Straight from the hands of my four-year-old who loves picking out pieces of paper for my contest winners, the winner is…
Jeannie Lin! Jeannie, if you would contact me off line with your address, I’ll be delighted to send you “A Wild Light.”
Thanks to both of you for playing!
A Wild Light is the third book in the Hunter Kiss series and it’s the first one of the series I’ve read. It stands on its own just fine. I suppose I didn’t devour it as fast as I might have otherwise done as I had to read slowly to digest things. (It took me three days instead of one. *Shrugs*) Still, dang, this woman can write.
This book is set in modern day America (no, this one has nothing at all to do with Asia, sorry) and is urban fantasy to the hilt of Maxine Kiss’s demon blood-soaked blade. There’s romance in that she rediscovers the love of her life after having him ripped from her memory – that happens right after her Grandfather is murdered. (Having never read the first book in the series, I cannot tell you if I would have approached this novel feeling like the romance part of the plot was a re-hash of a previous read. She did make me feel all the love and angst about their relationship, though.) Maxine struggles to find her Grandfather’s murderer and instead discovers a horrific source of evil buried deep within herself. She must find a way to overcome herself and bring about peace on earth between human or demon-kind or there will be hell to pay.
Throughout Maxine’s memory recovery and fight for personal and world-wide survival, there was never a moment when I felt the plot dip into slowness or convenience. In fact, the following passage occurs just before the novel’s halfway point, right when you might expect a reduction in plot-speed:
The darkness stirred again, but I did not push it away.
A single eye open inside my mind—its eye—and I thought, Yes, this time I need you.
They need you, said that sinuous voice, just a hiss in my mind, like a thought captured between dreams and waking. You are tangled in all those bleeding bones, and war-hearts. Your knots run deep as death, and the endless night.
“No,” I said out loud. Grant glanced at me, but only a moment. Bodies dropped from the cut in the sky. My heart charged up my throat like I was going to turn inside out, and I kept turning, and turning.
I counted dozens, maybe a hundred, falling through the sky— a cloud of silver bodies that cut through the mist like pale ghosts. I felt removed from myself as I catalogued all the alien details —long, naked limbs, flying hair, humanoid masculine bodies—until, closer yet, I saw the holes of their eyes; and closer, the sharp angles of their faces; until they slammed into the earth in front of us, so hard the world shook. Some landed in the conifers, breaking branches, but none of the demons fell—simply leapt, light as air, onto the ground to join their brothers.
Grant slid around me to stand at my back, watching the ones who landed behind us. My spine and chest began vibrating, like a tuning fork was pressed between my shoulder blades. His voice, rumbling so low I could only feel it. I flexed my hand, and the armor shimmered, white-hot, blinding—
— Until I held a sword in my hand.
It was a familiar weapon. An extension of the armor itself. A chain ran from the pommel to my wrist; delicate as the blade, which was long and slender, engraved with runes. The metal gleamed with inner light—moonlight, starlight, icelight—and when I scraped the edge with my thumb, sparks flew. I felt good holding the blade. Better. Grounded.
I forced myself to breathe, slow and deep, and thought of my mother. My fearless mother.
She’d eat these bastards for breakfast. You can have them for lunch.
Did I mention a giveaway the other day? Sigh. Thought I did. Yep, here’s the moment when I have to follow through and give up my lightly used copy. I promise the contest isn’t rigged so a “relative” wins. LOL Here’s what I’d like you to do.
Comment = 1 pt.
Mention the giveaway on any or all of the following:
Facebook = 1 pt.
Tweet it = 1 pt.
Blog it = 2 pt.
Follow me = 2 pt.
Good luck to all – even if you’re not already a fan, you’ll enjoy this book.
Addendum: My apologies. I forgot to say when the contest would end. I’ll close it up by midnight on Wednesday night, that Midnight (CST) 8/11/10.
If you’ve never read Marjorie Liu’s books, you’re in for a treat. I had seen them on the shelves. Books with sexy women, women with tattoos, women with swords. Since I tend to gravitate toward historical fantasy, I hadn’t picked up a Liu book yet.
Would you like a peak inside? I thought so. A few weeks ago, Catwoods mentioned making your characters stink. Try Liu’s shapeshifter on for size:
He reached past Dela to pick up the box, and his sudden closeness made her breath catch. She smelled moss, the musk of some forest cat, sharp and hard.
In two sentences, she conveys both Hari’s presence, his shapeshifter’s nature and his sexuality. That’s good writing.
Liu has you breathing in her world, and her characters for 342 pages and at the end, you’ll be sorry it ended. The good news is, it doesn’t have to. I received news from Liu’s press agent that a video game version of the book will be out soon. In fact, it may already be available. All ye who love the joystick as much as a page turner, get ready.
My next review is another one by Liu and as much as I hate to say it: a giveaway. I will send one lucky winner my ARC of Marjorie Liu’s “A Wild Light,” which is the next book in the Hunter Kiss series.