Saturday, March 29, 2014

Review: Labyrinth of Stars by Marjorie M. Liu

Labyrinth of Stars
Author:  Marjorie M. Liu
Series:  Hunter Kiss 5
Publisher:  Ace, February 25, 2014
Format:  Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages
List Price:  $7.99 (print)
ISBN:  9781937007850 (print)
Review Copy:  Provided by the Publisher

Tattoos with hearts, minds, and dreams. Created to be the armor that protects my body, these obsidian shadows come alive at night—demons made flesh.

After the Aetar nearly kill Maxine’s unborn child, and a betrayal within her own ranks leaves Maxine’s husband, Grant, poisoned and dying, Maxine is forced to attack a race of beings that possesses almost unlimited power. Doing so will require she make a deal with the devil—the devil that lives inside her—risking both her sanity and her soul as she slowly transforms into something more than human.

But even that might not be enough to save Grant, because the very thing that Maxine is becoming is destined to destroy the world.

Doreen’s Thoughts

Labyrinth of Stars is fifth in a series about Maxine Kiss, who hunts and destroys demons for a living. The last time I read about Maxine, she had not yet met her husband, Grant, so this was new territory for me. Liu does a good job of containing her stories within each novel, so it is not necessary to have read the prior books before reading this one. She provides just enough detail about Maxine’s history in the current story that it flows seamlessly.

Maxine is the last in a long line of Kiss women who are Hunters, those who hunt the demons that possess normal humans from time to time. In this novel, she and Grant have defeated several demon armies, and Maxine is now declared Queen of the Demons. She possesses the tattoos of the Kiss women, a prison for five of the worst demons who are her allies and family – inert by day but providing a protective armor, and alive and moving during the night. These five demons have become so much a part of the Kiss legacy that each woman must die before they are passed down to the next daughter.

Maxine is now pregnant, and her great alien enemy, the Aetar, have targeted her daughter for assassination because she potentially will be more powerful that the Aetar themselves. Her daughter would possess the power of both the Kiss legacy and the Lightbringer’s legacy from her father. The Aetar are determined that those powers never come to fruition, and they attack Maxine’s unborn child to prevent that. They also infect the demon armies, who Maxine has been protecting, and Grant with a deadly virus intended to wipe them out.

Lastly, Maxine also possesses a devil within her soul – a devil that has been subdued by Maxine’s power. However, when her child is threatened, Maxine offers herself up to the devil to save the baby – without knowing what the consequences might be to opening herself up to possession.

Liu’s world is a complex one, with tattoos that come to life every night and demons who possess ordinary humans. Her writing is lyrical and almost poetic, so I enjoy reading her work and letting it sink into me and work its magic. Even with the complexities of world and not knowing all of Maxine’s history, I was able to follow along and understand everything that was happening. I enjoyed the ride well enough that I may need to go back and revisit Maxine’s earlier adventures.


Post a Comment