Saturday, April 11, 2009

Book Review of the Day - Ann Aguirre

Not totally out there for me, but certainly a stretch, I finished Blue Diablo today, by Ann Aguirre. Admittedly, I read it out of desperation for anything to read (since I've had a heck of a time finding things in "my" genre that interest me, these days), and because I am friends with the author. Those things aside, I thoroughly enjoyed it, which is saying a lot, considering it's not my usual thing.

Blue Diablo is what I would classify as an "urban paranormal fantasy" though I'm not sure that's how Ann would describe it. The settings are rich, tinged with Mexican flair to add a very "different" feel to the characters and their surrounding cultures. Of course, living in Mexico, Ann has ample knowledge to draw from in this area, and the realism shines through in the novel.

The characters are also delightful. Corine is strong, yet feminine - a combination I appreciate. And we have two delicious males to consider as potential love interests. The balancing act between the two is well-handled. Other characters are unique and entertaining, with surprises built in. She does tread the line of deus ex machina, but since the character is, quite literally, the "Hand of God," Ann gets away with it cleanly. And there's a wonderful, adorable, intelligent dog. With one of those, you're already halfway to winning me over. I'm a sucker for cute dogs.

There are also plenty of unanswered questions left at the end of the novel, though enough are tied up to allow it to stand on its own. We're ripe for a sequel, and I will certainly be reading it, when it is released.

My only complaint, if I had to have one, is the short lengths of the chapters. This is purely personal, mind you, and not a reflection on the author, though I would be curious as to her reasoning in making them all about six to eight pages in length. For me, it has to do with my reading schedule. I allow myself to read a chapter as a reward for completing various tasks on my to-do list. The shorter the chapters, the more of the list I must complete at a faster pace. Again, this is my issue, not Ann's, and I will admit, I have gotten a lot of chores completed while reading this book. :)

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