Saturday, August 21, 2021

Tiger Eye by Marjorie M. Liu


Love Spell is probably one of my favorite publishing imprints. The blend of cheesy sci-fi, fantasy, and paranormal romances is just too good to resist. Even though the books usually make me roll my eyes a little, I keep coming back for more because the stories are usually just that compelling.

TIGER EYE starts out really good! It's set in Beijing and the descriptions of the city are simply gorgeous. Dela, the heroine, is there on business, but her life takes a sinister turn when she buys a box from a mysterious market vendor. When she opens the box, a gorgeous, 7ft-tall warrior/genie comes out named Hari. He's a tiger shape-shifter who has lost the ability to turn and is now cursed to grant wishes.

The first third of this book had me zipping through pages. But then I got bored. Dela was a Mary Sue and it was annoying to hear how good and perfect she was, nonstop. Like, let me like her on my own, please. Hari was great and his story was really sad and intense but there were things about his predicament that didn't make sense. Like, apparently he was able to force himself not to harm women and children despite his curse, which... okay. I feel like this was because the author just didn't want to write herself into a corner by having him do bad things, but holy plot holes, Batman. Likewise, only his female mistresses took advantage of him physically? In 2,000 years? Really? That seems a bit heteronormative but ok.

I thought the villain was appropriately evil and there was an interesting side story about a crime syndicate. There were just too many pages spent on Hari and Dela mooning over each others' mutual perfection, and on Dela's friends, who basically just existed as further eye candy (and probably future love interests), as well as serving as the Greek choir to sing Dela's praises. I found myself skimming a lot. The ending was good and the epilogue was sweet, but this just felt waaaaay too long and circuitous.

2.5 out of 5 stars

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