Thursday, July 29, 2010

Reading Ethics: Tiger Eye

imageMarjorie Liu writes delightful romances about her Dirk and Steele detective agency, where the agents all have super powers. Tiger Eye is the first in the series, about a young blacksmith (Delilah) with magic powers over metal who buys an old box containing a shape-shifting warrior (Hari) cursed to serve as a slave to whomever owns the box. There's an evil magician trying to win back the box, there are the other magical members of the agency who come over to keep Delilah safe from the assassins hired by the grieving criminal family of a murdered little girl, and there is true love developing between Delilah and Hari. Oh, I forgot about the dragon.

I read this last year, and remember it fondly, although the best part is the beginning, when the plot keeps exploding. Fondly enough to drop ten bucks on the computer game, which I played with the kids on our latest vacation. The game is a cute puzzle and logic type thing, with cut scenes in between covering the plot of the first half of the book.

Here's my dilemma. The game was a gentle PG-13, with a few kisses between the characters and a bit of violence. The book is much racier, with the standard romance sex scenes, including details of oral sex, and an extended sequence where Hari turns into a tiger (although without spikes, I guess). My sixth grader liked the story in the game, and wants to read the book. I've never stopped anyone from reading anything, but I really don't want him to imprint on scenes involving changing species. He's read stuff with sex in them before, but not this explicit and not this close to puberty. (Hi, Wen Spencer's Ukiah series, which taught him to read.)

I'm thinking I'll put a book mark in showing where the game stopped (it only covered the first half, which is the best part anyway) and recommend he stop there. That's where it really starts shifting from action-adventure to spend more time on the True Love part. X trusts that I know what he likes, so he'll probably actually stop there if I tell him it really drags from then on, which I think it would for him. Am I deluding myself? Maybe he'll take one look at the cover and recognize it as a girl book.

1 comment:

Buffy said...

Yeah, stuff like this is so tricky! My six-year-old reads like a fiend and it's been interesting to come to terms with that fact that she can read an Agatha Christie book or pretty much anything she picks up -- It's been a long process of figuring out how we want to handle various books she wants to read. Your bookmark idea makes a ton of sense. And I feel that if we keep giving our kids a lot of freedom in these areas, they will continue to respect when we say something is too much. (not every time, I'm not that naive, but I do think it increases the chances! ;))