Thursday, December 8, 2011

Tiger Eye by Marjorie M. Liu - review

Tiger Eye

Marjorie M. Liu
paranormal romance
cover - The cover is okay, you can see by the material drifting off of the woman, that there's going to be a strong romance element to the book. But look at the background. The background is kind of cool, you can see the skyline of a major Chinese city, the setting of the beginning of the novel. I'm not really crazy about the cover, but I like the background effects.
I really enjoyed Tiger Eye. There was a very good story with great bits of danger and mayhem. Although parts of it were a bit mushy for my taste (gushy, mushy) the characters were fun and the side characters were just as interesting - some even more - as the primary characters. Even with all the love story bits that came across as a bit much for me (and a bit sudden or quick with the intensity), the surrounding mystery and storylines more than made up for it.
It's a good contemporary fantasy with a romance line along for the ride. I'm not usually a lover of romance, and I usually stay away from paranormal romance, especially the ones where the romance and sexing up take over the book, but this is worth a read. The basic plot in intriguing - Dela accidently summons a man who's been trapped in a riddle box, seemingly coincidentally, she's also suddenly dodging attempts on her life and finds herself having to go to great lengths to stay alive....are the two situations related? or completely two different situations?

Hari is a shapeshifter who has been cursed to live seemingly forever, in a riddle box, being summoned to be a complete slave - under the compulsion to do what ever the summoner commands. Whether it's fighting, killing, being a bodyguard or a sexslave, Hari is compelled to do as told. Understandably, after thousands of years, he's grown to hate, he's been abused and he's used to everything but being treated like a person. And Dela is a woman with unique powers - she sometimes has portentious (or is it portential?) dreams and has a way with metals. It's suddenly brought brutally to her attention that some of the weapons that she has created in a very artistic way has been used to kill.

Someone is out for revenge on her, and at the same time someone is after Hari, trying to get him under their control. The novel is engaging. I still think that the romance aspect came on a bit strong and a bit fast, but I realize that this is pretty standard for romance novels. Other than that though, the rest of the storyline was pretty good. The action scenes were good, lots of mayhem and good fighting scenes. The suspenseful parts were suspenseful. And the supporting characters were very interesting - so interesting that I'm interested in reading novels in the series if they contain these side characters. One of the things I enjoyed the most was the dialog between characters. Some of them were serious, and some of the characters were funny - I think Liu does a good job with dialog and narration....and if you like the gush love stuff, then you'll like her love scenes, also. *g* Some of the best or most interesting characters in Tiger Eye are the main characters in sequels - look for Artur in Shadow Touch (I have that here thanks to my British book fairy), and Dean in The Red Heart of Jade.

This is the first of the Dirk & Steele series, a series about special persons with very unique abilities. I should say that this is the first full length novel - because I believe that there was a short story first. Tiger Eye was written quite a few years before The Iron Hunt and while I did enjoye Tiger Eye, I think my favorite of the Marjorie M. Liu novels (or series) remains the Hunter Kiss novels. Happily for me, a new novel in the Hunter Kiss series is coming out - The Mortal Bone releases sometime in December of this year (2011)

If you like your paranormal romances with more story than sexxin' up, then this will be a good book for you. I think Liu's writing style has improved from a pretty good writer with this first novel to a very good writer with her newest novels - I'm referring to the Hunter Kiss series here, since Tiger Eye is the only other series I've read by Liu. Either way - Ms Liu has a wonderful writing style and can definitely come up with some interesting plots and twist, as well as characters and dialog.

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