Sucker for Series: Corine Solomon Series by Ann Aguirre
*Purchased E-books from Amazon.com*
Blue Diablo #1: 2.75 Stars/Grade C
Hell Fire #2 : 3 Stars/Grade B
But while trying to uncover the secrets in her past, Corine and Chance find that something is rotten in the state of Georgia. Inside Kilmer’s borders there are signs of a dark curse affecting the town and all its residents-and it can only be satisfied with death…
Shady Lady #3: 4 Stars/Grade B+
Not read yet:
Devil’s Punch #4
Back home, Corine is trying to rebuild her pawnshop and her life with her ex Chance, despite the target on her back. But when the demons she provoked kidnap her best friend in retaliation, Corine puts everything on hold to save her. It’s undoubtedly a trap, but Corine would do anything to save those she loves, even if it means sacrificing herself…
Not published yet:
Agave Kiss #5 (2013)
Once Corine Solomon only had the touch, the ability to read an object’s past by handling it. Then she inherited her mother’s magick and that ended up being a hell of a burden, but she wrestled the demon queen and won.
Now she’s determined to bring Chance back, but the clock is ticking; every ritual has an expiration date. Add in some debt-collecting demons, a maniacal archangel running a recruitment drive, a dear friend who’s dying of time, and well. Things have been tight before, but the situation has never been this dire or the stakes so high…
The final gamble is forever—with happily ever after on the line.
Regina’s thoughts about the series so far:
My reviews and ratings for each individual book in this series so far are not consistent, but the ratings I give do keep going up. In summary, I enjoy the world that Aguirre has created. Her characters are unique, the problems they face are interesting and Aguirre has a knack for creating three-dimensional realistic characters that seem to exist off the pages of her books. Something in them, despite my disappointment for the first book, keeps me reading. Now I absolutely love her Sirantha Jax series. That series is an immediate must buy series. What she does in the Sirantha Jax series she does in this series — the unique characters and the unique world. The stories in both series are character driven but with strong plotlines and world building. I admit to being frustrated with the first book in the Corine Solomon series (Blue Diablo) and frustrated with parts of the second book (Hell Fire) but by the third book (Shady Lady) I was completely enamored. So why did I keep going? Because my irritation with the first two books was more related to the main character, her choices and thought processes than the books themselves. And this improves — I think because the character, Corine, is growing and progressing as a person. I love that the setting for these stories cross the Mexican border, goes into spooky rural Southern U.S. towns and explores the dark nature of people. I am definitely hooked and can’t wait to move on to #4. Below I break down what I thought about each book – -you can see me slowly getting hooked.
Blue Diablo #1
2.75 stars. I feel pulled in several ways in writing a review on this book. The characters were interesting. Ms. Aguirre’s writing about living in Mexico and then living on the border was realistic. I enjoyed the mixture in to the storyline of Mexican culture. But, despite these things I wasn’t engaged in the story and I was bored during the last quarter of the book. I ultimately skimmed the last 40 pages. The dynamic between Corine (main characgter) and Chance (her love interest) was intriguing at first but Corine was so darned immature about relationships and I thought she was downright mean to Chance. It was hard to figure out why she was so frustrated with the relationship. Additionally, Chance was not that appealing. The back and forth between Chance and Corine was very annoying. Interesting at first but with no progression in the story and the immaturity of Corrine it got old.
The heroine Corine is different than a typical heroine. Th story of her mother and background was really interesting. But the overall story was so boring but there is hope for the next in the series.
Hell Fire #2
3 stars. So now I am convinced after reading this book that I really like Ann Aguirre’s writing style. I enjoy the worlds she creates and the characters that inhabit those worlds. I really do like a lot about this book and this series but for some reason this book is not quite clicking with me yet. I cannot figure out why. Maybe a list will help.
What I love about this book (and this series):
1. The setting. In Hell Fire the setting is a small remote town in the middle of a forest, literally – it is surrounded by forest on a sides, in Georgia. The town is a character in the book, not just a location. It is very creepy, a scary place to be and Aguirre writes it well.
2. The side characters. I don’t mean the supporting cast, but the people the main characters run into on the street, at the library, etc. These side characters are funny, scary and add to the story.
3. The supporting cast, like in Sirantha Jax, Corrinne is surrounded by a group of unusual but interesting people with their own agenda, but who gather together to fight for a specific battle. She does this well and I liked these people a lot.
4. The storyline – scary and surprising.
5. The talent/superpowers – very unique and creative. Not a copy of other urban fantasy books and there are huge costs to each of the powers. Well done.
What I don’t like about this book (and the series):
1. The throw in romance. It is not believable, the characters just don’t seem to sync, I don’t care enough about them as a couple and this storyline is so poorly done it is just a distraction from the main story.
2. The love triangle. See above.
3. The main character’s temper tantrums. Over the top, not consistent with her character. I can’t imagine friends and lovers putting up with this stuff.
Shady Lady #3
4 stars. Shady Lady is a book that shows tremendous growth in the Corinne Solomon series. Ann Aguirre has this amazing ability to dream up and write extremely unique characters and place the setting of her stories in places that come alive on the pages of her book. The first two books in this series created distinct reactions in my mind – one, I loved the characters, the setting and the “talents/abilities” of the characters; two – the main character’s reaction and interactions with her love interests (yes that is plural) drove me crazy and detracted from the storyline. I love how Ann Aguirre writes about an American woman living in Mexico – having been one myself years ago, I can say with confidence that Aguirre gets it right and makes me feel like I am back there doing it all over again. I love how Aguirre writes her characters. Nothing is easy, there is a cost to talent and there are consequences to choices. The people in Corinne’s life are unique and quirky – -much like real people in real life are.
So Shady Lady finds Corinne back in Mexico, I was already cheering from the beginning of the story. And there are some positive things that develop in Corinne’s love life that were much more tolerable and enjoyable than in the first few books. The quest/challenge is interesting and not predictable at all. So where does this leave me with the series?
I love Aguirre’s Sirantha Jax series. That is one of my all time favorite series – a character driven story, amazing setting and hard choices. Aguirre never takes the easy way out as a writer and I love reading those kinds of stories. I wish that the first two in the Corinne Solomon series were automatic wins for me, but there is enough meaty stuff there that encouraged me to keep going and I am glad that I did. I plan to read #4 in this series, Devil’s Punch, very soon and cannot wait for #5 to be released.
If you like complex urban fantasy books, with richly developed interesting characters and very unique settings then I think you would like this book. But … you have to understand that there are flaws with books one and two, there is a pay off to sticking with the series. The books improve and by the third, Shady Lady, the series is strong and very enjoyable. It has taken my 2 years to get to book 3 and I am thankful that my good reads friend Maja, encouraged me to keep going. I cannot think of another urban fantasy series out there where the author is writing such diverse and interesting characters with settings that come alive and make you feel like you are there. So stick with this series. I promise you will be happy you did.
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