Ann Aguirre, Devil’s Punch

Posted May 29, 2012 by Kathy Davie in

Devil's Punch (Corine Solomon, #4)Devil’s Punch by Ann Aguirre
Series: Corine Solomon, 4
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Fourth in the Corine Solomon urban fantasy series revolving around a touch psychic living in Mexico.

My Take
I was enjoying the promise of Corine and Chance together again, building a life. Then Aguirre comes along with this kidnapping. Okay. Obviously, a new story needs a new bit of drama. And it’s good for a while, but then Corine is making all these stupid decisions, just rushing on in without thought.

One word sums it up…drama queen.

It’s certainly an interesting journey into Hell. Then there are the distinctions the demons themselves make between each other.

Oh brother…the whining begins. Up to this point, Corine has been a pretty courageous and intelligent person. She knows it’s the Chasm of Despair…hullo. So she just spills everything. And I mean…everything. Idiot. Corine’s interactions with Sybella and her escape are just too easy. There’s a shallowness in this story that is irritating. Almost like taking a ride through Disneyland. This should be such an important chapter in Corine’s life and…phfft.

Xibalba is the, well, I guess capital city of Sheol, and it certainly sounds pretty. It has its range of neighborhoods with their particular quirks and dangers. Just as the different classes of demons do. Whoa, the information about the archangels and the nephilim is rather disturbing.

Wow, Chance really does want to get back with Corine. Compared to their first time around, he’s practically spilling all of his back history. Including all about his old girlfriend Lily and how she met her demise. It’s just too not-Chance. I feel as though Aguirre skipped a major part of Chance’s “life change”. We also get a view on how Shannon fared after Shady Lady.

The whole possession thing is weak. Aguirre builds some really nice tension, but then just lets it go. The Saremon demons are such a danger to her and yet she concentrates on making her house all pretty?? WTF?? Her encounter with her dad and Shannon’s remembering was just…weak.

The Story
Chance is serious. He fully intends to romance Corine and he’s followed her to Mexico and taken a house nearby as Corine rebuilds her shop. But fate has no intention of allowing them to relax for demons have kidnapped Shannon. If Corine wants her back, she’ll have to take a trip to Hell, one on which her powers begin to manifest.

Seems there is a demon faction who wants Corine to take her rightful place in Hell. As her lover, Chance, too, has a role to play, one which may drag him under. Unfortunately, there are other factions who disagree with Corine’s “promotion”.

The Characters
Corine Solomon, a.k.a., The Binder, is carrying a darkish aura (a result of feeding those men to a demon in Shady Lady) and something in her family lineage gives Corine power over demons. Tia sees into her heart though and is accepting of her. Butch is her very-sentient Chihuahua. He knows more than Corine can understand. Chance is lucky. No, seriously. He was born with good luck, but woe to the person next to him as the bad side of the luck has to go somewhere. His mother Min is human and we finally learn about his father. We also discover Corine’s father, Albie Solomon, and what really happened.

Tia is a witch who has offered to teach Corine to use her magick and let her stay at her place while her old place is rebuilt. Kel is a fallen angel, a Nephilim, charged with destroying evil—and protecting Corine in Shady Lady. Shannon was Corine’s best friend and Jesse Saldana was much more than that but now they are that story’s casualties. They no longer remember Corine, but they remembered each other. Chuch and Eva have had a little girl, Camellia.

Greydusk is the Imaron demon hired to guide Corine and Chance to Sheol. Sybella is a Luren demon, its Knight, and the one who ordered Shannon kidnapped. Only they don’t have her anymore. Nenlil is a demon queen who lost her power, her existence due to her own greed.

The Cover
The cover is complex. A tarty looking Corine in a black tank top and jeans is walking away but with her head turned back to look at us with a big-ass knife in her right hand. In the background is a cityscape of towers and spires with a purple sky.

The title is the beverage served at Corine’s formal coronation ball, Devil’s Punch.

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