Book Tuesday: ARC – Hunter


Title: Hunter (Hunter #1)
Author: Mercedes Lackey
Genre: YA, Dystopian
Publication Date: September 1, 2015
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 384

Centuries ago, the barriers between our world and the Otherworld were slashed open allowing hideous fantastical monsters to wreak havoc; destroying entire cities in their wake. Now, people must live in enclosed communities, behind walls that keep them safe from the evil creatures constantly trying to break in. Only the corps of teen Hunters with lightning reflexes and magical abilities can protect the populace from the daily attacks.

Joyeaux Charmand is a mountain girl from a close knit village who comes to the big city to join the Hunters. Joy thinks she is only there to perform her civic duty and protect the capitol Cits, or civilians, but as cameras follow her every move, she soon learns that the more successful she is in her hunts, the more famous she becomes.

With millions of fans watching her on reality TV, Joy begins to realize that Apex is not all it seems. She is forced to question everything she grew up believing about the legendary Hunters and the very world she lives in. Soon she finds that her fame may be part of a deep conspiracy that threatens to upend the protective structure built to keep dark magic out. The monsters are getting in and it is up to Joy to find out why.

Mercedes Lackey is a tricky writer for me.  I go in spurts with her.  There are times I love her and  can’t get enough (like her Arrows of the Queen series) and times when I’m annoyed with her (like the Last Herald-Mage series).  This was a mixture of the two, but overall, I really enjoyed this story.

Following the Disaray when the Othersiders crossed into our world destroying much of civilization, we were blessed with people who were Hunters; ones who could fight the Othersiders with their Hounds (who were also from the Otherside).  Joy is one of these Hunters who is called away from her Mountain village by her Uncle to fight in Apex City.  Once there though, she realizes how dire the Othersider situation really is.  On top of that, she’s caught up in Hunter politics which might just take a deadly turn if she’s not careful.

The beginning of this book was a bit slow for me and I think it’s because of the writing style.  First off, Ms. Lackey breaks fourth wall constantly.  Joy often speaks directly to the reader which annoyed me because I felt it took you out of the moment, especially since it was only there to provide expositional purpose or world building information.  The beginning is chock full of it.  The history of the Disaray and the Othersiders is practically a whole chapter of Joy simply explaining it to the reader much like a history lesson.


I would have much rather been shown this as the plot progressed.  Aside from that, the plot was engaging and moved quickly.

Joy was a likable heroine who thinks quickly on her feet and really cares about her responsibility as a Hunter.  She’s smart and is able to analyze a tough situation quickly and efficiently which makes her an ideal Hunter.  The secondary characters were a bit lost in this for me.  I feel the only really developed one was Knight.  Karly and Josh were left to the wayside.  I would have liked to have seen more from them.

Aside from the fourth-wall exposition, it was an interesting environment.  I enjoyed the whole Hunter culture and it actually reminded me a lot of the Hunger Games with its media coverage and interest in the Hunters.  The politics behind all the fame and media coverage was very similar.  The climax was intense and I’m anxious to see how that plot point will be further developed in the upcoming installments.  The ending was a bit abrupt, however.  It’s not so much a cliffhanger per se, but there are issues that have yet to be resolved.  I will be picking up the next installment though because aside from the fourth wall issues, I really enjoyed it.


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