oracne - Victoria Janssen (oracne) wrote,
oracne - Victoria Janssen


I bought Marjorie Liu's Shadow Touch as part of my ongoing attempt to keep up with the field of paranormal romance. I'm keeping it, and buying her other two books, because I enjoyed the heck out of it.

The setup is clearly there for an entire series, and in fact this book follows another, Tiger Eye, which I haven't yet read. The setting is contemporary, with the addition of people with various psychic powers, who can shapechange, etc. Other, stranger abilities indeed are hinted at as well. A private detective agency called Dirk and Steele is made up of people with these abilities, and the hero, Artur, works for them, usually touching objects or blood at a murder scene and receiving visions of the killer. His angst is profound!

Artur is in the middle of investigating a serial killer when he is abducted by a mysterious criminal organization that wants him to work for them. While in captivity, he meets Elena, also a prisoner. Elena's ability is to encourage the body to heal itself from wounds, even from cancerous tumors. This turns out to be handy, since Artur's ability or its side effects has been slowly destroying his brain. When Elena saves his life, they are linked together. And no, it was not annoying or twee. I kept reading, and was even emotionally involved.

I love angstful characters, and I got them here in spades. Yet their past troubles did not overwhelm the story, but were simply a part of it, making it all the more romantic that these two people had found each other. Their relationship fit into a larger theme, of finding family where you can--I've seen the book compared to X-Men, and I was also reminded a little of Barbara Hambly's books. Artur found family with Dirk and Steele, which enabled him to later bond with Elena.

In the course of escaping (you knew they'd escape, right?), they work with a guard who has mysterious powers and with two shapechangers who might be destined for their own books someday. By then, the plot is more suspense tied in with the resolution of the romance.

A very fun read.

Tags: books, paranormal, romance

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