This mesmerizing urban fantasy series continues to enthrall with its combination of intense action, horrific violence and searing loyalty and love. The twists that are the hallmark of these stories continue to be unveiled and the darkly humorous elements that are provided by beings who think nothing of pulling the pin on a grenade before consuming it and following up with a chaser of candy and sawblades continue to offer brief respites from the frenetic violence that escalates. The soul-deep bond between Maxine and the Lightbringer Grant provides such a warming influence until it becomes threatened and their relationship tilts into another unfamiliar conformation and adds another intriguing development in a series that continues to provide a fantastical and entertaining journey. I always breathe a sigh of release at the conclusion of these stories even as I anxiously await further developments and this story did not disappoint. It MAY be possible to try to read this as a standalone but the action would be far better appreciated if one sees the unfolding of events so my advice would be to start at the beginning but be prepared to lose time as you become ensnared in the hypnotic tale.
“Labyrinth of Stars” by Marjorie M. Liu is a wonderful addition to the ‘Hunter Kiss’ series. The complications of the major upheaval that is revealed in the previous story (“Mortal Bone”) continue to play out as Maxine must re-evaluate everything that she has valued the most. The complacency bestowed by the assurance of Maxine’s link to her ‘boys’ is threatened as they work out the conflict between their history as the Reaper Kings and the demands upon them to protect Maxine and those she cares about. Threats from within and without will place Maxine in an impossible position as she battles the Aetar and the darkness within and makes a decision that she never dreamed she would.
Tattoos with hearts, minds, and dreams. Created to be the armor that protects my body, these obsidian shadows come alive at night?demons made flesh.
After the Aetar nearly kill Maxine’s unborn child, and a betrayal within her own ranks leaves Maxine’s husband, Grant, poisoned and dying, Maxine is forced to attack a race of beings that possesses almost unlimited power. Doing so will require she make a deal with the devil?the devil that lives inside her?risking both her sanity and her soul as she slowly transforms into something more than human.
But even that might not be enough to save Grant, because the very thing that Maxine is becoming is destined to destroy the world.