Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Iron Hunt by Marjorie M. Liu

Back Blurb:

Silver smoke winds around my torso, peeling away from my ribs and back, stealing the dark mist covering my hands and lower extremities...tattoos dissolving into demon flesh, coalescing into small dark bodies. My boys. The only friends I have in this world. Demons.

I am a demon hunter. I am a demon. I am Hunter Kiss.

By day, her tattoos are her armor. By night, they undwind from her body to take on forms of their own--demons of the flesh, turned into flesh. This is the only family demon hunter Maxine Kiss has ever known. It's the only way to live, and the very way she'll die. For one day her demons will abandon her for her daughter to assure their own survival--leaving Maxine helpless against her enemies.

But such is the way of Earth's last protector--the only one standing between humanity and the demons breaking out from behind the prison veil. It is a life lacking in love, reveling in death, until one moment--and one man--changes everything...

Hoo boy, this story was very intense. Dark, twisted and very messed up. I would definitely classify it as Urban Fantasy. There's a hint of romance, but this story is all about Maxine.

How do I even begin to descibe the story? I guess the best way to start is saying that it's written 100% in Maxine's POV. First person point of view definitely works in this story. Maxine's life has never been easy. Her mother died when she was 21 in a violent end and Maxine took over as Hunter.

Yeah, this one is sooooo hard to even try to define. I think it's best if I do a bulleted break down. Trying to go over everything makes my head spin.

  • 305 pages of non stop action. Yay action
  • A really trippy mythology. Check.
  • A kick-butt heroine who takes crazy chances and still survives. Check.
  • Secrets upon secrets revealed, but with more hidden. Check.
  • Friends who become foes. Check.
  • Foes who become friends. Check.
  • Ambivalent characters the heroine isn't sure of. Check.
  • Bizarre happenings that defy explanation. Check.
  • A hot man who is either the best or worst thing in the heroine's life. Check.
  • A balance of good and evil that's tipping more towards evil. Check.

Looking at it that way, it's just like every other UF out there. Trust me, it's not. Open ending definitely points to future books. I think the thing that makes the story stand out more than anything is Ms. Liu's writing style. There is something so lyrical and almost musical about her wordsmithing. It's really fascinating to delve into the woman's imagination. It's almost scary. :)

What I liked about the story-

  • Maxine. Though her life has been anything but simple, she's not a martyr. She does her job and she does her best to protect those who are dear to her. Her life is almost literally hell, yet she's able to find light in some very strange places.
  • Grant. Just exactly who is he? It's still not answered 100%, but I am totally intrigued. :)
  • Maxine's Tattoos/Demons. They love her and do everything they can to protect her. However, what exactly are they keeping from her? If someone can figure that out, please let me know.
  • The world that's been created. Fascinating. Very intense and dark, but cool all the same.
  • Jack. What is going on there? Definitely more secrets that need to come out.
  • Tracker. Um...yeah, still trying to figure that one out. Sounds hot though and has potential. :)

What I didn't like-

  • Too many questions left unanswered. This is what I seriously hate about openended series like this. Too many questions asked, but so little given back. Argh!

Actually, that's it, but if you read this book, you'll know exactly what I mean. There are too many things that happen that just aren't explained. If she continues the story and gives answers, I'll be happy. If this is the only book? Heads will roll. :(

My Rating: B-


Ciara said...

I had more questions finishing the book than when I started! But her writing is amazing. And her imagination is impressive. I just wanted more explanations.

Sarai said...

So I just like that my name is in it even though I haven't read it yet... just sayin'