Liu became one of my favorite authors as soon as I began reading her first book, Tiger Eye. If you can, I highly recommend you start there, as it is a good introduction to the Dirk & Steel organization and Liu's characters, who are shape shifters or have other paranormal abilities, with Liu's own brand of magic and mythology occasionally thrown in.
Liu is a relatively new author, all of whose books so far involve characters who work for Dirk & Steele, an undercover paranormal organization / detective agency. Supporting characters in Liu's books frequently turn up or have previously been in primary roles in other books in the Dirk & Steele series. I like learning more about the other characters as their back stories get told. Maggie Shayne does the same thing with vampire characters in her Twilight series. However, each Dirk & Steel novel will stand alone without having read any of the others, if you must.
"Fast paced. Likable characters. A story that sucks you in right away and is hard to put down. Liu doesn't write 'bodice rippers,' but there's plenty of romance." I can (and do) say that about all of her books. The primary characters are new and the shape shifter this time is a dolphin, if I remember correctly - a new twist in the series. Familiar characters return when Dirk & Steele get involved - after all, they work there. This book was not as good as some of the others in the series, but it was still a good read and kept my attention.
Great book! The concept seems a little odd at first but once you start reading it you get hooked!
I thought the characters were ok. Towards the end characters from the other books in the series appeared, or were mentioned, and I think a reader would be a bit confused if they hadn't read the other books. Not the best in the series IMHO, but still a good read.
I've read all of Marjorie M. Liu's Dirk & Steele books. I LOVED Tiger Eye, liked the next couple, but Soul Song was VERY DARK. Torture, rape, increasing amounts of violence...I could barely make it through to the end. If this is the direction the series is going, I'm afraid I won't be sticking with it.
I really enjoyed the character development, and I found the book to be very artistic and prosaic, with a lot of metaphors. The plot was very fast paced and the romance beautiful. The characters are both conflicted, and find hope in each other through some very dark times. M'Cal is one of my favorite heroes :-) This is a new author, but I've found her Dirk & Steel series to be quite good and have read all of them :-)
When I realized, ten pages into this book, that the hero is a merman I thought Wellwhy not? I put up with vampires and werewolves, demon and shape shifters of all manner, plus the occasional angel or fairy. Merpeople? Sure, Ill bite. Mcal (I really hate that name. Am I supposed to pronounce it EM-cal or Mmmcal, or Meh-cal?) is a merdude who has been enslaved by a with who forces him to use his magic singing voice to steal peoples souls. Thats right, he goes downtown and pretends to be a male prostitute so he can pick up women and steal their souls. Absolutely not kidding. The witch orders him to steal Kitala Bells soul specifically.
Kit is a musician touring North America, playing the fiddle to crowds who shell out significant cash to watch her. She also has the interesting talent of sometimes being able to see (in graphic bloody detail) how a person is going to die. At one of her shows she has such a vision about an audience member. She tries to warn the woman, which of course only gets her into trouble. She catches the attention of the group of people who wanted the woman dead in the first place. Mcal steps in to help her, because upon seeing and speaking to Kit he is both wracked with guilt at the thought of killing her and desperately falling in love for her. Meanwhile he is still under command to kill her. He tells her to get the hell out of town, because she is in danger both from him and the unknown group of criminals, but of course she doesnt listen to him.
Which brings me to my first complaints about this book: Heroine is too stupid to live: She has no training to deal either with armed homicidal mobs or lone men with magical powers under killing compulsions, but she insists on staying anyway. At the side of the man who has outright told her he may kill her. STUPID. And remember, this is a Dirk and Steele book, Kit has friends in high places--an entire agency full of people who are trained to deal with strange and dangerous stuff, who would be more then willing to step in and help if you got out of dodge and left it in their hands.
The relationship development was decent. I liked the musical aspect of their romance and communication. I thought the sex scenes were fairly hot. But sadly it wasnt really a believable relationship. There wasnt enough build up or tension, especially given Mcals enslavement issues. In the end, it just didnt sweep me away.
I originally picked this book up because I loved the initial books in the series. Tiger Eye and Shadow Touch were brilliant in my opinion. Those Ive read in the series since, this one included, were varying levels of bad. I believe I may be giving up on this series.
This is a great read. I couldn't put it down.
As always Marjorie captures the reader with a unique character set, twisted story line that keeps you turning pages and teases with tying the books so different together through friendship, marriage, and fated circumstance. A great page turner!
Not the best of this series but still good. Very interesting premise. The characters really come alive.
I truly appreciate the way Liu's romantic couples cross all lines racially, ability wise or human, part human or not human at all. There are the usual trust issues, but they seem to get resolved. These couples romances and complicated, dangerous and hot.