Monday, October 12, 2009

She's Got One Arm!

Marjorie Liu's paranormal romances are treasured for their headlong approach to art. She takes a kitchen-sink approach, where too much is never enough. They aren't great literature, but they are tremendous fun rides for the imagination.

Her Dirk & Steele books center around the magical people working for the do-gooder detective agency, which apparently runs a normal highly successful operation that we never see, and then attracts people with a little extra to use that extra to make the world a better place. Everyone jumps into the big corporate family and buddies up so they can be in each other's books.

The latest book, The Fire King, wasn't the best of the bunch, but it kept my attention and only had me scratching my head in confusion a few times. It also had a one-armed protagonist, ANOTHER shape-shifter tall guy from the past, millennial old feuds, back-stabbing friends, innocent CHILDREN at risk, Mongolian grad students, fairy assassins, and a mean dragon lady. And other stuff. The romance was second rate -- they felt a connection that bound them together, which is nice but not really compelling for the audience. I'd rather they liked each other, y'know? But I regard the love stories in these books as far second to the crazy plotting. B-.

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