Tag Archives: Marjorie Liu

The Iron Hunt by Marjorie M. Liu

Overview
The Iron Hunt (Hunter Kiss, #1) by Marjorie M. Liu

Title: The Iron Hunt
Author: Marjorie M. Liu
Series: Hunter Kiss #1
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Demons, Paranormal fantasy, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 22nd May – 19th June 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Ace Fantasy
Year: 2008
5th sentence, 74th page: For the first time in my life, I did not care.

Synopsis

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 unwind 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…

Thoughts

I’ve been hanging to fully get into this series since I read the first Hunter Kiss novella. But, for whatever reasons I’ve been putting it off. But, now I’m definitely going to keep diving into this series. There’s the whole intrigue of the end of the world going on. And a question of heart. A question of loyalty. There’s just a whole lot of wow going on.

I like that Maxine is the first if the hunter women to actually stop and put down roots. They’re still unconventional. But they are roots, nonetheless. It creates a wonderful, sweet and nice world that she is able to rely on. And, since this whole series seems like its going to revolve around the idea that maxine is special and last… it just adds that extra layer of mystery.

I really loved the feeling of mystery and world building that Liu was able to create. I know from some of the other works I’ve read by her that she tends towards a darker style of story. I know that my heart strings are going to be plucked drastically throughout this series.

The boys that surround marine are also adorable. I’m sure that finding demons adorable is a bit odd… but nevertheless, I still find them wonderful. And im not sure if I’m excited for Darkness Calls for the continuation of the storyline… or getting to spend more time with Maxine’s “boys”

<- Hunter KissDarkness Calls ->

Image source: Goodreads

The Chosen by Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda

Overview
Monstress, Vol. 4: The Chosen by Marjorie M. Liu

Title: The Chosen
Author: Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda
Series: Monstress #4
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Graphic novels, Steampunk
Dates read: 27th March 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Graphic novel
Publisher: image
Year: 2019
5th sentence, 74th page: It will just take time for lesser beings to grasp the truth.

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Synopsis

A new war between humans and Arcanics is bubbling to the surface. A rift in the sky has revealed the devastating potential of the long-imprisoner Monstra. And Maika Halfwolf is at the center of it all.

In this fourth volume of MONSTRESS, collecting issues 19 – 24, Maika comes closer than ever before to the answers she’s long sought – but those answers carry a steep price. As her friends and allies reveal long-held secrets and shifting allegiances, Maika finds herself at the mercy of the Lord Doctor, a charismatic demagogue whose connections to Maika and Zinn run deeper than anyone could have imagined.

Thoughts

This is a glorious graphic novel. Just like the rest of the books in the Monstress series. They are dark, twisted and intense. Completely, beautifully graphic. And I honestly can’t tear my eyes away from the pages whenever I open that first page.

The plot is seriously thickening in this series. I am waiting impatiently for the next collection to come out because, as with every other volume in this series – it ends on a bit of a cliff hanger. There is something about this that makes you ridiculously excited to pick up the next story and immerse yourself again and again and again. But, now I have to wait…

Graphic novels are a medium that are seriously growing on me. However, I still do find that I can’t keep track of the characters as well as I do when it’s a novel written in prose. So there were probably a few important moments throughout this that I missed. A few key characters from the past that are reappearing, and it took me a little longer than it usually would to recognise them. Yet, this makes the adventure so much more fun. After all, I’m stretching some new mental muscles in doing so.

This is definitely a book that I’m going to pick up again and again and again. Whenever I want something a little bit dark, and kind of easy to enjoy. It’s just fantastic and completely impossible to forget.

 <- Haven ReviewAwakening Review ->

Image source: Goodreads

Haven by Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda

Overview
Image result for monstress 3 haven book cover

Title: Haven
Author: Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda
Series: Monstress #3
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Graphic novels, Steampunk
Dates read: 19th September 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Graphic novel
Publisher: image
Year: 2018
5th sentence, 74th page: If we’re here, it’s because family protects family.

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Synopsis

Maika Halfwolf has begun to unlock the mysteries of her past – but the challenges of the present are only growing. In this third volume of MONSTRESS, collecting issues 13-18, Maika’s journey takes her to the neutral city of Pontus, where she hopes to find temporary refuge from her pursuers. Unfortunately, Pontus may not be as safe as Maika and her allies had hoped.

s the impending war between humans and Arcanics creeps ever closer, and powerful players fight for the chance to control her future, Maika finds she must work with Zinn, the Monstrum that lives inside her, in order to ensure their mutual survival. But even that alliance might not be enough to prepare Maika for the horrors to come.

Thoughts

I’ve been putting off reading the next instalment in The Monstress series until it would complete a little more of one of my reading challenges… and when it finally came up on that week in my challenge… well, I completely devoured this. It probably helped that I was having a kind of dark week, and the darkness in the illustrations and storyline of this graphic novel hit the spot perfectly… now I just have to save up the money for the next book in the series…

I’m not someone who reads a lot of graphic novels… actually I’ve really only become interested in the genre in the last eighteen months… but for me, this is everything I never knew I wanted in a graphic novel. A fantastic combination of east and west… with a very healthy dose of mythology and steampunk thrown into the mix. But, mostly, I’ve loved how as this series has progressed, the story has gotten darker and darker, more complex and intensely twisty.

What started as an easy story about Maika Halfwolf has by this point become an incredibly complex tale of politics, war and the gods. There are a few points throughout which I lost a bit of track of who was who, but it was incredibly easy to quickly pick up the thread of the storyline again. After all, Liu and Takeda have done an amazing job of telling the story.

Although I enjoy this story, it is the stunning beauty and power of the illustrations which truly drew me in. There is an intensity and power to the panels which I haven’t seen in many illustrations, one that will leave goose bumps up your arms as you flick through the pages. And quite possibly linger in your dreams when you lay your head down at night.

 <- The Blood ReviewThe Chosen Review ->
Image source: image Comics

Sympathy for the Bones by Marjorie M. Liu

Overview
Image result for an apple for the creature book cover

Title: Sympathy for the Bones
Author: Marjorie M. Liu
In: An Apple for the Creature (Charlaine Harris & Toni L. P. Kelner)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Horror, Witches
Dates read: 7th May 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Ace Books
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: All my teaching will be for naught if you keep up this way.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

Ruth thought she was raised by someone who loved her. But now she realises that that’s just not quite the case… and she’ll do anything to get out of this sticky situation.

Thoughts

I haven’t read many stories about voodoo or hoodoo (I know there’s a difference, I just don’t know what that difference is…). Yet, it’s something that fascinates me. Which of course immediately drew me into this short story. Especially when the lead female voice was so strong and obviously unhappy with her trainer. Unhappy with the atrocities that she is committing over and over again because the elderly woman is asking her to.

I knew that there would be a bit of blood and death in this story – after all, the title is Sympathy for the Bones. What I didn’t expect was the grave digging, the darkness and the ability of the lead female to turn this darkness to her own advantage. Though I’m not sure if she’s good and was going to walk of into the sunset and live happily ever after. Actually, it kind of felt like she was just following in her mentor’s footsteps and not really pursuing the freedom that she so dearly wished for.

 <- Academy Field Trip ReviewLow School Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

Holidays Are Hell by Kim Harrisson, Lynsay Sands, Marjorie M. Liu & Vicki Pettersson

Overview
Holidays Are Hell

Title: Holidays are Hell
Author: Kim Harrison, Lynsay Sands, Marjorie M. Liu & Vicki Pettersson
In: Holidays Are Hell (Kim Harrison, Lynsay Sands, Marjorie M. Liu & Vicki Pettersson)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: ChristmasShort story collections, Urban fantasy
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: Harper Fiction
Year: 2007
5th sentence, 74th page: The cold hit me, and I held my crossed arms close now for warmth.

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Synopsis

This holiday, spend quality time with family and loved ones—living and dead . . .

There’s no place like home for the horrordays—unless you’d prefer a romantic midnight walk through a ghost-infested graveyard . . . or a haunted house candlelight dinner with the sexy vampire of your dreams. The (black) magical season is here—and whether it’s a solstice séance gone demonically wrong with the incomparable Kim Harrison, a grossly misshapen Christmas with the remarkable Lynsay Sands, a blood-chilling-and-spilling New Year’s with the wonderful Marjorie M. Liu, or a super-powered Thanksgiving with the phenomenal Vicki Pettersson, one thing is for certain: in the able hands of these exceptional dark side explorers, the holidays are going to be deliciously hellish!

Thoughts

I was expecting a far more intense Christmas-theme throughout this collection of four novellas. Although all four are set within the holiday season, one of the stories heavily themes Thanksgiving, another the Chinese New Year. So, although not completely about Christmas, the holiday themes that I was expecting were still there, playing a great backdrop against the urban fantasy battles and tales that unfold across the pages.

Compared to the rest of the holiday collections I’ve been reading recently, Holidays Are Hell has a much darker spin on the holidays. The stories that take up this collection aren’t completely dark and twisty, but they’re not light, shining and hopeful. Kind of a bit more realistic about the joys of Christmas as I’ve felt them for the last few years…

 <- The Harvest ReviewTwo Ghosts for Sister Rachel Review ->
Image source: Harper Collins Publishers

Six by Marjorie M. Liu

Overview
Holidays Are Hell

Title: Six
Author: Marjorie M. Liu
In: Holidays Are Hell (Kim Harrison, Lynsay Sands, Marjorie M. Liu & Vicki Pettersson)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Strong women, Urban fantasy, Vampires
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: Harper Fiction
Year: 2007
5th sentence, 74th page: His Chinese had an English accent, and he was tall and clean-cut, clad in a navy suit with a lilac tie.

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Synopsis

Six is a well trained agent for China. It isn’t until she meets Joseph, a necromancer that she finally meets her match. And her first vampire. And that’s where things quickly begin to unravel.

Thoughts

I absolutely adored this novella. It’s fast-paced, kind of sassy and full of action. Not to mention the woman in the couple is the one more likely to kick your ass. That, and all of this fast-paced, sassy action takes place in Shanghai, with the backdrop of the Chinese New Year. The setting gives an extra layer of character and beauty to the storyline that I don’t often experience in novellas.

I enjoyed this version of “vampires”. It didn’t take the normal shape of blood-sucking fiends, but it did have the same thematic tones as other vampire stories. Mixing in a necromancer or two just helps to up the stakes and create a world that I’m really disappointed only exists in this one novella. I actually went online hunting to see if this is part of a greater series or word. But, alas, it isn’t.

Although I thoroughly enjoy the urban fantasy aspects of this tale, I think that the bit I enjoyed the most is the Chinese background. You can tell that Liu has spent time in Shanghai at the turn of the year, her familiarity almost screams from the page. The characters and the storyline won’t fail to draw you in, but it is the setting that has made this such a memorable tale for me.

 <- Run, Run, Rudolph ReviewThe Harvest Review ->
Image source: Harper Collins Publishers

Wild Thing by Marjorie M. Liu, Maggie Shayne, Alyssa Day & Meljean Brook

Overview
Wild Thing

Title: Wild Thing
Author: Marjorie M. Liu, Maggie Shayne, Alyssa Day & Meljean Brook
In: Wild Thing (Marjorie M. Liu, Maggie Shayne, Alyssa Day & Meljean Brook)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Short story collections, Urban fantasy
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Year: 2007
5th sentence, 74th page: Plump, ripe, sweet.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

Four extraordinary talents bring the most uncommon desires to life in a bold new anthology of romance on the edge.

Enter the forbidden and recklessly exciting world of the demon horde and their willing victims…

Listen to the secrets of a beautiful animal whisperer who’s drawn intimately closer to danger, and to the most suspect of all male animals – man…

Get swept away by the passions that rise out of the unfathomable depths of the lost city of Atlantis…

Follow the dark shadows that stalk both the living and the undead in a world of restless vampires and guardian angels…

Thoughts

I tend to buy these small collections of novellas to contribute to one of the series on my shelf. And then when I read them, I get to discover new authors and series that just continue to expand on my collection…

I loved this collection of novellas. I was expecting a very mushy gushy collection judging by the fact that it is classified as paranormal romance. However, it wasn’t like that at all. Each of the stories did feature sex and some form of romance, but it wasn’t incredibly intense. The sexual tension helped to add an extra layer to the storyline, without taking over it.

And don’t get me wrong… I love the stories that are all about the romance, but sometimes it’s nice to have a set of stories which have a sexual tension component, without it just being about that.

 <- Animal Magnetism ReviewWild Hearts in Atlantis Review ->
Image source: Amazon

Hunter Kiss by Marjorie M. Liu

Overview
Wild Thing

Title: Hunter Kiss
Author: Marjorie M. Liu
Series: Hunter Kiss #0.5
In: Wild Thing (Marjorie M. Liu, Maggie Shayne, Alyssa Day & Meljean Brook)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Demons, Paranormal fantasyUrban fantasy
Pace: Medium
Format: Novella
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Year: 2007
5th sentence, 74th page: We are questioned separately, but spin stories of surprise and confusion and who-could-do-such-a-thing.

Synopsis

Enter the forbidden and recklessly exciting world of the demon horde and their willing victims…

Thoughts

I loved the prose in this. It was jumpy and a little all over the place. Quite sharp and to the point. And not really the kind of prose I would have expected from a novella in a paranormal romance collection. It wasn’t really that heavy on the romance either, that was just kind of slotted in. Which I appreciated immensely. After all, what I like about this series (the novella that I have already read anyway) is the darkness of it and the intensity.

This is the start of Hunter Kiss, a little romantic introduction that (I’m assuming) sets you up for the rest of the series. And it is one that worked really very well for me. I found it thoroughly enjoyable, if anything, a little too enjoyable in that it makes me want to not finish any of the other books on my “currently reading” pile and just jump straight into The Iron Hunt. It is taking a lot of self-control to not do this. And to you know… continue doing the work that I’m actually supposed to be doing (that I get paid to do).

This isn’t the fast-paced novella that I was expecting. Although there are demons and external impacts on Grant and Maxine, most of the story is about them getting to know each other. Specifically, it is about Maxine being introduced to her reader in all of her weird and abnormal glory. And what an introduction it is… now to hide The Iron Hunt somewhere safe so I can be a little more productive in my life…

 <- ParadiseThe Iron Hunt ->

Image source: Amazon

Armor of Roses by Marjorie Liu

Overview
Inked

Title: Armor of Roses
Author: Marjorie Liu
Series: Hunter Kiss #3.5
In: Inked (Karen Chance, Marjorie M. Liu, Yasmine Galenorn & Eileen Wilks)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, DemonsParanormal fantasy
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: Berkley Books
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: It was 1944, but this could have been a quiet street sixty years from now.

Synopsis

When New York Times bestselling author Marjorie M. Liu’s demon hunter Maxine Kiss investigates a grisly murder, she finds herself involved in a conspiracy dating back to World War II – and a secret mission that her grandmother may have carried out for the U.S. government, one that involes the mysterious “Armor of Roses.”

Thoughts

Lately I’ve been enjoying a graphic novel series by Marjorie M. Liu & Sana Takeda. So, I already knew that I enjoyed this author. However, reading this novella showed me that she is certainly one that I need to buy more of! And now I have to wait for the books to arrive…

I really enjoyed the swanky opening scene of this story – it was a swanky yacht with a very different crowd and a woman who so completely obviously didn’t fit in. Which, of course, drew me in immediately. Maxine is literally a woman who is surrounded by demons… luckily they are her constant friends and companions. But, it does make it a little difficult for her to fit in with the rest of the crowd she is originally surrounded by. Luckily, this quickly changes and she heads into a world that far better suits her companions.

I really wasn’t expecting a time travel component to this story. Or a greater conspiracy that would draw in World War II. But, it worked brilliantly and it was impossible to put down from the moment Maxine was forced to visit her grandmother. It was a really good journey and, as with all stories that I love, it didn’t go where I expected or predicted. Although, it did kind of hint at the first two novels in this series that I haven’t yet read… which might ruin the storyline a little, but certainly something that I look forward to regardless.

<- Skin DeepEtched in Silver ->

Image source: Penguin Random House

Inked by Karen Chance, Marjorie Liu, Yasmine Galenorn & Eileen Wilks

Overview

InkedTitle: Inked
Author: Karen Chance, Marjorie Liu, Yasmine Galenorn & Eileen Wilks
In: Inked (Karen Chance, Marjorie Liu, Yasmine Galenorn & Eileen Wilks)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasyParanormal fantasy, Short story collections
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Berkley Books
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: Right now, I need some –

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Four tales of paranormal romance and urban fantasy explore body art that is more than it seems – in a world of magic and mayhem that always leaves its mark…

New York Times bestselling author Karen Chance’s “Skin Deep” tells the tale ofa war mage in Las Vegas who stumbles across an ominous magical ward that appears as a dragon on her skin – and has a mind of its own…

When New York Times bestselling author Marjorie M. Liu’s demon hunter Maxine Kiss investigates a grisly murder, she finds herself involved in a conspiracy dating back to World War II – and a secret mission that her grandmother may have carried out for the U.S. government, one that involes the mysterious “Armor of Roses.”

In New York Times bestselling author Yasmine Galenorn’s “Etched in Silver”, a supernatural agent is on the trail of a sadistic serial killer when an unexpected – and dangerously seductive – ally comes to her aid, setting in motion a magical ritual that may end up binding them together, body and soul.

When the magically tattooed body of a man is found in a Northern California town, FBI Agent Lily Yu is drawn into the case. Trouble is, the victim wasn’t human – and the killer isn’t finished in USA Today bestselling author Eileen Wilks’s “Human Nature”.

Thoughts

I love tattoos. I have two, I’m going to get more. I love stories that feature tattoos. I loved this collection which was basically all about tattoos. Actually, the most disappointing thing about this was how quickly it ended. After all, there were only four novellas in this collection, and I would have happily enjoyed far more.

I’ve held off on reading this collection until I was up to the right stage in the World of the Lupi series, after all, that was why I bought this. But, then I got a little bit too excited about the idea of tattoo riddled paranormal fantasy tales written by some very captivating authors. And I started reading this. And boy, was I not disappointed. Every single one of these tales drew me in and made me immensely happy. It also caused me to buy quite a few more books that I really didn’t need…

Even if you don’t really like tattoos (yes, I can’t quite believe that people like that exist either), this is a great collection of tales. It features strong women, chaos and magic in a turbulent mass that completely draws you in.

 <- Human Nature Review Skin Deep Review ->
Image source: Penguin Random House