Monday, December 19, 2011
BOOK REVIEW: Within the Flames By Marjorie M. Liu
384 pages By Marjorie M. Liu
BLURB ON BACK OF BOOK:
Joining the Dirk & Steele Agency turned Eddie’s life around. A pyrokinetic and former car thief, he cannot refuse an assignment to cross the continent in order to rescue an extraordinary woman in peril . . . even though he fears losing control of the destructive power of flame at his fingertips.
The last of her shape-shifting kind, Lyssa hides in the abandoned tunnels beneath Manhattan, seeking refuge from those who murdered her family a decade ago and would now destroy her as well. Like Eddie, fire is her weapon, her destiny . . . and her curse. Yet she wants nothing to do with this mesmerizing stranger who seeks her trust while inflaming her passion. For beneath Lyssa’s extraordinary beauty are dangerous secrets . . . and even darker, nearly irresistible urges. But she has won the heart of a fearless protector . . . and all the demons in the world will not make him back down.
This is a new to me author, never read a Marjorie M. Liu book before. I cringed slightly when I saw this was part of a long series, would I be lost? I mean this is book #11!
The consensus is yes, I felt a bit lost. There was not glossary included in the netgalley to refer to, so I did lose my way in a few spots.
Eddie certainly is a tortured hero, a man with a muddled and nightmarish past. Eddie is a Pyrokinetic who lives in constant fear he will lose control of the fire that resides within. He has already toasted a few people in his past. His assignment as given to him from the Dirk and Steele Agency is to protect a woman in New York City, and good luck finding her in a city with eight million people. How quirky is fate that Eddie does see her on the street, even though the only picture he had is when she was a girl. The woman in question is Lyssa.
Lyssa lives below the city with a ragtag bunch of homeless people in some abandoned tunnels. She has been on the run for ten years, since her parents were killed and she was next on the hit list. Lyssa is very rare, the last of her kind, a shape-shifting dragon. Well, at least her and Eddie have fire in common.
Considering Lyssa and Eddie have flame and fire as part of their very nature and physical make-up, I found the two did not generate much heat. I found the book very talky with chapters whizzing by of Eddie and Lyssa sharing and comparing horrible childhood memories and not much else.
However I found the secondary characters fascinating, the gargoyle Lannes and his mate Lethes for example. The adventure itself was exciting as Lyssa is being hunted by the Cruor Venator and her little coven of witches. It is certainly bloody and the action was kept at a fast pace which made the book entertaining enough. The couple is tragic, both don't want to kill but fate has other plans. There are a few twists and turns along the way. Is Lyssa all that she seems, or is there more beneath? Same question with Eddie. They are soul mates but just don't know it yet.
Good, solid read, I just wish the love scenes had more depth.
2.75 out of 4