I had read the first three books in Aguirre’s Sirantha Jax series and been very impressed with the quality of her writing – and how she had produced an engrossing, tough heroine in a science fiction setting, but would I enjoy her urban fantasy offering as much?
Eighteen months ago, Corine Solomon crossed the border to Mexico City, fleeing her past, her lover, and her ‘gift’ – for Corine is a handler: she can touch something and know its history, and sometimes, its future. Using her ability, she can find the missing – and that’s why people never stop trying to find her. People like her ex, Chance…
Chance’s uncanny luck has led him to her doorstep. He needs her help. Someone dear to them both has gone missing in Laredo, Texas, and the only hope of finding her is through Corine’s gift. But their search is going to get dangerous as the trail leads them into a strange dark world of demons and sorcerers, ghosts and witchcraft, zombies – and the blackest of black magic.
And that’s the blurb. Aguirre writes conflicted heroines well. I enjoyed Corine’s gutsy take on the world and her emotionally difficult backstory is depicted convincingly. I also liked Chance, and although I usually skim the love interest in urban fantasy books as I’m far more of an adventure junkie, this time I didn’t.
So, having set up a sympathetic, readable heroine, did the resulting adventures provide plenty of thrills and shocks? Yes. I was reading this on a train journey – and was relieved to be travelling to the terminus, as I risked becoming so engrossed that I would have been in danger of missing my stop had I needed to disembark before then. Once I got into the story, the resulting adventure grabbed hold and didn’t let up until the end – which did come somewhat abruptly. But perhaps that was also a result of my reluctance to surface back to reality after inhabiting Corine’s world.
Aguirre has set this adventure in southern America and Mexico, straddling both sides of the border and I enjoyed the backdrop on a chilly autumn day in Britain. I could taste the dust, the heat and felt the danger lurking in the unsavoury neighbourhoods, where Chance and Corine ended up. The cast of supporting characters were also well drawn and provided some surprises along the way that I didn’t see coming.
The climactic ending provided plenty of action, although I did feel it ended a tad sharply – but it certainly provided me with a strong inducement to want to read more of Corine’s adventures and if you enjoy well crafted adventures about evil magic users and sympathetic, enjoyable heroines, then track down this series. It’s worth it.