I wasn’t planning to mention that I’d finished the latest of Marjorie M Liu’s Dirk and Steel Paranormal Romance books, The Wild Road here, because they tend to be very similiar to eachother.
They are romance, in our world, but each of the heroes and heroines have either a mental power or are of a magical race (gargoyle, merman, shapeshifter, etc.)
But this one, this what, eighth? seventh? installment in this series still HAS ME READING it. How rare is that? I usually get tired about four to five books into a series such as this. I mean, once you’ve read one author’s version of a strong and spunky, but in a situation where she needs help, heroine who meets up with a magical and handsome guy who yet has issues (past torture, can’t touch people, can’t tell people who he really is) and they get together, how many times can you really read it without skimming major chunks or the relationship losing its magic.
But what Liu has done here is make a series where in each subsequent novel, what keeps you reading is the continuing story line. You get to hear about the couples from the past book, and you get further information revealed to you about subcharacters and why they act the way they do. You also get more information about the big bads and their legacy.
In The Wild Road, we finally, finally (he first appears in book 2) start to figure out what Rictor (a subcharacter) is and why he has certain powers. We also get more info about the shadowy origins of Dirk and Steel. Very well done. Nice balance of information given and withheld.
So here’s some advice to future Kirsten when she starts writing series: reveal information slowly, add information in each book about characters, and definitely have past characters put in cameos.
Recommended (but only for romance readers, and I really recommend reading the series in line so that you get those little moments of happiness when past characters reappear)