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Book review

I recently finished Shadow Touch by Marjorie Liu (webpetals). This was a fun and exciting book that kept me up late a couple of nights.

The book opens with the abduction of Elena Baxter, a hospital volunteer with the ability to channel her energy and spirit to heal others she touches. We then switch to Artur, a Russian emigre and detective with Dirk & Steele. He and his colleagues are using their psychic powers to investigate an horrendous murder, when he, too, is abducted. Elena and Artur has both been abducted by the evil Consortium. They must escape and also stop the Consortium's nefarious plot to gain even greater power.

The book is marketed as a paranormal romance, but I think it's more a paranormal action/adventure with a strong dose of romance. Although I can see the Elena and Artur would be well-matched, they don't meet until page 70. The paranormal action/adventure is strong enough to carry the book, and includes strong secondary characters and villains.

If you're a fan of the romance genre, you might be somewhat disappointed by this book. I can see why Artur falls in love with Elena, but I am not as clear on why Elena falls in love with him (there are reasons I would find him attractive, but the reasons Elena voices seem shallow and not well-demonstrated). Also, the book seems more weighted to Artur's point of view than Elena's (a 60-40 or maybe 70-30 split). This did not take away from my enjoyment of the book (Artur's story and POV were fascinating to read), but is different from the more typical romance emphasis on the woman's POV.

My only problem with the book was that Elena's character was not as richly portrayed as Artur's. Her background is only lightly hinted, and her reactions to the paranormal (which more obviously required explanation and care) are more rich than her reactions to the more typical aspects of romance.

Shadow Touch is a fun, exciting paranormal action/adventure, somewhat reminiscent of the X-Men. Although the second in a series, I never felt lost starting with this book. And I enjoyed this book so much, that I'm now planning to buy the first. Although it might be shelved with romance books in the store, I think this book will appeal to men as much as to women.

Note: I have an advance reading copy... this will hit the stores in February.
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