Agave Kiss by Ann Aguirre
Agave Kiss: A Corine Solomon Novel
(Description nicked from B&N.com.)
“Chance was gone; he’d sacrificed himself so Shannon and I could escape Sheol. We’d raised him on Shan’s spirit radio, which meant his soul wasn’t wholly destroyed by the demon gate….
Once Corine Solomon only had the touch—the ability to read an object’s past by handling it. Then she inherited her mother’s magick, and that ended up being a hell of a burden. But if Corine can wrestle a demon queen and win, she can bring back her lover Chance after he’s made the ultimate sacrifice. Can’t she? All Corine knows is that she can’t leave Chance behind if there’s anything she can do about it.
But the clock is ticking—and she still has to deal with debt-collecting demons and a maniacal archangel who’s running a recruitment drive. The stakes have never been so high…and this time it’s truly Corine’s last chance to save the love of her life.”
This book wrapped up the series fairly well. In the last novel, Chance died, but there was some hope of resurrecting him and finally letting him and Corine be together for good. That’s what takes up the lion’s share of this book: the search for a way to bring back Chance. Given that the series began with the two of them and their tumultuous relationship, putting the focus on them at the end works well to close out the story.
There are, however, some side trips on the way to this conclusion. The biggest one is a side plot involving Booke, Corine’s enigmatic English friend. He is much more than we’ve been led to believe until now, and he plays a key part in the final outcome of the novel. I would have liked it more if he’d shown up before the final book, because the story feels a bit rushed with trying to cover his story and Chance’s at the same time. Another side plot involves Kel and circumstances surrounding his servitude to the higher powers. Again, this is a lot to cram into one novel.
It is, however, nice to see Corine and all of her friends working together, rather than Corine going off on her own and only finding allies incidentally. Everybody pulls together in this book to create the feeling that Corine has a family that will stand by her no matter what. This is most evident at the climax, when one final effort is made to bring Chance back to the world of the living.
I also liked the little moments of humor and normalcy (for varying values of “normal”) that Aguirre includes. My favorite ones involve Butch the Chihuahua. Quite a bit smarter than a normal dog, he communicates using Scrabble tiles and he definitely has a big-dog attitude. The party at Chuch and Eva’s house was also a nice touch, allowing the characters to interact without being in the middle of a crisis.
Even though I wish some of the sub-plots had been dealt with before the last novel, I still enjoyed reading them. Agave Kiss is a great wrap-up to an interesting and action-packed series.
This review appeared on Owlcat Mountain on April 1, 2013.