dorothean: detail of painting of Gandalf, Frodo, and Gimli at the Gates of Moria, trying to figure out how to open them (Default)
[personal profile] dorothean
I've just finished reading Marjorie M. Liu's four "Hunter Kiss" urban fantasy novels. They are very fun, but I am short on shelf space so I'd like to give them to someone else who'd like to read them. Any takers? Just leave a comment saying you'd like them, and I will pick someone by random selection, and contact the winner by comment and private message. I'll do this after noon next Sunday, December 15, Eastern Standard Time. It doesn't matter where in the world you live, but I would like to dispose of all four at once -- if you've already got one of the novels, let me know which and I'll put that one up on Bookmooch, but I'd like to send at least three together.

What's it about? -- Maxine Kiss is the latest in a matrilineal line of demon slayers, the Hunters. Her job is to fight demons who possess humans in order to create and feed on pain and anger. The demons she meets have slipped free from the Prison Veil, behind which they were trapped after an epic battle thousands of years ago. The only exceptions (cue ominous music) seem to be the five demons allied to the Hunter, who hunt with her at night and during the day are trapped on her body as protective living tattoos. (Yes, this is really awesome.)

Hunters are supposed to wander the earth as strangers, without establishing relationships that could make them vulnerable, but Maxine broke with this tradition when she met Grant, a really sweet (but muscular, of course) former priest who runs a homeless shelter in Seattle. Grant has strange magical powers; with his voice or flute music, he can heal physical and psychic wounds and even persuade demons to lead a more ethical life. Maxine was not brought up to be anything other than tough and merciless, so Grant does pretty much all of the emotional nurturing in their relationship, a reversal I quite enjoy.

There's also a large cast of entertaining secondary characters -- morally ambiguous demons, really nasty demons, Maxine's mysterious-but-charming grandpa, etc.

As the series goes on we learn more about how the demons became imprisoned and what happens if they get out; I'm not super keen on this part because I'm really in it for the violent fluff (Liu is great at describing demons eating things), but there's definitely ongoing plot.

If you're curious, book #4 answers a lot of questions and tentatively wraps up some situations, but Liu is writing another Hunter Kiss novel now. There are also, I think, two novellas and a short story about Maxine. I've read one, "Hunter Kiss," which was published in an anthology (but is also available separately as an ebook) before the novels. It is more of a romance than the novels and explains how Maxine and Grant met, but I don't think it's as good as the novels.

My reviews on Goodreads:
0.5. Hunter Kiss
1. The Iron Hunt
2. Darkness Calls
3. A Wild Light
4. The Mortal Bone
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In a fit of procrastination last night, I looked up which authors had been most frequently reviewed here. All the authors I've read are great, so if you haven't yet jumped on the bandwagon and checked them out, click on the tags.

1. Way ahead of every other author, the late great sf writer Octavia Butler has 31 reviews! If you've never read her, I would start with Wild Seed, an intense sf novel set in Africa, or Bloodchild, her collection of short stories.

2. Next is literary novelist Toni Morrison, with 18 reviews. I've only ever read Beloved, which I adored but which did give me the impression that Morrison requires a long weekend devoted only to her, with time to decompress afterward.

3. Majorie Liu is next, with 14 reviews. She writes the delightfully insane, "X-Men as genre romance" Dirk & Steele series, in which psychic agents have adventures and romances and run away to the circus and meet the Faery Queen and mermen. As one does.

4. Next comes sf writer Nalo Hopkinson and Sherman Alexie, with 13 reviews each. I haven't yet read Hopkinson, but Alexie is great and I plan to read everything he's ever written.

5. Versatile African-American writer Walter Dean Myers is next, with 12 reviews. He writes YA novels, he writes for adults, he writes gritty realism, he writes gentle comedy, he writes mythic fantasy - and everything I've read of his was at worst enjoyable, and at best brilliant.

6. Graphic novelist Shaun Tan and sf writer Tobias Buckell are next, with 11 reviews each. I haven't read either writer yet, but I mean to. Tan's wordless book The Arrival sounds amazing.

7. The extremely famous and multitalented Samuel Delany is next, with 10 reviews. I have an autobiographical graphic novel by him that he autographed at a con! Also with 10, Mildred Taylor, author of Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.

8. African-American writers Angela Johnson and Walter Mosley are next, with 9 reviews each. Johnson's The First Part Last is one of my very favorite books I read for this challenge: it packs in a disproportionate amount of beauty and feeling for its short length. I just started reading Mosley's Easy Rawlins noir series, and it's excellent.

9. Finally (I arbitrarily made a cut-off of 8 reviews), Alice Walker and President Barack Obama each have 8 reviews. Didn't she read a poem at his inauguration, or something like that? ETA: Apologies for my brain-freeze. I apparently hallucinated that her Open Letter to Barack Obama was read at the inauguration. Er, and was in verse. Also with 8 reviews, YA author Randa Abdel-Fattah.

Conclusions: African-American authors are popular around here. So are sf authors. African-American sf authors are very popular. No one is afraid of intense and dark material, but romance and teen angst is also nice. And being President doesn't hurt review counts, but writing sf might boost them even more - around here, at least. ;)


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Writers of Color 50 Books Challenge

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