7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 30 July 2008
A woman awakens in a strange hotel room with blood and dead bodies surrounding her. She has lost all memory. Is she a murderer? The only clue is a note with the word "Run" --and run, she does right into Lannes Hannelore, a gargoyle, a member of a race that now hides in plain sight. Lannes feels drawn to her, can feel her thoughts. She wakens in him something he has never felt before. When her entire life has become a nightmare of epic proportions, the woman oddly feels comfort, understanding, and support from this strange handsome man. Lannes stands by her, trying to unravel the clues and restore her memory even though she might be the end of life as he knew it. Can these two discover her identity and find true love, a soul love, or will the unveiling of the past threaten them even more than the current dangers? When the Dirk and Steele agency gets involved, the clues become more mysterious, more dangerous.
Lannes Hannelore captures the heart from his first appearance. Gentle, kind, and so moved by the plight of this woman, he knows her even as she cannot know herself. He knows her heart and protects her intuitively. When every clue should make him run, she wakens in him something altogether unfamiliar, a part of him that has been locked away and never before experienced love or this kind of empathy. She does not even know her own name but something about this woman makes him feel known. Can his caring and growing love for her bring her to a space where she herself feels known as he does? Will the shocking truth, once found, separate them? Can love enter into the midst of the ultimate darkness?
In THE WILD ROAD, Marjorie M. Liu creates a suspenseful and dangerous journey to truth as the two try to unlock her memory, a blank memory yet something within her that attracts violence. Death and cruelty surround this woman as her mind is possessed by some unknown force. As Dirk and Steele become involved, the discovered dark past raises the level of suspense to the ultimate limit as Hannelore and the woman must race to unlock her past and protect others from an injustice long silenced. They must locate a danger that is both nowhere and everywhere, internal and external. Just as darkness and evil threaten to overtake all, from the violence and cruelty emerges a powerfully moving story of love and sacrifice, of giving to another that moves the heart with a profound depth. The romance between Hannelore and the woman feels almost legendary like the stories of Greek gods and goddesses and their tales of love but in a paranormal, dark suspenseful setting. THE WILD ROAD is an awesome romance about the transformation of souls through love.
This is my first time reading Marjorie M. Liu. For other readers, like myself, new to the Dirk and Steele series, this book works perfectly as a stand alone and a place to begin the Marjorie Liu journey. Of course, having read this one I quickly ordered previous books in the series, but I did not feel anything lacking coming to this series fresh. Marjorie M. Liu's THE WILD ROAD goes beyond strict genre delineations, with its suspense and look into violence and the human heart at its most elemental level ---- as a reader, I love it all the more for its unparalleled, intriguing vision. This book left me somewhat speechless. While the suspenseful elements glued me to the pages, I was so mesmerized by her language that I slowed my reading speed down just to savor the pure poetry and beauty of her language. THE WILD ROAD quite simply has no equal. Exquisite in each and every detail!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
When gargoyle Lannes disguises himself as a human; masking his true appearance behind illusion in order to visit an old friend, he suddenly finds himself on a rollercoaster adventure with a mysterious woman with no idea of who she is. This woman whom he names Lethe remembers nothing of her life before awakening in a hotel room with a gun, covered in blood and surrounded by dead bodies she assumes she shot. Alone, scared and unable to recall any personal details, Lethe instinctively knows only one thing; she has to run and hide. Throughout the course of this book as Lannes and Lethe attempt to avoid detection and death from an unknown enemy; they slowly learn Lethe's true identity, who she runs from and why.
I can confirm that Lethe has appeared significantly in a previous Dirk & Steele novel; however I'll leave you wondering who she really is. Also, although "The Wild Road" is a stand alone novel, I would perhaps suggest that fans of this series may benefit from first reading the short story "A Dream of Stone and Shadow" found in the anthology "Dark Dreamers" (if they haven't already done so that is :D). This short story introduces Charlie (Lannes' brother) and details some history of the gargoyle race plus the brothers' captivity and torture at the hands of a sadistic, power hungry witch before they are rescued.
Lannes is still haunted by his experience, unable to trust and unbelieving that any human female could accept what he truly is; yet when he encounters a strange woman attempting to steal his car he finds himself overwhelmingly drawn to her. In turn Lethe, with no idea of who she is and who to trust begins to accept that Lannes wants to help her recover her identity and believes her innocent of any crime; despite the fact she is covered in blood.
"The Wild Road" is certainly better than MML's last few offerings in this series "The Last Twilight" and "Soul Song" (although both still warranted 4 stars). The adventure and growing relationship between Lannes and Lethe is thoroughly absorbing and the plot a clever, weaving tale of magic, treachery and revenge. The immortal Rictor and crow shape shifter Koni are the enforcements sent by the Dirk and Steele agency to protect Lethe and Lannes from further harm and during their adventures as they deal with a variety of supernatural beings and paranormal abilities, perhaps a clue is given to Rictor's heritage (if I'm not reading too much into the fact he has green eyes that is). Come on MML I'd love a book featuring this enigmatic character in a leading role.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 3 November 2008
Marjorie Liu's books seem to be a bit hit or miss. I loved 'A Taste of Crimson' by her, couldn't get on with 'The Red Heart Of Jade' at all, and found some of her other books in the Dirk & Steele series rather forgettable. However 'The Wild Road' is a real return to form, a fast-paced and gripping story with some of her familiar themes (romance between humans and otherworldly creatures, the Dirk & Steele agency) but feeling very fresh.
Lannes Hannelore is a gargoyle, a winged creature who has lived for seventy years but tends to keep to himself because of a troubled past. Lannes' closest friend, Frederick, is getting very old now and Lannes can see a time in the future where he has no-one for him apart from his brothers. Lannes knows that he needs to get out more so he is able to magic a certain amount of glamour which hides his wings and makes his appearance that of a normal human, albeit a very tall one. The glamour doesn't work against touch though so Lannes has to ensure that no-one touches his back or they will feel his wings.
When Lannes' claustrophobia causes him to leave a bar in a hurry he's surprised to discover a woman trying to steal his car - a woman who is covered in blood and has lost her memory. He feels it's important to help her and tries to gain her trust. But the woman is afraid, she knows she must run but doesn't know what from or where to. As Lannes tries to help her they begin to discover that the fact that she's lost her memory isn't her main problem, and as people start dying they begin to uncover a long-ago secret which is having significant repercussions today. Can the woman and Lannes make something of their differences and can they keep each other safe?
Once again Liu has written an unusual lead character in Lannes. He comes across as rather a gentle giant whose emotions are very close to the surface and whose loneliness has influenced much of his behaviour. The woman lead is also interesting in that she knows nothing about herself and has to learn about who she is, knowing that her and others' lives may depend on what she can uncover. The book was exciting, the characters were believable and engaging and the smallish list of side-characters, some of whom have appeared in previous Dirk & Steele books, were also well-drawn. This is a really enjoyable read and an excellent return to form for Marjorie Liu.
Originally published for Curled Up With A Good Book © Helen Hancox 2008
on 29 September 2012
I am a big fan of Marjorie M Liu and after reading Within the Flames I became very interested in Lannes' book (Id read the summary in the store but didn't buy). So, I went and bought the book and was instantly intrigued as to why this woman's memory had gone and what exactly had happened in that room.
The main problem I had with this book was Lannes.
In Within the Flames, he seems very protective and brave, but in this book he's scared all the time, always living in fear and after a while it just got annoying.
Especially at the end when he left her and went back to home when he saw her with a man. Leaving her alone with a family she couldn't remember and wasn't sure she should trust. Leaving up to Lethe yet again to take that step.
That said, I still loved the book and have re-read it numerous times.
I loved Lethe and Lannes and how they slowly built this friendship and didn't just jump into bed straight away. I loved the adventure side of it. And I loved that he had an Impala!
If he had been a little more confident and wasn't constantly afraid, then it would have been a five.
on 9 July 2011
I enjoy all the Dirk and Steel novels, Marjory always makes her men very fascinating, this one is no different and you are led into the story from the begining.
Lannes is a very likable character, rather 'Olde Worldy' and only wants to help a lady in distress, there is plenty of action going on with the usual romantic outcome, a good read.