(WARNING_POTENTIALLY VAGUE SPOILERISH ACTION AHEAD!!!)
I've been waiting for this sequel since I devoured the first book. I've been practically a stalker at Borders's waiting for this book to arrive (I'm embarrassed to say I went three days in a row and they finally got it out of the back a few hours early just to get rid of me. I liked Blue Diablo that much (even despite part of it being so over the top it was laughable), I still loved it. I loved Corinne's gift and the payment it extolled, Chance's gift and his rolling the coin as a nervous habit (which Corinne says he does all the time and had since she knew him...and yet in this book NOT ONCE). That should have been a clue for me something wasn't right. She does get an extra point though for it being an urban fantasy without a single vampire, or werewolf in the mix.
I really loved Blue Diablo's characters, their crazy abilities which were unique in Urban Fantasy and the plot was really different. I loved the tension between Corinne and Chance, and while I couldn't really understand why she was so hard on him, it seemed a given they would get back together at some point. I liked the mentor Jesse and loved Eva and Chuch and even their intellectual but possibly mobility challenged helper Chuch from England who they reach out to for help on the arcane. I especially loved the dog Butch that Corinne and Chance pick up along the way that is some supernaturally hypersmart protector that reminded me of a mini (very mini) version of Jim Butcher's character's dog in the Harry Dresden mysteries. I even loved the crazy Killer for God Kel.
In this highly anticipated sequel, Chance has promised Corinne to turn his "Luck" towards finding out who killed her mother. The two travel with their trusty side kick Butch the chiuhuahua to the town where Corinne's Mother whas killed by the towns people of a creepy gothic stuck in the 50's southern town.
This sequel loses some of its charm by Eva and Chuch's absense ( I just loved that couple) and a lot of it's excitement by Kel's absence. There is limited interaction, with Booke. He was mysterious and very interesting in BD bur in HF what there is is so over the top it threw me out of my ability to believe in the world during that scene.
Jesse (Corinne's mentor) shows up to help, and they meet a new ally. I liked Jesse a lot better in the first book, in this one he kind of just seems in the way and as there as a plot device to keep Corinne doing her emotional waffling. Hell Fire didn't have the nervous excitement and tension of the last book, and Corinne spends too much time basically being a "tease" to both of the men in her life. Two men, in love with the same woman, one of whom was her live in lover for years, in the same house under stressful circumstances, you'd expect a blow up, some real sexual tension.
Nope. At one point the guys show extreme maturity and make a pact to "back off" and stop trying to get with her while they are all cooped up in the creepy old house, which is more then Corinne is willing to do because she would go from making out with one guy in one room and 15 minutes later making out with the other guy in another room. I was ready to kill her. Chance is doing everything she's asked of him or said she wanted, (other then telling her a personal mystery that he probably would divulge if she'd committ)but she keeps acting like he broke her heart adn did terrible things to her when it seems like the worst thing he did was be a little emotionally distant which he is more then making up for in this book. Jesse drives all the way across the country, for a "feeling" he had she was in trouble. This after she killed left him with no real goodbye after having killed his partner and left a field full of dead women's bodies parts she and Chance tore up and a dead partner (Okay in her defence the women were zombies but still...as a cop he probably had a LOT of paper work).
The book started off great but about half way through it started losing steam for me and towards the end, when I realized the decisions she was making I wanted to throw the book. Actually I did throw the book. Somewhere along the line in this book...Corinee became unlikeable for me.
There will probably be another sequel, someone will be in danger (Eva and Chuch?) and the Scooby Do team will have to be reassembled but I can say, I won't be hounding the poor staff at Border's for it. I felt like Corinne had been a tease to the guys for two books, and based on her final decision now she was being a tease to the readers.