Book: Blue Diablo by Ann Aguirre
Okay, I'll stop fawning over this book, and I won't spoil the ending except to say that it has a perfect and delicious balance of action, character fun (including the full, freaky flowering of a crazy-ass secondary character) and excellent psychological/emotional ramifications to things.
Anyway, for me, my emotional center of the book comes with this wonderful moment of dancing on p. 285 that Chance and Corine have, and all these different things come together in it. I was so taken by it, even though it's seemingly quiet. I think it's almost easy to miss.
Let me set the stage
Our heroine, Corine, and her sexy ex Chance are with their pal Chuch, settling into a sketchy dangerous sort of bar hoping to find a mercenary who might know something to help them in their desperate search for Chance's mother. They're hoping Chance's luck will lead them to the right scary guy.
"Do your thing, [Chuch] murmured to Chance.A song comes on the jukebox that Corine really loves.
I had no idea what I should be doing, if anything, so I took my beer with a nod of thanks and waited for some sign from Chuch. He merely sat there, quiet, drinking, and looking watchful. I guessed you couldn't hurry something like this. Chance, on the other hand, fairly crackled with purpose. What must it be like to be able to focus your will and shake whatever you needed from the cosmos?
Chance touched me on the arm. "I can do this and dance at the same time," he whispered. "You want to?" I must've looked astounded because he added, "I can, you know. I just never did. Not with you."And they have this wonderfully written dance:
From his expression, he regretted it, but back then, he didn't want to lose control.
I took his hand - five steps to the dance floor, and the world went away. There was just the rhythm and the desperate longing in the singer's voice.And so they lose themselves in each other and then when they come up for air, a scary fellow has joined their pal Chuch at the table; the way I read it, their absence had allowed it to happen.
Chance's luck: so sexy.
Chance's luck is so fascinating that way. It's a sort of super one-ness with possibility more than muscle or force. It attracts more than alters things. It's magnetic, a pull instead of a push. I think it's interesting that words like charm and charisma can mean magical gifts as well as personal sparkle. That's the deal with Chance--he's all charm and charisma with that luck of his.
Chance's luck: so tragic.
What's tragic about it though, is that it hurts the people around him when there's trouble; when you're with Chance, it's never him who will catch the bullet or be standing under the piano when the rope breaks. It's whoever he's with. He has an old lover, and we don't know much except she died. Who knew luck was such a potentially isolating power!
Corine pays a price of physical pain with her power, but I found myself wondering if this is the price Chance pays--that the people around him get it instead of him. In a way, that phrase: rhythm and the desperate longing is so poignantly Chance. At the end of the book, there is still some mystery around his luck. I loved that.