*This title will be released on April 3, 2012*
Good – A fun read with minor flaws. Maybe read an excerpt before buying.
The power swelled inside me, burning, hurting, but I let it center me. Pain means I’m still here, fighting. I envisioned it swelling in my hand in a seething rush, gathering, gathering, and then I sent it out on my resolve like a dark and winged thing riding the magickal wind.
As a handler, Corine Solomon can touch any object and learn its history. Her power is a gift, but one that’s thrown her life off track. The magical inheritance she received from her mother is dangerously powerful, and Corine has managed to mark herself as a black witch by dealing with demons to solve her problems.
Back home, Corine is trying to rebuild her pawnshop and her life with her ex Chance, despite the target on her back. But when the demons she provoked kidnap her best friend in retaliation, Corine puts everything on hold to save her. It’s undoubtedly a trap, but Corine would do anything to save those she loves, even if it means sacrificing herself…
DEVIL’S PUNCH is the game changer book for the Corine Solomon series. Normally, I love it when authors take big risks to shake up their series, but I think in this case it might have been too much. Without spoiling anything, two huge events transpire; one that drastically alters the tone of this book, and another that will drastically affect the tone of the next book.
Praise is due once again for the writing which is as immersive as always. We get to visit Sheol aka Hell in DEVIL’S PUNCH, which provides plenty of opportunity for Aguirre to transport her readers with numerous delightful descriptions of various demons, underworld cities, and some very enchanting clothing options. Also enjoyable is the romantic decisiveness that Corine finally shows. She has made her choice and sticks with it. The early chapters with Corine and Chance re-learning each other were remarkably tender and very romantic. Chance finally let his guard down and revealed a lot about his past and it helped him endear himself to me in a way that he hadn’t managed in the previous books. And if the rest of the book could have stayed in that sweet spot, this would be another 4 bat review.
I can’t say I really enjoyed the changes made to either Corine or Chance in the course of DEVIL’S PUNCH. To be fair, with Corine, there were several hints from the previous books that led up to this change, but it was such a departure that, combined with the new setting, made DEVIL’S PUNCH almost feel like a book from a different series. Very little page time is spent in Mexico, and most of the supporting characters are no shows. So while I’d give the first half a 4/5, I unfortunately have to give the second half a 2/5. I don’t really know what’s going to happen in AGAVE KISS when it releases in March 2013. Several issues will have to carry over, which I’m not thrilled about, but hopefully, the oh-so-good stuff from the previous books will be back too.