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…
Corine is back in this fourth book of the Corine Solomon series, by Ann Aguirre! I have waited a year for this installment and it was totally the wait.
Since the events in the last book, Shady Lady, we know that her friend Shannon no longer remembers her. Corine has basically lost a best friend and a would-be boyfriend by using a “simple” magic trick that went really wrong. Oops! When Shannon goes missing, and it’s revealed she is being held in Sheol, it’s a no-brainer for Corine to go find her. Corine had made all these plans with Shannon, and losing her has been gut-wrenching, the only female friend she has ever had. Chance is trying very hard to prove himself and how genuine he is that he is ready to move forward with Corine and win her back. When Corine sets off to Sheol, Chance goes with her. And that’s the setup for a wild awesome ride.
For me, everything that happened in this book came out of left-field, in that I was not expecting any of it. Rest assured though, it all worked. The journey becomes epic as memories are rehashed, flashbacks are had, and revelations are made.There was one revelation having to do with Shannon that made my heart sink to my stomach for Corine, and it took a while for me to get comfortable with. I felt as though I was digesting the information right along with Corine, and let me tell you, her friendship with Shannon was truly awesome to watch. During events of the previous book I wasn’t so sure where the romance arc was going, or if there’d even be one, but this story solidified how I believe the series will end. And I could not be any more pleased. I enjoy Corine’s narration so much, especially between her and Chance.
I didn’t want to love him again; I feared it, but he had a siren’s call bound up in his tiger eyes and tawny skin. With Chance, I suspected – in the end – I would walk into the water, smiling, and let it close over my head.
I was worried that Kel’s absence would be felt in Devil’s Punch, after Ann Aguirre revealed on Twitter he wasn’t in this book; especially after his dramatic character evolution in Shady Lady. That being said, his absence did not detract from the story at all. As Corine travels to Sheol, it is an awesome journey of new critters and demon species. I loved the new characters and creatures Ann Aguirre created!! It was an entirely new and different world, and it was awesome. There is a fantastic secondary character introduced named Greydusk who totally won me over. I felt like I was really with them on their journey through Sheol, the characters were so vivid and the different areas and castes of Sheol were fascinating. There were some really hard parts to endure, all gorey and macabre, which I love.
Greydusk opened the door and a host of spiders poured out. Only they weren’t normal, household spiders. Which would’ve been bad enough.
No, these were the size of small dogs, like, say the one cowering in my handbag, and they all had long, excessively hairy legs, and the purple wizened faces of human babies that had been dead for four or five days. They chattered as they rushed at us.
Once again, Ann Aguirre’s ability to create a new world for us from the ground up is nothing short of spectacular and I continue to make this one of my favorite UF series out there. I am sad to know there is only one book left, but excited for it to come so we can see just what is left in store for Corine Solomon.
The Corine Solomon series is a 5 Book Urban Fantasy series, and you must read the books in order. Here is the reading order, along with my previous review links, for your convenience: