I am a voracious reader.
Ever since I was a young’n, I read books like there was no tomorrow. Some of my favorites were Dr. Seuss, Ramona & Beezus, and Nancy Drew. As I numerically got older, my taste in books expanded, delving into Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harry Potter, and To Kill a Mockingbird. When I began writing, I sought out poems and plays and short satirical pieces.
Though I now prefer to read “literature,” which is mostly defined by whatever tickles my fancy, I still relish reading fantasy stories. It works my imagination in a different way from when I’m reading a particularly lovely line from a poem, and I can appreciate that.
When I first cracked open The New York Times best-selling author Marjorie M. Liu’s A Wild Light, the newest installment in the popular Hunter Kiss series, available starting today, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Catching up and piecing the story together was a little difficult because this book was third in the Hunter Kiss series, which meant that relationships and back stories that were integral to the story had already been established. Who the hell were “Zee and the boys” and what kind of “little demons” were they? Why was Maxine killing a zombie? How does someone kill a zombie? It’s already dead!
Essentially, Maxine Kiss is a demon hunter whose tattoos can unwind from her body to take on forms of their own at night. As a demon hunter, Maxine lives a lonely life, lacking in love and wishing for death, until she meets the man who changes everything for her. I quickly became engrossed in the book as I allowed my imagination to crawl over the pages and paint within the lines of the characters that Liu had created. Each character was different and unique, but Liu left just enough room for the reader to visualize however she pleased in her mind’s eye. “His cloak flared, and the tangled tendrils of his long black hair flowed around my body like the first threads of a cocoon.” Oturu’s presence is enormous and though this is but a description, there is a movement and storytelling going on within the illustration.
Relationships were particularly important as many of them were intricate and delicate, even tenuous at times. Feelings and status can change quickly or with little explanation. Though profoundly in love with Grant at the start, Maxine, after an accident that triggers the action of the plot, falls out of love and must rediscover her feelings for him.
Relationships with oneself are even difficult. Maxine’s relationship with herself is complicated as she desires to be secure and wanted while her abilities and powers prevent her from doing so. She is a liability to anyone who is dear to her. “Being alone was easier. No risk, just loneliness. No one ever died from that.”
The only difficulty I had was pinning down location. It was hard to know where the characters were at any given point in the book. The descriptions were still on par, but I could not get a clear and complete picture of the prison veil or Maxine’s old home. Perhaps this was intentional to reflect Maxine’s inability to genuinely settle down and make a home for herself or to blur the lines between the “real” world and the fantasmic one that was a constant threat to infect the lives of the “normal” human beings in the story.
Despite this slight setback, with strong characters and relationships, A Wild Light is a riveting read that will take you on an adventure with Maxine, her boys and Grant.
Intrigued? Get more info on the Hunter Kiss series of books, including A Wild Light, here.
And if you’re into the book, Liu, or any fantasy sci-fi, you’re going to love the game. Along with her book, Liu, who is also an attorney-turned-best-selling-author, wrote the script for the new game by PassionFruit Games, “Tiger Eye: Curse of the Riddle Box,” which will be featured on the biggest casual gaming site in the U.S., BigFishGames. Inspired by her book Tiger Eye, the romance-based computer game takes you to the beautiful setting of Beijing’s Dirt Market as it leads you on a sensual journey with a rather sexy leading man (rather than your typical hypersexualized women). One of the first to target women between the ages of 25 to 65, the game features voiced-acted story development along with the custom-made soundtrack and music by composer Matt Sayre, to accompany the brain teasers and logic puzzles that’ll get your blood going.
To check out the game, go here.