I'm always on the hunt for a good fantasy series, but I'll be honest with you and say that, for the most part, I haven't embraced the urban chick-lit fantasy hoodickey (that's the technical term for it.) My fantasy tastes run more to YA and elves-in-the-forest, so I wasn't sure I'd really be able to get into A Wild Light by Marjorie M. Liu. Happily, I was wrong. Not only was I able to get into Maxine Hunter's world, I'm eager to read more about it.
A quick note here: this is the third book of the "Hunter Kiss" series. While it is enjoyable and fairly easy to understand on its own, I did find myself wishing that I'd read the other books first. (Which isn't, you understand, a bad thing...yay! A new fantasy series I like!) That said, the basics are this: Maxine Kiss is a demon hunter, a trait passed down from the women in her family line. She's covered in tattoos, which are actually the demons that she calls "her boys," charming and vicious and childlike all at once. She has a lover who can change people and events with the power of his voice and a grandfather who is apparently immortal. Oh, yeah, and there's this darkness inside her, that whispers seductively of power and cruelty.
The story is complicated, one that takes you from a city, through the forest, and into a prison dimension as it rockets along toward the conclusion. That doesn't mean it's a hard read, nor that it misses any vital information. The connections between characters are palpable; you FEEL the emotions between them and ache for their difficulties. And the connections are not always easy or straightforward. Several times, Maxine deals with characters she's both drawn to and repulsed by--or afraid of.
I found myself liking Maxine a lot: her fierce love of her boys and the family she has made for herself is so human, even as the strength she shows in conflict is not. She is a flawed heroine, but her flaws make her so identifiable.
I will definitely go back to catch up on the rest of Maxine's story. If you'd like to check out the series (and the rest of Ms. Liu's work, you can visit her website here: http://www.marjoriemliu.com.
Disclaimer: From time to time, I am asked to review books supplied to me by a publisher or author's representative. I am not compensated for the reviews. I will only review books on Divining Women that I believe will appeal to our audience and will always be honest in my reviews.