31 janeiro 2011

Review: Blue Diablo

Publisher: Roc (2009)
Format:  Mass Market Paperback | 316 pages
Genre(s): Urban Fantasy
Description: "Other women change their hair color on a whim or to impress a new boyfriend; Corinne Solomon dyes hers because she's running scared. She's a handler, a paranormal who can touch something and almost instantly know its history and, if she's lucky (or unlucky) its future, too. Now hiding out in Mexico, she wants to keep a low profile, but when people come begging for her help, she can't refuse, although she knows that she should know better ."
I don't know if it's the author's writing style (it must be, at least partially, as I had some trouble getting through Grimspace as well) but this one was hard to read through. The plot was very simple and straightforward, not that interesting; maybe not enough for a full novel, so the author fills pages and pages with Corine (the main - sort-of - character) contemplating her past relationship with Chance, her ex-boyfriend who appears on her doorstep at the beginning asking for her help to find his missing mother. Angsty thoughts and interactions between these two characters follow, sprinkled throughout the book, making it... well, boring.

The kidnapping is pushed to second plan, not given as much spotlight as the relationship talk. Ok, so it's normal to wonder what could have been but does Corine really need to do it every other chapter? Does she has to think about how she wants to jump Chance's bones and then angst because she can't that frequently? Do they have to have embarrassing and pointless conversations about how they misinterpreted each other in the past every other page? A little of all this might be called character development, but this much just reeks of filler.

Of course with this much focus of the status of the characters' relationship the plot wasn't properly explored and the resolution felt... flat. There was little foreshadowing (about who the evil warlock was, etc), the characters did little to no investigative work and most of the time they just stood around in a house. The pacing was, therefore, slow and again... boring.

World building was pretty bad as well. Okay, so there is a hidden world of practitioners but what exactly is a handler? How did Corine come by her gift (the explanation given is murky at best)? If Jesse is her mentor, why didn't he explain more about that world? The author would have gained more in setting the world in which the characters move than focusing on Corine and her ex (who does seem like he'll be present in the next book, so I'm dreading that read - I have already bought it).

Honestly, I didn't like this one much. It was boring and underdeveloped in all the ways that mattered. I know Aguirre can do better, as I've read the first in her other series, "Grimspace" and enjoyed it a lot more.

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