Title: Tiger Eye
Author: Marjorie M. Liu
Copyright: 2005; 373 pgs.
Reissued: 2011 (Avon)
Series: Dirk & Steele #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Delilah ‘Dela’ Reese is on vacation in Beijing. A mysterious old woman sells her a puzzle box — and shortly after, Dela is accosted by a strange man who frightens her. It is the same man who was watching the old woman when she sold the box to Dela. Dela manages to get away from him, but the incident has shaken her. In the privacy of her hotel room, she examines the box. Dela has an affinity for metal — it talks to her. Though there only a small amount in the box’s construct, it tells Dela that the box is at least two thousand years old. She manages to open the box and gets the shock of her life when a man bursts into existence from the the light pouring out of the box.
Hari, a shape-shifter, was cursed by an evil man he calls the Magi. To save the life of his sister, Hari promised to be his servant. The Magi killed her anyway, and when Hari tried to take revenge, the Magi placed a curse on him and banished him to the box. Plus, the Magi stole his ability to shift into a tiger. The curse: Hari is immortal and must serve who ever owns the box as long as that person lives. Through the years, Hari’s had many masters who have used and tortured him, but none have broken him. He loathes Dela at first sight because she is yet another master he must obey. However, Dela refuses to command him and goes out of her way to be kind to him, trying to prove that she would never treat him like a slave. Slowly, Hari begins to have hope, though he doesn’t believe there is a way to break the curse and regain his ability to shift.
Shortly after, Dela is attacked. At first, it seems that maybe the man in the market and the attack are connected, but the story the knives used in the attack tells her a different story. Dela is determined figure out why the old woman sold her the box and find out who is targeting her and why.
Comment: I discovered this book when the hidden object/puzzle game was released. I was curious about the game and liked it enough to pick up the book as well as the Dirk & Steele series. Until I read the book, I had no idea how the story ended because the second part of the game hasn’t been released yet! Now that I’ve read it, I really do what to see how the second game plays out, since the author made changes (from the book) when she worked with the developers for the game.
I liked Dela and Hari. They’re both good, decent people. Hari’s been through a lot, but it never destroyed his core ethics. There were a couple of times I agreed with Hari and the others when Dela seemed to be a bit blasé about her safety — but I also agree with her reasoning, that she couldn’t just hide under the bed all the time either.
I really loved this book. One of the things I wanted to learn about was Dirk & Steele itself: how Dela was connected to it, what was its purpose. The game barely touches on it. I also wanted to know more about Roland, too, but like Charlie from “Charlie’s Angels”, he’s only heard from, not seen.
Once Dela and Hari are back in the States, we’re introduced to several members of Dirk & Steele: Artur, Dean, Blue, and Eddie. I loved these guys and I can’t wait to continue with the series.
(Cross-posted, with some modification, from Good Reads)
Started: 3 September 2011
Finished: 4 September 2011