Brought to you by OBS reviewer Caro
A few years ago, on a trip to my local library, I came across the first Hunter Kiss novel. To my luck it hadn’t been that long since it had been published, so I have had the joy of following its progress. Surprisingly, I became an instant fan of Maxine, the boys and urban fantasy – which was a new genre for me. By the time I got to Darkness Calls I felt it had been a good choice of book to explore the genre. Needless to say, five books later in the series made me a fan of author Marjorie M. Liu.
In Labyrinth of Stars, Maxine Kiss, is trying to enjoy her pregnancy, husband, Grant, and the company of the boys. But her peace doesn’t last forever. When she less expects it, a surprise attack is sent upon her on her mother’s farm, that at the moment is inhabited by demon clans under the lordship of Grant. With help from the clans and Reaper kings, they successfully win the fight, but not unharmed, for Grant is poisoned by an arrow.
Mary helps Grant by giving him marijuana to chew which at first he hesitates but she assures him that cannabis is the antidote. Reason why she’s always consuming it. The Aetar have found them and they want them dead at all cost. Maxine has no choice but to look for her grandfather, Jack, and ask for his help. The Aetar have developed a poison powerful enough to kill demons and the hosts parasites inhabit, which leaves Maxine with little time to find a cure for when the clans at the farm start to die and her, now small, family becomes ill, too. How can she stop the disease from killing her and the boys? More important, how can she trust the one that can help her when everything indicates that he betrayed her to the Aetar?
This book was filled with revelations, big surprises, sarcastic comments, and a dash of time traveling; taking the reader along with Maxine back in time again. We see Maxine use all that is in her power to save her unborn daughter and let her have an opportunity of a father and a family. Something none of her ancestors were able to have. We see more of her motherly side rather than the merciless hunter we first met in previous books. In addition, something else that I just couldn’t have enough of was her love towards Grant and how she lovingly called him my husband. It showed the change she is going through.
One of my favorite characters, apart from the boys, is Mary. She’s a character that is always fun to have around with her machetes and handy velt. She has a strong presence even though she stays behind. She would definitely take good care of Maxine’s baby. Jack, since his first appearance, has been an intriguing character to keep track of. He might be the only close person to Maxine to have the information she needs, and he definitely proved to be a hidden card in this book.
I do have a complaint, it’s more of a side comment, but I felt that the story dragged at some point. I didn’t want this book to have a mystery vibe, I just wanted answers! I feel that the pace of previous books was better. The end really came as a surprise; I was betting on clones, but nothing to do with that. I know that it took over a year for the release of Labyrinth of Stars, so I hope that the next book takes a little less time. I really anticipate that conclusion. Not to mention that Maxine’s father could make a special appearance.
Overall, I very much enjoyed reading Labyrinth of Stars and returning to the Hunter Kiss world. I had never wanted so badly for a couple to end together in a book series until I met Maxine and Grant. Miss Marjorie, please give them a chance ;).