to hear their actions get more understandable/relatable. Great review, Maja! :)

  4. Wait, zombies?

    Frankly, I'd never heard about any of these series before your author interview/giveaway - and once I did, I thought she'd ROCK! This review only goes to solidify that opinion... Oh, I think I really need to get started on her books. I have a serious backlog and all that!

    Thanks for the review, Maja! It's great!

  5. I know how much you love Ann Aguirre's writing and I hope I can read some more of her books myself. I was just thinking about Outpost today actually (did you see that it had a cover? No one told me!) I can't wait to get round to this series too and I hope I'll enjoy it as much as you! Awesome review! :)

  6. Do you know what makes me intrigued to pick up this book, Maja? You mentioned that the main character is not the kind of heroines we instantly fall in love, yet that makes you love her even more because you can feel how much she grows up! I know some characters who are not exactly likeable at first, so much to the point I want to shake some senses to them. But they finally ended up having a special place in my heart! I'm ready to experience the feeling again! :) Thank you for the fantastic review, Maja! I don't think that I would ever have picked up this book if it's not because of you! <3

  7. I've yet to read anything by this author (yes, I know I clearly suck) but I had my eye on reading this series. The character development aspect you mentioned intrigues me. I don't mind warming up to a character as long as they do actually grow and not make the same mistakes over and over again. I'm gonna see if I can track this one down at my library and put it in my reading pile.

  8. Can I add a smiling face on that fan letter? x)

    MAJA! I've officially added a gallon of Ann Aguirre's books to my TBR list. Even though Enclave wasn't my favourite book, your review makes me want to give all of her books another fighting shot! I love how you described Corine -- she sounds complex and strong and a heroine I could easily admire. And I love how you said it leaves room for character development because I think that must be just as perfect as having a likable character from the start! :)

    Amazing review, Maja! Plus, ZOMBIES? Double bull's eye, right there! ;) <3

  9. I've never really heard of Ann but now I definitely want to check out her books!

  10. Ooh this sounds so freaking awesome! Zombies and necromancers are MY THING DUDE!! I've also heard amazing things about this author and I haven't read any of her books yet so I may start with this one! :) I really want to try Enclave too though. But does that one have zombies!? I don't THINK SO! (Actually I've no idea).

    Fab. review, doll!

  11. I have been eyeing this series since last year, and havne't gotten around to it. Now I am intrigued, psychometry with zombies and neceomancers that sounds so cool. I am interested in meeting a character that makes you want to strangle with your bare hands.

  12. I always forget this series even exists. It's #3 on my "Ann Aguirre Priority List" but it will be read eventually. I don't know how I feel about the name Chance. BUT if you like it, I'm sure I will like it too:) xo

  13. Yay! I'm glad you liked this book, Maja, especially enough to reread. :) I'm not sure if I'll like Corine since wanting to strangle heroines is not a good sign, but it sounds like she does have redeeming qualities! I also really don't like zombie books, haha. They've never worked for me, so I'm not sure if this book is up my alley. Nonetheless, wonderful review, Maja! <3 :)


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