Thursday, September 20, 2012

TBR Challenge: Not Romance

I confused myself and thought this month was non-fiction and I was not feeling the non-fiction vibe.  But, it turns out I should remember better and it's really not romance. 
I read Marjorie M. Liu's The Mortal Bone which is part of the Hunter Kiss series.  I have read this series from the beginning, and tend to pick up each new entry quickly and then leave then to linger, less because I'm not looking forward to them, but because into Maxine's life, even with her boys and her growing band of folks, big bad things are coming. It is, as one would expect from an urban fantasy, life and death. Now, I will try to be vague enough as to not spoil anything too much, but if you wish to remain fresh and blissfully unaware, it is probably time to look away.  Also, I covered an entry in Liu's Dirk and Steele series a while back, and that one, while there are some plot lines that arc through the series, I didn't find it difficult to jump in mid-stream.  The Hunter Kiss series I think lends itself less to that.  It's probably doable, but I think it would be harder to rank the import of some things without the prior knowledge. 
In this one, Maxine and her boys (demons assigned to protect her, who live on her as tattoos through the day, emerging at night) are separated.  For the first time in eons, they are able to roam free, free from Maxine, free from each other and free to do what they want. This creates some interesting conundrums, others are worried that the Reaper Kings will return to their old ways without the stability of being attached to a person and Maxine has to face how being just herself again works in this world where lots of things want her dead.  There's some really interesting stuff about power and how it changes people and choices and control.  I became convinced partway through this that in many ways, this was a weird allegory about pet ownership. (Probably only my interpretation, but there you go.) 
I really enjoyed this installment and look forward to the next. 
This only came out last year, so hadn't been lingering too far back into the TBR pile.