Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The sexiest yet most tragic power

Great Moments from Last Night's Reading
Book: Blue Diablo by Ann Aguirre
Page: 285
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.

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?
A song comes on the jukebox that Corine really loves.
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."

From his expression, he regretted it, but back then, he didn't want to lose control.
And they have this wonderfully written dance:
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.


Stacy~ said...

Um, wow. I cannot believe I have not run right out to the bookstore and snatched up a copy. I am so jealous of you right now. This will be my mission tomorrow - to get this book!

Kati said...

I've got this one, but two books in front of it. I'm so glad I've at least got it.

Thanks for whetting my appetite for this book!

azteclady said...

YES, Carolyn, YES!!!!

Imagine Chance's burden, knowing that at any moment, his power may direct a potentially tragic even towards the person closest to him--physically and emotionally!

Tracy said...

Oh I can't make myself read your post! I'm too afraid to get any spoilers at all and it just showed up on my doorstep this afternoon! I'm glad you liked it though - we are usually sympatico with the books!

Ann Aguirre said...

Oh, this is so cool. I'm all a-glow with the warm fuzzies.

Ana said...

CJ - I LOVED the dance sequence as well and you nailed why.

Carolyn Crane (aka Carolyn Jean) said...

Stacy: A fine Wednesday mission!

Kati: The TBR traffic jam. I have that, too. In several rooms!

AZ: Totally!

Tracy: oh, there really aren't spoilers, but I forgot to note that.

Ann: Fuzz on, dude.

Ana: Oh, cool!

Renee said...

I love that scene! It also shows that Corine still has a lot to learn about Chance.

One of the things I really find interesting about him is that his power is sort of an internal one. He has to "go inside" himself to make it work. He's not busting heads and kicking-ass with his power, and I like that. It also impacts his personality (being sort of contained/controlled,) and I like that consistency in characterization.

Oh yeah, and he's really hot! lol

orannia said...

The TBR traffic jam.LOL! I have the same problem. I'm about 1 1/2 books away (the downside of borrowing library books is you have to return them on time :) from Blue Diablo, and I can't wait!

Tumperkin said...

The way you blog about books really makes me want to read them. Is this because of your profession? (Not the being a writer one, the other one). Are you a mole for the publishing industry? I think we need to explore this more...

writtenwyrdd said...

I also liked this book--didn't fall in love with it like you did, obviously. I'll read the sequel though.

If you haven't read the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews you might want to check that one out.

Ladytink_534 said...

Sounds like a neat story (the luck thing especially) and I just love the pictures you put up!