Review: Blue Diablo by Ann Aguirre

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Blue Diablo is full of internal turmoil, sexual tension, and old scars, spiced up with some magic and machine guns. Given all the exciting things that I just mentioned, I surprisingly closed Blue Diablo with an indifferent “meh”, because the plot just didn’t grab my attention. The ending of this first book of the Corine Solomon series also left me dissatisfied because it made me feel like I’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg, so now I have to keep on reading to get closure.

 

 

Introduction

Corine Solomon has set up a new life for herself in Mexico, running a pawn shop and hiding behind her newly dyed red hair, hibiscus-adorned flip flops, and the colorful district of Los Remedios. That is, until her smoldering hot ex-boyfriend Chance tracks her down and begs her to help him find his missing mother – for Corine has a gift given to her by her mother’s last spell, and by touching an object, she can see its past and its future. Although they worked as a team in the past to catch criminals, Corine left Chance after a particularly dangerous job… and now their past might just be catching up with them. In their quest to find out what happened to Chance’s mother, Corine meets Jesse Saldana, a cop whose gentle nature and hot physique sets her heart pounding, and discovers that there’s more behind her own troubled past than she once thought. Chance’s mother is also harboring secrets or her own, and it’s up to Corine, Chance, and their new friends to fight off a mysterious, evil magic and figure out the truth behind her disappearance.

Discussion

First of all, for a book named after an alcoholic drink, Blue Diablo provides an unsatisfyingly vague recipe for said drink:

Tequila, Blue Curacao, lemon juice, and Rose’s lime juice, served over ice.

But it’s okay, because the drink itself only appears once in the novel and is never ever mentioned again. I was confused as to why Aguirre decided to title the book after something that doesn’t seem to be an essential symbol or theme in the book, but maybe it’s supposed to represent how I feel post-read… like that mind-numbing feeling I always get after drinking alcohol? (Note: I do not condone underage drinking or drunk driving!) Or maybe she wants to highlight the bad decisions that the characters in the book make from time to time?

Character-wise, protagonist Corine is usually sensible and grounded, but becomes vulnerable and easily shaken when she’s around Chance. Personally, I think the best part of Blue Diablo is the internal struggle that Corine experiences throughout the book as she plays a game of tug-of-war with wanting and not wanting Chance, then wanting and not wanting Jesse. Chance, in particular, knows how to work Corine up and has the most sexual-tension-worthy lines ever on the face of the planet:

“Christ. What do you want from me?”

Propped up against the headboard, he smiled then and I saw the silver glimmer of his coin, rolling along his knuckles. “Only what I always wanted. Everything.”

It doesn’t help that both guys are super hot and want her… so I’d be a happy girl if this book was rewritten for Harlequin Romance, to be honest. There’s definitely a lot of girl-checking-guy-out-while-guy-checks-girl-out action goin’ on, if you know what I mean.

With that said, you can probably tell that I wasn’t too impressed with the plot. I felt that the clues that lead to the mystery of Chance’s mother’s disappearance were too deliberately placed, and I just wasn’t interested in the climax and the falling action of the story because I’ve already got it all pretty much figured out. The climactic scene felt the same as the previous obstacles that Corine and company had overcome, so that led to an overall sense of “meh”-ness at the end. It’s also very unclear at the end of the story what roles Chance and his mother may play in Corine’s life after the major events in Blue Diablo, and what Corine will do with what she’s found out about her past. So basically, I’m going to have to read the next few books in the series to obtain closure and a sense of satisfaction. (It’s kind of like the book’s forcing me to do something when really I’m just doing it to myself so that I can feel happy again.)

Conclusion

Overall, Blue Diablo had a hard-to-follow Blue Diablo recipe, some hot romance thing going on, and good concepts incorporating magic, mystery, and action… but didn’t follow through with the plot. And I’m being forced not really to read the next book in the series.

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