A Wild Light
A Wild Light – Marjorie M. Liu
Obsidian shadows of the flesh…tattoos with hearts, minds, and dreams. By day, they are my armor. By night, they unwind from my body to take on forms of their own—demons of the flesh, turned into flesh.
For too long Maxine Kiss has felt an inexplicable darkness around her—a force she channels into hunting the demons bent on destroying the human race. But when she finds herself covered in blood and crouched beside her grandfather’s dead body with no memory of what happened or of the man she loves, Maxine begins to fear that the darkness has finally consumed her.
With blood on her hands and her sanity in question, Maxine must face the truth about who she really is and embrace the love of the only man who can help her—before she loses what she cares about most: her family.
When I was offered a copy of Marjorie M. Liu’s A Wild Light for review I accepted without hesitation, even though I have not read any of Liu’s previous work. I was aware of her strong reputation in the urban fantasy genre for her world building however and her books had been on my To Read list for some time so I was excited to be given the opportunity.
A Wild Light is the third book in Liu’s Hunter Kiss series. The series focuses on Maxine Kiss, a demon hunter who is herself host to five demons that she considers to be her family. If you have read any of my previous reviews you know that I value books that can stand on their own, even when they are part of a series, and because of this personal preference my first reaction to AWL was one of disappointment. I felt lost right from the beginning and had a difficult time getting into the book as there was no doubt that there was a great deal of back-story that seemed to be vital to understanding just who Maxine is and what it is that she does.
Had I purchased AWL on my own I would have been tempted to put it down less than a third of the way into the book. I stuck with it however, giving some latitude knowing that not every series can be read out of order. I am quite glad that I persisted as I was rewarded with what turned out to be an enjoyable read and I can’t wait to pick up the first two books in the series.
The beginning of the book finds poor Maxine suffering from partial amnesia, believing that she may have killed her own grandfather. She is understandably guarded with those around her and is perplexed to find that she has no recall whatsoever of the man who claims to be her lover, Grant. As she struggles to piece together the events surrounding her grandfather’s death she slowly begins recalling bits and pieces of her life with Grant, giving the reader glimpses of both of their personalities and their relationship.
While the story played out, it was the secondary characters of Mary, Jack and Maxine’s demons, (a.k.a. The Boys), who grew on me first. By the time that minor character Rex referred to Mary while talking to Maxine, “[She] told me to stand guard while she went to go cut a motherfucker”, I was hooked! The secondary characters provided humor with their respective eccentricities while a nice love story came into focus for Maxine and Grant. Add in the assorted other demons (a slew of other-worldly races who may or may not be evil) and zombies (individuals who are possessed by assorted demons but not dead), along with a pending apocalyptic demon invasion and there is plenty of action to sweep the reader away into Maxine’s world.
All in all, I found A Wild Light to be an entertaining read. Maxine’s world is a fascinating one and I look forward to reading The Iron Hunt and Darkness Calls, the first two books in the Hunter Kiss series, to learn more about it. I also look forward to getting to know Grant better as a character as he seems to be both tender and strong at the same time and I can imagine that he just might steal a woman’s heart. I rate AWL 3 1/2 Bites out of 5.
Aug 6th, 2010 at 3:41 am