Friday, April 17, 2009

On the first 35 pages (and last 6!) of Blue Diablo by Ann Aguirre

Spoiler level of this post: Extremely low.

On the last 6 pages...

It's not what you're thinking! I NEVER read the end of a book first. EVER. In fact, I don't even like spoilers past the first few chapters. In this case, I'm referring to the last 6 pages bound in Blue Diablo, which happen to be an excerpt from Doubleblind, book 3 in Ann Aguirre's Sirantha Jax Sci fi romance series.  Of course I had to go there right away!

If you're all caught up in the Sirantha Jax series, you know Wanderlust ended on a bittersweet note of sorts. So when I started reading the excerpt, I put my mind where it was upon finishing Wanderlust and without conscious thought, my heart went there, too! Combine heart wrenching remembrance with an alarming chapter excerpt of Doubleblind and wham! I really need it to be October asap, you know?

On the first 35 pages of Blue Diablo...

I don't often blog about books before I'm finished reading them. Usually I wait until I write a review, but already after having only read the first 35 pages of Blue Diablo, I thought of a few things I wanted to share that I probably wouldn't mention in a review. First, is the fact that the chapters in Blue Diablo have titles! I've become so accustomed to chapters simply being numbered, that I forgot how much I really love titled chapters. It just adds a little layer of creativity, sometimes a play on words as it pertains to the story and almost always offers foreshadowing that increases my anticipation about what's going to happen next. Chance Met, West of Normal, If Wishes Were Candy, Soul of Discretion, and The Fiddler Calls the Tune are just a few examples. And yes, I had to peek ahead just to check out some of the chapter titles, but don't they make you want to read what's in them? It certainly makes me want to read just one more chapter every time it's time to put the book down.

The other thing I wanted to share is that after having merely read the first 35 pages of Blue Diablo, my personal vocabulary has been expanded by six words--seven if you count the short chapter excerpt of Doubleblind in the back (Thanks, Ann!)! I would estimate that I probably have to look up maybe 0-3 words in a typical book I read, but some of my favorite authors make me hit that dictionary widget way more than others. Nalini Singh, Meredith Duran, Meljean Brook and Ann Aguirre all come to mind. I can often figure out the word in context, but I usually look it up anyway so that I have a precise definition.

My Blue Diablo vocabulary list (pp. 1-35):

1. deluge
2. ostensibly
3. parlay
4. benighted
5. unguent
6. gewgaws

... and from the Doubleblind excerpt:
7. limns

I'm too lazy to type the definitions, though, so if you don't know their meanings, you'll have to just go look them up. ;p

Finally, I'll share my first impressions of the story so far. Again, I've only read the first 35 pages of Blue Diablo, but already Corine is a character with depth and complexity that I'm itching to get to know better. The story is told in the first person past tense, so the reader gets all kinds of tidbits and glimpses into who Corine Solomon really is. The narration from her point of view, and through her thoughts and reflections on the past and present, the reader is discovering what makes her who she is. The narration is both thoughtful and entertaining, providing the reader these little pieces to the Corine Solomon puzzle. Just as some pieces fall into place, though, the need to find even more missing pieces arises, keeping me speculating and wanting to know more, more, more. She's a very interesting character and now that her ex just came on the scene, I want to figure out both Corine and Chance and how they fit together. I'm not saying they necessarily belong together, but they do fit together in some way or another. There's only one way to find out. Keep reading!


  1. Ann is helping her readers learn new words and become smarties :D

  2. about the vocabulary:

    1. deluge - learned it from the PS2 game Okami. Never say you don't learn anything from a game! ;)
    3. parlay - learned it from the movie Pirates of the Caribbean2 + 4 - thought I knew and never looked them up before now: turned out I was right. Yay!
    5 + 6 + 7 - never saw or heard them before. Now I know. Thanks!

    Happy reading. :)

  3. The book I just read, The Betrayal, it has titled chapters. But not like Blue Diablo. They are location titles. It's neat. There is another book I read recently that has titles also. I like it too. Adds a little something special to the story.

  4. You freak! I can't believe you read the last 6 pages. I was scared to read this post because I'm just past the middle of this book.

    So aren't you loving it? I am. I noticed the chapter titles, too. Very mod of that Ann to do chapter titles.

  5. You are too funny Christine. "Blue Diablo", rocked and yes "Corine" aka Ann Aguirre does have an extensive vocabulary.

    I can't wait for the next book!

    I hope all is well with you. :)

    Warm Regards

  6. Wow, what cool comments by page 35! Can't wait to hear what you think of the whole book.

  7. I like learning new words :) The number of new words in the first two Sarah Monette books was slightly scary though...or else I've been slipping :)

    I can't wait to read this book!

  8. I'm reading this now and I'm enjoying it.


  9. I'm so looking forward to reading this one!

  10. Couldn't agree more- it only took a couple of pages (if that) before I was completely lost to Corine's world. And the funny thing is, even though it IS 1st person, Ann's writing is so alive that, through much of the book, I didn't even NOTICE that we are only getting Corine's POV!

  11. "Ann's writing is so alive that, through much of the book, I didn't even NOTICE that we are only getting Corine's POV!"Yes!

    When a first person narrative disappears for the reader, it's a winner on so many levels!


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