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The Iron Hunt (Hunter Kiss, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – June 24, 2008

3.9 out of 5 stars 82 customer reviews
Book 1 of 5 in the Hunter Kiss Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Liu writes a gripping supernatural thriller."

First in a stunning new urban fantasy series from an author who "Never Ceases to Amaze."

"Readers of early Laurell K. Hamilton, Charlaine Harris and the best thrillers out there should try Liu now."

About the Author

Marjorie M. Liu is an attorney who has lived and worked throughout Asia. She hails from both coasts, but currently resides in the Midwest, where she writes full-time. When not writing, she enjoys listening to music, painting, designing websites, and returning to old movie favorites, some of which involve light sabers, various applications of the Force, and small green men with pointy ears. She is also, occasionally, commandeered by poodles.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ace; 1st edition (June 24, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441016065
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441016068
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #406,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Detra Fitch VINE VOICE on June 26, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
During the day Maxine Kiss is covered in black tattoos, even her nails. The only part of her body that is not covered in markings is from the top of her neck to her hairline. Maxine keeps all the markings covered - always. During the day those same tattoos are her armor. Nothing can harm her. She is invincible. At night the tattoos peel from her skin to take on forms of their own. No one would ever have imagined an army of demons living on one woman's skin. When "the boys" peel off of her skin, Maxine is human - vulnerable. But the demons are the best little bodyguards on earth.

Long ago a prison had been built out of air, a prison made of layers and rings and boundaries. The worst demons were sealed in the prison. Yet now, ten thousand years later, the prison is beginning to fail. However, even way back then, someone knew it would eventually happen. That someone created the Wardens, men and women with the speed and power to guard this world against a break in the prison veil. The Wardens were humans constructed to fight those demons that manage to slip through the veil. The Wardens are all dead now. The women in Maxine's family are the last.

Someday, just like her mother before her, Maxine will raise and train her daughter. Then "the boys" will abandon Maxine for her daughter - leaving Maxine helpless against her enemies. This, for Maxine, is normal. It is the way of Earth's last protector. It is life with no love, reveling in death. Enter the one man who just may change everything.

**** This story is nothing short of bizarre. I was well into the story before everything began to make sense. Zee, the only one of Maxine's demons which actually talks, loves to speak in riddles.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
****SPOILERS****

I bought The Iron Hunt without realizing that there had been a prequel story in the Wild Thing Anthology. As I was reading it, I was often confused. It almost seemed like I had jumped into the second book of the series, and I kept checking the introductory pages to make sure this was the first one. When I couldn't find anything about another book, I just assumed the author wanted to start the story right in the middle of all the action. Unfortunately, some of this did hurt my enjoyment of the book, but not enough to stop. I'll be picking up the anthology next, and will most likely continue on with the series.

Maxine Kiss was born to become a Hunter, just like her mother, and her mother's mother, and so on. She is Earth's protector against the demons on Earth and the demon army waiting impatiently for the veil to fall. The story begins when a private investigator, whom she doesn't know, is found dead with her name on his body. Maxine begins searching for answers and finds several people along the way, all of whom may be or may become very important to her.

I very much enjoyed the world that Liu had created, particularly the characters and their relationships. All of Maxine's Demons were so . . . well, lovable and cute, even when they weren't supposed to be. Maxine's memories of her mom and grandmother brought me to tears and the other characters and their various and complicated relationships with Maxine kept me wanting to know more. The book also took a few surprising turns- I was amazed by all Maxine had to go through in a single book.

Most of my difficulties with this book stem from not having read the short story.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you are looking for a soppy supernatural romance with a bitchy heroine and a alpha male love interest don't get this book! You, like some of the other reviewers, will be dissapointed.
I've read all of M. Liu's books and have always found her prose beautiful. This one took my breath away. I read it in one sitting. Unlike her other books, which bordered on romance, this one strays much more into the horror arena. The first person viewpoint is intense and startling. It's IS a little confusing, but it's meant to be. The reader must put the pieces together just like the heroine does. And this is no swooning heroine. She's not looking for a prince charming. She's got the world on her shoulders and demons at her back and she knows she'll win simply because she must. The description of the demons and other supernatural characters are guttural and poetic. Think more Dante's Inferno than Anita Blake.
If you're tired of bland prose and want something more etheral, more guttural. If you're tired of flighty heroines whose only determined quest is to sleep around. And if you're tired of heros who are full of the same annoying, macho blandness then you will like this book.
Be aware though... it's more epic poem than bodice ripper.
And that's a really good thing!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
***First and foremost, I strongly suggest you read the short story "Hunter Kiss" found in the anthology--WILD THING, before you read The Iron Hunt. Just so happens I had both books and read the short story. I was so taken in, that I jump up halfway through and grabbed The Iron Hunt and read the first two sentences to make sure it picked up where the short story left off--IT DID.

Never was I so hooked into a story as I was in this story of Maxine Kiss. Liu pulls you into the story in the first line..."When I was eight, my mother lost me to zombies in a one-card draw." If you read the short story like I did first, you would know what zombies were and why she called them that. You would also understand who Grant was and why they were together. All of those little details are found in the short story. In this story, you are drawn into the secrets. Yes, secrets that keep the reader questioning what is happening, why it is happening, just who IS the Hunter Kiss, why are the demons protecting her, what is THEIR secret, what does the Blood Mama really want, and what darkness is hiding inside Maxine? Maxine doesn't know any of these answers thanks to her own mother before she died and the promises debts given by the very creatures she is suppose to be fighting against. Strange creatures that seem to be immortal and yet can be killed by her.

Absolutely fabulously world building and characterization. Her writing is and descriptions are nothing short of poetic. I have enjoyed and looked forward to everything Liu has written in the past and have been a devoted fan, but I find myself disgusted on the authors behalf on those that lump her in with any common paranormal romance writer. Beware, this is NOT a romance. This is true literary fantasy fiction with an urban twist.
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