Thursday, April 16, 2009

To savor - or to ravish wildly!

Great Moments in Last Night's Reading
Book: Blue Diablo by Ann Aguirre
Page: 111
Spoiler level: very low

Here's the thing with Blue Diablo: I want to savor the world and characters and cool writing, but I also want to tear through it like a kid at Christmas. I’m so into it!

For one, I’m highly curious about the unfolding mystery—esp. last night, as an exciting piece of information turned up that I won’t divulge. (Except to say this: eeep!) Also, I love how the magic is layered just below the surface of our actual world.

Unlike with many paranormal/UF books, you can actually believe that this world could exist on this planet at this moment. (Unlike, say, BDB, where you’d think Anderson Cooper would've taken notice by now.) The Mexico/Texas setting totally adds to that. And the powers have grown in coolness from when I first noted same. But what struck me most last night was the characters.

Actual humans for characters
The characters here are so like real people, especially the two we start the book with, Corine and Chance. I really get them, right down to how they dress or decorate their homes. I get that that Chance drives when they go somewhere, I know what that says about his personality and also what it means when he doesn’t drive. It make the book like a friend.

Corine and Chance’s raw and broken relationship
This is one of my favorite things about the book, this compelling and expertly drawn picture of a couple who broke up many months ago, but who are still raw from their wounds, and still half in love. Chance and Corine have sworn each other off, but this quest has thrown them back together.

Their knowing each other so intimately makes for all kinds of cool minor details like this: He ate with silent economy that told me he knew he needed the fuel more than he wanted the food.

And poignant moments like this (Corine narrating):
I stood for a moment, wrapped in my plush hotel bathrobe, and watched him sleep. Somehow he always looked innocent in repose, a ridiculous premise if you knew him at all.

As I turned, I heard him whisper, “no, don’t go.”

I didn’t hesitate because he wasn’t alive in the moment with me but remembering in dreams, perhaps remembering someone else as well, In a remote corner of my mind, I wondered whether he had spoken those words aloud as the door closed behind me. Could I believe he’d loved me once?
That scene of her leaving him all those months ago slides back now and then in exquisite and haunting ways. I also enjoy how their relationship continues to evolve within its brokenness:
Chance turned his head, and in the sunlight angling through the window, his eyes looked inexpressibly weary. “Thanks.”

I tried to smile. “You’re welcome.”

Jesus, I didn’t know what to do with this Chance. He frightened me with his intensity Once, I’d believed he was all cool calculation, but I was starting to think that maybe he’d hidden a lot of what he felt. I just didn’t know why.

“Nothing in the world is like I thought was.” He paused before adding quietly, “not even you.”
Ooof. Okay, and I just have to put out this description, so bewitching, and emblematic of the story:
The sun was setting by that point, blazing fire over the Sierra Madre. Slate and charcoal clouds gathered over the mountains in the distance. The highway uncoiled before us like a dark, patient snake.
Dark, patient snake!! Dude!


Lea said...


I too thought "Blue Diablo" was an awesome read. "Corine's", voice and wit was wonderful. Even though her story is a fantasy, I found her to be "real" with respect to her self image and reluctance to become involved with "Chance", again.

It was a great read for me as well!!

Warm Regards

lisabea said...

CJ~ I love when you get so excited. *g*

Need to many books!

Ann Aguirre said...

I am SO dying for you to finish this! And I love that description as well.

Katiebabs a.k.a KB said...

Chance had me the moment he wore his socks to bed.

Carolyn Jean said...

Lea: I think sometimes paranormals like this can feel more real.

LB: I'm a nerd.

Ann: You and me both!

KB: oh, yeah, that was such a cool moment.

Renee said...

Awesome quotes. They really capture Corine's and Chance's relationship. There's such a sense of history with those 2.

And, yes! They, and the other characters come across as "real people" rather than stock uf characters.

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Kati said...

Wow, you like the book?! ;o)This is on my list for next time I get my ass to the bookstore. I love Ann's Jax series.

And someone is selling porn in your comments.

Your blog really IS fun! :o)

Anonymous said...

LOL! I love your enthusiasm! I haven't read any of Ann Aguirre's books. I'll admit, I'm eh about venturing out of my comfort zone. But who really knows, maybe I'd end up loving it.

Miss Doreen said...

Maria: Nobody here is interested in your filthy smut. But thanks for your offer to keep us informed. In the interests of decency, I'd appreciate it if you let me know personally if you come across any instances of cowboy menages.

Carolyn Jean said...

Renee: I like the realness.

Kati: Ooh, you have yet to read it!

Barbara: You should try this one - it could be a good crossover one because it has strong relationship stuff at its core.

Miss Doreen: Thanks for dropping by!

Ann Aguirre said...

I am crying with laughter. I would let Miss Doreen use my womb as a surrogate; that's how much I love her.

orannia said...

Miss Doreen - it's good to see you keeping on top of such things :)

CJ - I just love these 'Great Moments' posts :) I can't wait to read this book!

Jill Sorenson said...

"I also enjoy how their relationship continues to evolve within its brokenness."

What an awesome description. And I love the prose in the excerpts you chose. Not that I wasn't going to buy this anyway, but now I'm double sold.

Miss Doreen and the spammer LOL!

Ann Aguirre said...

I am reading Crash into Me, RIGHT NOW.

Carolyn Jean said...

Ann: SNORT! I don't know what Miss Doreen would think about THAT idea!

Orannia: Eep. Must not give anything away.

Jill: Look below you (above me)!! now you must complete the reading triangle.

Ann Aguirre said...

It's too bad we don't share any release dates close together. We could have the most awesome menage a review.

Let's compare:

I have:

Sept 29
Dec 1
April 2010
June 2010

Anything close?

Carolyn Jean said...

A menage a review! Sounds delicious. (Don't tell you know who!)

Mine is early 2010 is all I know. I should get that established.

Carolyn Jean said...

I can't believe you have four releases coming up. Whoa! Busy bee!

Bridget Locke said...

I loved this book. What I like is how "real" everyone is, especially Corine. She reads like a normal, everyday woman who just so happens to have a very insane power. :)

And I cannot wait to hear your thoughts on "The End". :D

Jill Sorenson said...

Ann Aguirre is reading my book!!!! SQUEEEE!

Ann Aguirre said...

Indeed. I am on page 203, too.

Leslie said...

I love your comments about Corine and Chance and their relationship, past & present.

If this is anything like her Jax series I know I'll tear right through it. Must get this book!

Miss Doreen - if you're looking for books about cowboy menages, I could suggest a few. :)

orannia said...

CJ - just to reassure, you are very circumspect about spoilers (and I thank you for that :)

And you have a book coming out! How exciting! Is this your first? Congrats!

Ann Aguirre said...

Finished Crash into Me last night. Twittered about it today.

I know of at least two people who bought it because I lauded the angry sex.

Carolyn Jean said...

Bridget: I can't wait for the end. Perhaps tonight!

Leslie: Oh, you'll love it then. And yes, Miss Doreen is eager to monitor any recommendations.

Orannia: Trying to be circumspect!

Ann: You are such a fast reader! Yeah, how about that angry sex!

Jill Sorenson said...

Thanks Ann! I'm going to have to make "angry sex" my new tagline, LOL.

Christine said...

Great post, Carolyn Jean. Having recently started Blue Diablo a day or two ago, I already have a taste for the characters and I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiments. I'm about to go read some more actually.... :)

azteclady said...

Not that I'm impatient or anything but...

are you done yet?

what about now? are you done yet?


Carolyn Jean said...

Jill: There it is, your new brand! You must now include such a scene in ALL future books.

Christine: I loved your post.

AZ: You are so funny. Well, actually, I went out last night and became horribly tipsy on ONE glass of wine, like the lightweight I am, so that curtailed my reading activities somewhat. Plus I really am a slow reader if I like a book - a sentence dweller. But all this fuss about the ending has me thinking that Corine herself will turn out to be Chance's grandmother or something. An angelheart thing. Oh, my imagination is running wild!

Carolyn Jean said...

Oooh! Super thrilling events. I will make my final report tomorrow!

Sarah said...

WANT! Off to look in the shop tomorrow.