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.
While I have always been a huge fan of Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar books — they are probably my favorite ongoing book series, I haven’t really enjoyed many of her YA books. So I was more than a little surprised to enjoy this book as much as I did; I couldn’t seem to put it down once I had started it. I love when a story just throws you right into the action without a lot of unnecessary buildup, and Hunter does just that. We get a brief cursory explanation of the world and then it is right into the action.
Hailing from a small mountain settlement on the outskirts of civilization, Joyeaux Charmand would be just another of the mountain people if it wasn’t for one thing: Joy is a Hunter, a person with the ability to summon magical hounds from the Otherworld to protect herself and her settlement from attacks. When she is sent to capital city, Apex, by the Monastery — a secret repository of knowledge and a training ground for Hunters hidden away from the government, Joy thinks she is just a diversion to keep the government from looking to closely at her home for new Hunters.
I really enjoyed how different Hunter turned out to be when compared to the last few books I have read lately. It is an interesting mash-up of dystopian fantasy and science-fiction, something I’m not sure I have seen done before. Not only does she manage to take all three of these genres and turn them into one excellent story, she does a great job with the battle scenes as well. There are some truly epic fights between Hunters and mythological creatures.
Hunter by Mercedes Lackey is full of interesting characters and enough action, mystery and intrigue to keep anyone interested from start to finish. I think this is a series that could easily rival books like the Hunger Games in popularity. I eagerly await the next book in the series and I hope it is not too long before we at least get a release date for it!
I received a free copy of this publication in exchange for an honest review.
Hunter by Mercedes Lackey is scheduled to be release on September 1st, 2015.