Dela Reese is in China for a visit when she picks up a strange riddle box at the Dirt Market. Soon afterwards a strange man who Dela mistrusts instantly tries to take it from her, but she escapes. Later when she opens the box Hari appears and tells her that he has been cursed to be the slave of whoever opens the box for 2000 years, and expects her to issue a command. Added to this is the fact that more than one person wants to kill Dela but she does not know who or why. And on top of THAT are Dela's pyschic abilities, Hari's shapeshifting abilities and Dela's crimefighting pyschic family of misfits. A little cheesy-romancey (i make up words) on the descriptions of these two falling in love, but I generally do not read pure romance novels so that is a matter of what I like. I did like the concept that Marjorie Liu created in this series and there are plenty of interesting satellite characters surrounding Dela and Hari who will probably get their own stories told. Definately recommended if you are in the mood for a romance and like paranormal romances. Its not hard to find yourself halfway through the book the first time you pick it up.
Liu became one of my favorite authors as soon as I began reading I read Tiger Eye, her first novel. She is a relatively new author, all of whose books so far involve characters who work for Dirk & Steele, an undercover paranormal organization / detective agency. Primary characters in this book will turn up in supporting roles in subsequent books and vice versa. One reviewer didn't like that. I had no problem with it. It was nice to learn more about the other characters in subsequent books. Most of the paranormals are shape changers and Liu throws in a bit of her own variety of magic, more in this book than in some of her later ones.
This book, which is the first in a series and the first I've ever read by Liu, is surprisingly enjoyable. It is the tale of a shape-shifter named Hari who has been trapped in a sort of genie-in-a-box situation as a slave for two thousand years. He falls into the hands of Dela, a woman of unusual psychic talents. Naturally, romance ensues. But Dela is a marked woman, having been targeted by mob members seeking revenge for a crime she had little to do with, and it falls to Hari to help protect her.
What I enjoyed about this book was the fast paced plot--I was never bored or tempted to skim. I also found the cast of characters to be extremely amusing.
The only flaw as far as I'm concern was that the main villain, the Magi, was a bit hokey. I just didn't understand his reasons or motivations. However, I don't feel this detracts significantly from the quality of the story.
This is a must read and a true keeper for those who love a mixture of paranormal, fantasy, urban myths and romance all rolled into fast action and truly endearing secondary characters.
From the first page until the last...Marjorie M Liu keeps you spellbound with the fantastic Dela and Hari....talk about wild and unfettered...this story rocked! And I can only hope that Ms Liu will continue the saga with the other sexy members of Dirk and Steel....everything from magic, shapeshifters, the gifted and secular world of those who are born "different"..."gifted".....to the awesome love that grows between Hari and Dela....for those of faint heart...beware....the fact that a hint of beastiality is here...it is beautifully done...Brava, Ms Liu...I look forward to more.
R. E. (re) reviewed Tiger Eye (Dirk & Steele, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
Terrific book. Great imagination! Shape-shifters, magi, and x-men like talents. I really enjoyed the story line and just ordered the 2nd book, that I hadn't even realized followed this one, today. Hope Liu writes another good one!!
This was an excellent book! It was the first time I read Marjorie M Liu. I did not want it to end. I especially enjoyed the interesting group of characters; each with their own special "gift" which is represented in the story line. I will definitely be looking for all her other books in this series (Dirk & Steele).
I have had this on my TBR pile for a while now. I read a short story - A dream of stone and shadow in the Dark Dreamers book, and decided that I would give the series a try. It was a great book and I recommend it - the story and action of the book was well-paced, the characters were developed and you got a taste of some other characters that no doubt will have their own stories in future books. It was a fast read.
I loved this book. What a great start to a new series (for me)! Liu pulled me in from the first page. I'm now reading the 5th book in this series, and I'm so happy with the character development. I like how each book focuses on one Dirk and Steele member, but also brings in familiar characters from previous books. This firs book sets this up so nicely. The writing is well developed and hot. Dialogue is believable and supports and pushes the story line. If you like Sherrilyn Kenyon, Christine Feehan, Lara Adrian, and/or Keri Arthur, you'll love Majorie M. Liu!
Interesting book idea - has a cursed shapeshift that is released from a small magical box and must obey his new master. Most of the book deals with attempts to free him and evade people trying to kill them. Has one of those ANNOYING cast of minor characters that are set up for sequels. Obvious sequels, way too obvious, spends so much time setting them up that detracts from the plot. Got at least 8 or more people set up for sequels - sticking in way too many minor characters on the good guy's side that are all handsome, single, funny, and paranormal, and single young orphaned women that have magical talents? Blah! Enough! "Shadow Touch" is already released, first sequel for one of these tormented ensemble cast members. So far is okay, but I would rather have some novels that concentrated more on the current book. Would have been a better novel if there were more gray instead of black and white character portrayals.
I loved this book! It has it all - action, romance, supernatural, suspense, mystery.
Synopsis from back cover: Hers to command. He looked completely ou of place in Dela Reese's Beijing hotel room - like he belonged to a myth, was the tragic hero of some epic tale, exotic and poignant. He was like nothing from her world, neither his variegated hair nor his feline yellow eyes. Yet Dela had danced through the echo of his soul, and she knew this seven-foot warrior would obey.
His to protect. Hari had been used and abused for millennia; he was jaded, dull, tired. But upon his release from the riddle box, Hari saw his new mistress was different. In Dela's eyes he saw a hidden power; himself within reach of all he had lost, of avenging those wrongs. This woman was the key. If only he dared protect, where before he had savaged; love, where before he'd known hate. For Dela, he would dare all!
Long ago they roamed the earth, plentiful and powerful, men with form of beast. Dragons, tigers, crows: shape-shifters. Their world was magic. That world is gone, but some remain.
HERS TO COMMAND
He looked completely out of place in Dela Reese's Beijing hotel room-like he belonged to a myth, was the tragic hero of some epic tale, exotic and poignant. He was like nothing from her world, neither his variegated hair nor his feline yellow eyes. Yet Dela had danced through the echo of his soul, and she knew this seven-foot warrior would obey.
HIS TO PROTECT
Hari had been used and abused for millennia: he was jaded, dull, tired. But upon his release from the riddle box. Hari saw his new mistress was different. In Dela's eyes he saw a hidden power, himself within reach of all he had lost. Of avenging those wrongs. This woman was the key. If only he dared protect, where before he had savaged: love, where before he'd known hate. For Dela, he would dare all.
From back of book: Hers to command. He looked completely out of place in Dela Reese's Beijing hotel room-like he belonged to a myth, was the tragic hero of some epic tale, exotic and poignant. He was like nother from her world, neither his variegated hair nor his feline yellow eyes. Yet Dela had danced through the echo of his soul, and she knew this seven-foot warrior would obey.