Cherry Mischievous, August 6, 2010 (view all comments by Cherry Mischievous)
I was reading this book at about the same time as Dead Witch Walking (DWW) by Kim Harrison. I was reading The Iron Hunt at home and Dead Witch Walking in work. By the end of the week I had to think for a moment to figure out which character belonged to which world! The two books are quite similar :) This book is pacier than DWW though. DWW was a very slow starter. This one draws you right into Maxine's world. One thing I regretted doing at the start, was reading the prologue. That took a bit out of the reading enjoyment because the prologue throws the reader right into the middle of the fracas before the world building so it was slightly confusing. So if you haven't read this book yet, don't read the prologue before reading the story. Read it at the end. The story telling quality while good is not quite a masterpiece, a 3.5 out of 5. There were parts where the author dragged the drama out in a drawn out overkill which was annoying. It was so overdrawn that it almost presented the main protagonist as "stupid" that she just couldn't "get it", bordering on irritating, instead of the intellegent and kick-ass chick that she is portrayed to be in the book!
The story itself while not original, I still find it quite good and enjoyable. Ms. Liu puts a nice spin to a well-used tale. I'd give it a 4 out of 5. However... the thing about the story is... if Maxine Kiss (heroine) is a one-woman defender of the human race team, why is she travelling only around the US? this begs the question of:
a.) Does that mean that the US has the highest concentration of demons, enough to warrant ignoring the rest of the world?
b.) The rest of the world is not considered human enough to be saved?
c.) It wasn't really a well thought-out plot, and here the snags are showing...
There are also two main "central issues" or, "central dilemma" if you will, to the story. One, is Maxine's journey to self-discovery and burgeoning powers and, second, is the first "demon from the veil" encounter in Maxine's lifetime. The second "central dilemma" was satisfactorily closed with the ending with a bang. While the first "central issue" seems to be an ongoing process. The ending therefore closed the book but also left it hanging. This took the steam off the climax of the story. I would give the ending a 3.5 out of 5.
Overall, I think this is still a wonderful start to what is looking like a worderful series! I enjoyed this book and would read another Marjorie Liu work again. I'd give this book a 3.5 out of 5.
Cinnamon, May 23, 2010 (view all comments by Cinnamon)
The Iron Hunt by Marjorie Liu was a different book, but a good book. Maxine Kiss, known by her enemies as Hunter Kiss, is the newest in countless generations of women, born to protect and destined to die young. By day her body is covered with dark tattoos, but by night her skin becomes bare; bare and vulnerable. The tattoos rip from her skin, coming to life as demons, sworn to protect her and her family. While they sleep on her skin, nothing can touch her. Steel scrapes off leaving no scratch behind. But by night, although they will guard Maxine with their lives, her skin no longer holds the protection of their tough hide. She knows it and so do her enemies. For now she is protected, but someday, in order to protect themselves and assure their continued existence, the demons will leave Maxine for her daughter; leaving her defenseless against all those she has been fighting throughout her life. It happened to Maxine's mother, her mother's mother and countless generations before.
The world seems just like the one we live in, but in Maxine's world, zombies walk freely among the living. Zombies are demons who have posessed living humans. Occasionally Maxine can exorcise the demon from the body, but more often than not she ends up killing the demon, the innocent human host dying along with it. Seems like a simple life, slaying demons, trying to survive. There's always a kink in any situation and this one comes in the form of her lover who can use music to change the very essence of a person's (or demon's) soul. He considers what he does rehabilitation for the demons so you can imagine that he gives Maxine a hard time about going around, killing those he can rehabilitate.
This story is jam packed with action, adventure, mystery, suspense and even a little bit of romance. The main plot surrounds Maxine as she learns more about herself and the dead women of her family. She learns that is a creature, different than the women before her and built to protect the world. The veil between this world and the next is torn and Maxine is the only thing standing between life and death for all humanity.
I loved, loved, loved this story! It was so unique to me. Perhaps there are other books out there about butt kicking women with tattoos that peel away to form demonic allies. If there are, I haven't read them! I thought that this book was very well written and had terrific descriptions. It was very easy to imagine yourself in the story, feeling what the characters feel and seeing what they see. Liu has a fantastic way with her descriptions and her action sequences.
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Julie Anderson, July 3, 2008 (view all comments by Julie Anderson)
Whew...OK. I just finished "The Iron Hunt" by Marjorie M. Liu and it's very different from her 'Dirk & Steele' series. This is truly an urban fantasy, and a damn good one. The mysteries and the mystical pull you in and you can't stop reading until you find the answers to all the questions.
Maxine is a Hunter. She hunts the demons that possess the bodies of humans. By day her demons are her protection--tattoos that cover her body and render her invulnerable. By night, her demons peel from her skin, leaving her with only her fighting skills and their proximity as her shields. This is her life and her lineage, the demons passed from mother to daughter through ages uncounted. But now 'the veil' is thinning...and Maxine may be the last Hunter...the only thing standing between humanity and hell.
If you like dark paranormals and urban fantasy, don't miss this new series.
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"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"In this exciting series inaugural from Liu (The Last Twilight), Maxine Kiss is the last in her family's line of Hunters, women who wear living demon tattoos that render them invulnerable by day and, as sentient creatures, protect the women at night — in order that they can in turn protect mankind. Maxine, abandoning one of the Hunter's primary tenets, has developed a relationship with Grant, a mysterious former priest. When Maxine's name is found on the dead body of a private investigator, she gets drawn into a complex web of demons and avatars, and is forced into discovering her deadly potential. The world Liu sets up is intriguing, but she's slow in getting it moving, so that even though Maxine is a strong character, the book has a hard time standing on its own. Still, Liu is one of the best new voices in paranormal fiction, and the series has potential. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
First in a stunning new urban fantasy series from an author who "NEVER CEASES TO AMAZE." (BOOKLIST, STARRED REVIEW)
Demon hunter Maxine Kiss wears her armor as tattoos, which unwind from her body to take on forms of their own at night. They stand between her and her enemies, just as Maxine stands between humanity and the demons breaking out from behind the prison veils. It is a life lacking in love, reveling in death, until one momentand one manchanges everything.
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