Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Eye Of Heaven by Marjorie M. Liu

I liked everything about this one, experiencing the same awe I did when I first read Tiger Eye.

Dirk & Steele have a creed: Protect the innocent in secrecy. No member of the Agency is "normal." Blue Perrineau is no different. And now, when it is clear that darker shadows exist in the world -- people who followed no rule under heaven -- every secret is a liability. Blue wtll soon see.

They come from all over the world to observe Iris’s lithe, catlike body and her affinity for wild creatures. All eyes are upon her, seeking, judging -- coveting. But one gaze is that of a savior, a man of electricity and mystery -- a mystery as deep and convoluted as her own. And together, they might yet see the dawn.

I was particularly drawn to the heroine, Iris. Vulnerable to the point of near shattering, Liu uses her to put readers at the edge of their seat right from the start. You spend the whole of the story tensing in anticipation every time Iris is present. Wondering if she will be able to keep her human form, wondering if this is the moment when Blue will break through her defenses. Not previously a fan of shapeshifter stories, I succumbed here as easily as I did in Tiger Eye. Iris was as real to me as any other heroine I’ve read. And I wanted her HEA as fervently. She was exotic, but still relatable—at an emotional level—if that makes sense.

Blue was equally fascinating. Charged, if you don’t mind the pun, and patient, probably my favorite quality in a romance hero. Liu treats us to development of his character on two levels—through his romance with Iris and, in another emotional vein, through his budding relationship with his brother. Both lines provided glimpses of Blue’s humor, insecurity and loyalty.

I want to say that the secondary storyline—that between Blue and his brother—interested me as much as the primary. But, it doesn’t serve Liu justice to word it like that. She deftly blends characters and events, past and present, romance and suspense, into one tale, without any noticeable breaks or even the subtlest of parallels. Every moment leads to the next. I was completely wrapped up, surrounded by the story.

Of course, anyone who has read Liu knows that she is a master storyteller. Vivid prose, diverse characters, boundless worlds. It’s all here.

Coming back to the ‘wholeness’ of the story. Liu calls in more characters from previous books (Dirk and Steele series) and relies on them to help finish the story. With a few twists. Again, every part served to strengthen the whole. And, because her characters live for the reader, there was no hesitation, no gap in the action to allow readers a moment of recognition. Wasn’t needed. Recognition was instant and the focus on this story unerring.

Sounds like I’m stuck on how tightly woven this installment felt to me. Occurring within a short timeframe, with most of the action limited to one of two locations. Yeah, I keep boiling it all down to that. I think my appreciation for it is higher than usual because the last full-length book—Red Heart Of Jade—left me dazed. Satisfied, but with scrambled eggs where my brain used to be.

Final note. I also read A Dream Of Stone And Shadow (anthology) last month. Thought it perfect too.


  1. Ack! I love Marjorie Liu and I'm sooo behind in reading her books. *sigh* This sounds like my cup of tea alright.

  2. Wow, I need to check out this author, great review! I'm mighty curious about this Blue guy...

  3. I enjoy all her books but was really touched by the story in the DARK DREAMERS anth. Very original and intriguing. Hope we get more of that series from Ms. Liu!

  4. Get busy Linda! LOL

    Waving hello to Rowena!

    Rosie - I liked that one too, perfectly balanced given its length. And such a unique hero. Wow.

  5. I have this book TBR, but haven't read it yet. I keep picking it up and thinking, "Not another paranormal" but I'm definitely reading it now. :)

    Great review.

  6. Thanks Holly. I have Soul Song in my possession now. Liu is a master at creating or evoking feelings for shapeshifters (in their animal form). This one will take us into the water I think...I can't wait to see what kinds of images she gives us here. Hurry and catch up *g*


Have you read it? What do you think?

Related Posts with Thumbnails