Leisure, $6.99, ISBN 0-8439-5765-4
Fantasy Romance, 2006
Eye of Heaven is part of Marjorie M Liu’s Dirk & Steele series but it can be read as a standalone story as there are only a few references to previous books in the series. The plot is self-contained on the whole.
I’m going to be pretty much repeating here what I said in reviews of the author’s last few books because this one is a solid effort similar to those previous books. If you have read a previous book by the author and don’t enjoy her writing style, chances are you may not enjoy this one as well. A rollicking comic book adventure to the core, Eye of Heaven pairs Felix “Blue” Perrineau, an “electrokinetic” who can manipulate electricity in devices as well as human beings (think: heartbeat), with Iris McGillis, a performer at Reilly’s Circus at Las Vegas who displays an affinity for big cats. Which is appropriate, Iris’ affinity for cats, given that she is a shapeshifter whose alternate form is a leopard.
There are many twists and turns in this story, so I’ll just lay down the events that kick off the whole thing as a synopsis. Blue has been for several months on a mission to break up an illegal organ trafficking ring and nab the mastermind, but a near-death experience in Jakarta places him in a dead end where his mission is concerned. Meanwhile, his estranged father summons him home to blackmail him. If Blue doesn’t locate his half-brother Daniel, also estranged from Daddy of the Year here, in two weeks, Daddy of the Year will expose the existence of the legions of freaks with unique abilities that work for Dirk & Steele to the US military and who knows who else. Blue’s attempts to track down Daniel leads him to a circus in Las Vegas, where he discovers that Daniel has taken up a new calling as an escape artist. He also encounters Iris. Meanwhile, people are out to get either Blue, Iris, Daniel, or all three of them, so it is up to our good guys to discover why and stop these people before things become more of a circus (sorry, I have to say that, heh).
Oh, there are much more to the story, believe me. I have just provided the bare bones of the plot. Eye of Heaven is a splendid fast-paced ride of a read that I have a very difficult time putting down. The good guys, including the heroine, are likable and intelligent folks who kick ass while the bad guys are creepy without coming off like cartoon villains. This is a really fun story indeed.
The romance is pretty sweet but it isn’t too deep as the story is very action-oriented. If you are not fond of superhero-style action adventures and you want more romance, you are looking at the wrong place, I’m afraid. But for folks who have been enjoying this author’s more recent offerings, like yours truly, this book is most likely a crowd pleaser as it has Ms Liu offering more of what she does best.