Sunday, August 1, 2010

A Wild Light

A Wild Light


Marjorie M. Liu
released July 27th

This is the third full length novel of the Hunter Kiss series. Each book just gets better and brings more layers, or rather reveals more layers to Maxine Kiss' story. Marjorie M Liu writes the most lyrical horror that I've ever read. Her novels are always well written, containing words that make the novel almost feel like poetry - dark fantasy, horror poetry.

First though, the cover. I love the covers on these three books. Mostly for the tattoo depictions - which are really the demons that protect Maxine. I have to say though, that I wish the second and third books showed more of a profile at least - like the cover of Iron Hunt. See, the character (though it's not really mentioned much in the second and third novel) is at least part Asian. The first novel's cover reflects this with the beautiful profile of an Asian Woman. Now, this might sound a bit strange, but I have this thing about noses. I love African and Asian shaped noses. I like them because they are NOT narrow, or pointy....there is a sweetly rounded look to it. I'm not explaining it right, but I prefer this type of nose. :) I ALSO think that the tilt or shapes of different Asian eyes are beautiful and you get a tiny tease of this with the first book's cover. I wish it were focused on more with the other covers. In fact, a full-on face reflecting her Asian heritage would be even better, but then for the third book, it would have been hard to visualize the silver ring-turned-bracelet-turned gauntlett. I also wish her skin looked a bit more Asian....I suppose there are some Asians that are lighter skinned, but I think it would be just as beautiful (if not more) with the dark golden skin that Asian people are blessed with. I'm impatient to see more covers that accurately depict the heritage of the women described in the novels. If you have Iron Hunt, pull it out and really LOOK at the face of the cover model. Beautifully Asian. (HEAR me publishers {like they're all reading this blog - LOL-but I have to say it!} it's OKAY to depict POC - people of COLOR on the covers of our books, in fact - it's PREFERRED!) For that, I think Iron Hunt has one of the best urban fantasy covers I've ever seen.

Maxine and her "boys" return, along with her boyfriend Grant - only this time the story starts out with Maxine waking up, slowly realizing that something's wrong and finding her grandfather dead. (not a spoiler, this is in the back cover). Even her little demon boys don't know what happen, or rather won't say. A man walks in that Maxine doesn't know....except her boys know him and accept him...She has lost of her memory of Grant, her boyfriend. This is major, because in the first book, the two created a bond between them. This beginning is intense and amazing.

Since her grandfather is really an immortal being, there's more to this murder than meets the eye. Maxine, Grant, Byron (her "foster" -unofficially foster, that is- boy) are taken on quite a journey. Maxine learns a lot about her past and her ancestry. Grant learns some more about what he really is. The silver "ring" Maxine put on in Iron Hunt, grew tendrils to extend to her wrist in Darkness Calls and has become a more elaborate and larger in A Wild Light. Look at her right hand in the cover - it's beautiful. It's a character in it's own right. The "veil" is continuing to weaken...All kinds of things are coming together, and more is falling apart.

This is one of those books that pull me in, that I can say that from the first page to the last, I loved reading every second of it. I know this was JUST released, but DAMN! I already want to read more about Maxine and her little demons - whom are pretty bad-ass. Even though there were a lot of answers given by the end of A Wild Light, you know more is going to happen. But now there is a little core group of people who are working with Maxine - her boyfriend Grant, the Father Lawrence (who's gotten a bit hairy), Killy, Byron, the marijuana smoking elderly Mary, and a few sometime allies that happen to be Zombies. Note the twin demons - they are always humming or singing a song that pertains to the situation at hand. One of the things I enjoy in this novel, and the previous two.

Marjorie M. Liu never writes lame dialogue, :), and always produces a wonderfully dark, lyrical book with Maxine Kiss. Her characters are mysterious and compelling. Her world is at once gloomy and bright. You won't be disappointed with A Wild Light. While it might be possible to read A Wild Light without reading the first two, you'll get more enjoyment if you start with Iron Hunt, Darkness Calls and finish with A Wild Light. Marjorie M. Liu has been on my auto buy list ever since Iron Kiss came out - though with Darkness Calls I put it on the shelf and left it, knowing I could read it at anytime and enjoy it. After reading it though - the second it came in the mail, I put aside the book I was reading (for the second time-it's good, but it's not a Maxine book) and dived right into A Wild Light. There is a companion short story in the Anthology, Wild Thing, that unfortunately I have not been able to read yet.

Ms Liu also writes paranormal (I think they're paranormal romance, but not sure) series called Dirk & Steele. I haven't tried them yet, because I focus on books that don't have much romance in them, but I'm very tempted to pick one up soon. If anyone has a recommendation on which Dirk & Steele book is the best (I hear there are quite a few in the series) I'd love to hear about it.

Last thought - maybe I'm repeating myself, but A Wild Light, like the first two novels, is a beautiful, lyrical, horror/fantasy. Loved it.

Reading Challenges
POC Reading Challenge for both the author and the main character
Speculative Fiction Reading Challenge

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