THE SHADOW RUNNERS ranks without a doubt as one of the best books I've read all year and will certainly live on my keeper shelf with the likes of such "goddesses" as Catherine Asaro, Mary Jo Putney, Jacqueline Carey and others who can weave romance with fantasy and science fiction elements so seamlessly, which is, to me, the PERFECT reading experience. And, hey, I write the stuff; it makes sense that I'm very picky about what types of action and sf romance books I'll read. Some in this genre I can't get through, but the authors I do read and love, I come back for time and time again. Newcomer Liz Maverick (that's M-A-V-E-R-I-C-K) is now one of those on my short list.
I would humbly suggest that some readers may have missed a few key points of the story. For the sake of any buyers on the fence after reading those comments, I'd like to address those errors. I should know; I came up with the concept for this series and created the bible for "2176" and its 5 books. This is such a fantastic book that I'd hate for anyone to miss buying it because they were misled. It was PRINCE KYBER who sentenced Jenny Red to Newgate; HE was the ruler, not Deck. HE had the authority, not Deck, a second-born son with no true power, and now a bastard son at that. Due to the deceit of their mother, Empress Corrine, who was looking to cover her royal butt and her affair after it's discovered years later, lets Deck take the fall for her duplicity...until guilt overtakes her and she pleads with Prince Kyber to set Deck free, which Kyber ultimately does. The brothers remain bitter with each other--understandable, yes? I know I'd have been pissed.
Deck did not have the authority to sentence Jenny to anything. He was never a freedom fighting rebel until discovering the group while in prison, where he began to hate his brother, the ruler. Some men when incarcerated find God. Deck found the Shadow Runners.
Deck ASKS Jenny to go back, to help him. She has HUGE second thoughts, but she loves him. How many lovers have done things for each other that they'd rather not, but do because of the feelings in their hearts. Jenny makes a SACRIFICE for a man who means a lot to her, even at the risk of her own life.
*Sigh* don't you love that kind of tension in a book, that kind of conflict? Jenny's sacrifice for Deck, considering her dark past and trust issues, was what made this love story so gut-wrenching, so endearing and memorable. It is one of the most original and un-formulaic books I've ever read.
I heartily recommend Shadow Runners.
I hear that Liz Maverick's got a really cool paranormal action romance series starting next summer. I, for one, will be first in line to buy the books! All hail action-adventure's newest "goddess". :)