Ann Aguirre

A Corine Solomon novel

Gollancz (2010)

ISBN: 978-0-575-09397-3

Reviewed by Tehani Wessely

Corine Solomon is, if not happy, at least at peace in Mexico City, running a pawn shop and only indulging her painful gift for handling objects in the most delicate of ways. When her ex-boyfriend and partner, Chance, walks back into her life in desperate search for his missing mother, Corine is again dragged into the world she had left behind. Fighting feelings she tried to bury alongside battling bad guys is not an easy thing and Corine struggles with both her powers and her strong feelings for Chance that were perhaps not entirely as non-reciprocated as she had thought. Then she meets lawman Jesse Saldana, a person with a talent of his own and a penchant for women in distress, which throws another complication into what had been a simple life for Corine. But regardless of the men in her life, Corine still has to survive the threats to their lives and track down Chance’s mother, and maybe, at some point, make her peace with her past.

I enjoyed this from beginning to end. It’s been ages since I’ve read a really strong urban fantasy novel and Ann Aguirre is up there with one of my favourites, Patricia Briggs, for style, plotting and characterisation. While there is relationship stuff happening here, it’s not a central plot focus and it doesn’t degenerate into mad sex scenes at the drop of a hat – the relationships feel realistic in terms of the plot development and the characters themselves.

If you’re looking for something to move on with while you wait for the next Patricia Briggs or Keri Arthur novel to come out, Ann Aguirre is a worthy addition to your bookshelf!