[Blue+Diablo.jpg] Eighteen months ago, Corine Solomon crossed the border and wound up in Mexico City, fleeing her past, her lover, and her “gift”.  Corine, a handler, can touch something and know its history – and sometimes, its future.  Using her ability, she can find missing persons – and that’s why people never stop trying to find her.  People like her ex, Chance.

Chance, whose uncanny luck has led him to her doorstep, 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 may prove dangerous as the trail leads them into a strange, dark world of demons and sorcerers, ghosts and witchcraft, zombies – and black magic…

Ann Aguirre’s debut novel Grimspace blew me away, and I’ve enjoyed all her books since.  Blue Diablo is the first in the Corine Solomon urban fantasy series and has a slightly different flavour from her sci-fi Sirantha Jax series.

When I first read Blue Diablo, I had just realised how unlikely it was that so many people in books get help when they need it, from people who don’t need to put themselves out to give it.   Ann Aguirre neatly explains this as Chance’s luck causes coincidences all the time (not always a good thing), and Corine always needed to know why someone was helping them. 

I liked the unusual setting of Mexico and the US border, and that Chance and Corine both find themselves out of their depth.

To be honest, our chances don’t look good.  We’re light on manpower, firepower, and every other kind of power.

I do wish we could have seen Chance and Corine’s original relationship in action instead of being told about it via remembrances and comparisons to their behaviour now.

It’s possible that I’m disapointed that  Chance and Corines’ relationship wasn’t resolved in one book, when I know romances in an urban fantasy series always takes several books.  I know ex’s can cause complicated mixed up emotions that aren’t at all logical, and certainly in Corine’s situation, it’s unsurprising her emotions swing.  I felt that their relationship was moving through some sort of growth and minor resolution but the last third to a quarter of the book derailed that and moved it backwards.

I had a strange feeling of let down at the end of Blue Diablo.  I felt that the stakes got so high and then everything was OK.  No long term consequences, no-one risked too much and lost it.  All saved, all still friends and talking (except Corine and Chance whose relationship is still up in the air)  And Corine’s final words didn’t ring true for me at all.

Nonetheless, I enjoyed Blue Diablo and am looking forward to seeing what questions will be answered and what new questions will be raised in the sequel Hell Fire which is released in a week.

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