Tuesday, 10 August 2010

The Iron Hunt (Hunter Kiss, Book One)

The Iron Hunt (Hunter Kiss, Book 1)

Title: The Iron Hunt
Author: Marjorie M. Liu
Series: Hunter Kiss

Succeeded By: Darkness Calls

Score: 7/10
How likely I am to read the next in the Series: Definite


This book surpassed my expectations. I expected it to be another of the now commonplace vampire novels , with a main female character with some special ability. Now, although we do have that type of protagonist, I was happy to see that the books style was somewhat unique to me. It is important to know that the first chapter is not representative of the whole. It is a somewhat poetic prologue, which sets the rhythm of the plethora of unanswered questions going, while the rest of the novel is closer to standard prose.

The main strength of the novel is it's fast pace, as many questions are answered as not, and there are plenty of plotlines that seem to range from minor to major, although due to some of the twists these minor themes can become major at any time. In addition to this speed, which makes the reader hunger for more, is the characters. While in many other novels, the characters are deliberately left less developed to preserve mystery, here the author manages to make hers more rounded, while revealing almost nothing, this is particularly true of "the boys", which is rather impressive since only one can actually speak. Somehow what we know we don't know about them helps to shape their characters, and I would recommend Reading it for those characters alone.

However, no book is perfect, and this is no exception. The biggest problem I had was that her name, Maxine Kiss, is supposed to be secret. Yet there is no sense of secrecy applied to, even though it seems to be important. There a couple of other small moments like that, where the way Maxine acts or feels seems to defy the narrative, but they are less noticeable. Perhaps this is evidence of characters not behaving the way the author wants them to...

The other possible downside is that the novel didn't have a sense of ending, by which I mean that it feels like the first part of a larger book. The other parts of the trilogy, or at least the next one, would help give a much more solid major story arc to the first book, as we still don't really know the major goal of the protagonist, except try and stay alive as her world gets worse and worse, which is pretty standard anyway. But this can also be seen from a more positive point of view, by considering that it leaves a perfect place, even demand for the next novel, and instead of the traditional single strong sense of "what happens next", it provides a collection of weaker ones.

Is it worth reading? Definitely. It's an interesting concept to read, and the "boys" are excellent characters. Is it worth buying? Well. I can't answer that until I read the next book. It was a good read, but since it's plot depends so much on book two, I personally wouldn't want to buy it until I knew it was going to lead to a great story. If you can get it at a discount, go for it, or if you just want to read about demons that turn into tatoos (which you should, it's brilliant), then buy the book. I sincerely look forwards to Reading the sequel.

More Information
Main Protagonist(s): 1 Female + 5 (male)demons
Main Antagonist(s): 1 Female Demon + ???
Main Relationships: Heterosexual
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Amazon Synopsis:

Nomad born and bred, demon hunter Maxine Kiss has always relied upon herself to fight the darkness that surrounds her, and the predators - human, zombie and otherwise - who threaten the earth. But one man has managed to get through the isolation she uses to protect herself: Grant, the last of his kind. With music he is able to control any living creature ...including demons. And now his life is in danger. Haunted by the past, and determined to change the future, Maxine soon understands that to save Grant, she has only one choice - to lose control, and release her own powers of darkness. 

ISBN: 978-1841498010
Website: http://marjoriemliu.com/index.php?/novels/details/the_iron_hunt/
(Note: This is a really nice website)
Amazon Link: US Site UK Site
Pages: 384
Publisher: Orbit

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