***I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way influenced my opinion. The review below reflects my open and honest thoughts.***
Synopsis from Goodreads:
They came after the Diseray. Some were terrors ripped from our collective imaginations, remnants of every mythology across the world. And some were like nothing anyone had ever dreamed up, even in their worst nightmares.
Long ago, the barriers between our world and the Otherworld were ripped open, and it’s taken centuries to bring back civilization in the wake of the catastrophe. Now, the luckiest Cits live in enclosed communities, behind walls that keep them safe from the hideous creatures fighting to break through. Others are not so lucky.
To Joyeaux Charmand, who has been a Hunter in her tight-knit mountain community since she was a child, every Cit without magic deserves her protection from dangerous Othersiders. Then she is called to Apex City, where the best Hunters are kept to protect the most important people.
Joy soon realizes that the city’s powerful leaders care more about luring Cits into a false sense of security than protecting them. More and more monsters are getting through the barriers, and the close calls are becoming too frequent to ignore. Yet the Cits have no sense of how much danger they’re in—to them, Joy and her corps of fellow Hunters are just action stars they watch on TV.
When an act of sabotage against Joy takes an unbearable toll, she uncovers a terrifying conspiracy in the city. There is something much worse than the usual monsters infiltrating Apex. And it may be too late to stop them…
Monsters. Reality TV. Some kind of sinister underlying government plot. Yes, please! Anything with lots of fun monsters/creatures is right up my alley. And that had to be my favorite part about this book, along with a few other awesome things:
If you’re into mythology like me, you’re going to love this. Every mythological creature you could think of makes an appearance in this book. From vampires to Fae to hobs to hell hounds. This book has them all. And the author does a fantastic job of describing them and really making us completely terrified of what they’re capable of. They’re grotesque and twisted and I totally want more. The one thing I wanted more of was the Fae. There was an encounter at the beginning of the book and then we see no more and I was kind of disappointed about that. But I’m hoping/sure that we’ll see more in the next book and I’m very excited for it!
Okay so here’s the way it works. There are these people called Hunters. They came around after all the creatures got through into their world. Hunters have magic. They also have Hounds that come through from the Otherworld to help them defeat all the evil, scary monsters. And the main character’s hounds are So. Freaking. Awesome. I’m in love with them! They’re both terrifying and cuddly. Yeah, Mercedes Lackey somehow made the hounds equal parts both. All of Joy’s hounds are kickass and awesome. Bya was my favorite, the alpha of her pack. He was always there for Joy when she needed him. Warm, scary dog cuddles for the win!
There were also things that didn’t work for me… one big glaring thing actually.
This book was so slow. It was until the last 50-100 pages that the plot really picked up. There was so much world-building and that was great, but the pacing suffered because of it. Nothing happened during most of the book. It was just the same old thing happening over and over again. Joy goes out to hunt. Joy kills this creature. Joy eats a lot of food and sleeps to recover. Joy goes out to hunt. Joy kills different creature. Joy eats a lot of food and sleeps to recover. You get the point? There’s all this speculation that something bigger is going on behind the scenes, but we don’t get anything! Not even a nibble at what’s to come. And then there was this thing that happens at the very beginning and the whole book I kept thinking oh that’s going to come into play now and then IT NEVER DID. What was the point of that??? I mean, I assume there was a point and I hope pray that we see the point in the next one, but to be completely honest this book felt like an introduction, not a first book. It couldn’t stand on its own and I don’t really think it had its own plot.
Joy Was Too Good
Things came way too easily to Joy. She was a fantastic Hunter. I’m okay with that. And the fights were cool and intense – for the other hunters with her. For Joy it was always easy. She never seemed to face down death. She always had the answer, always knew the way out. Make my characters struggle! Make them bleed! Make them give everything they have. Take everything away from them. And then let them come out on top in all their glorious victory. I just wanted her to have to struggle. And then I thought at the end, we were going to see her really have to fight for something and then I was just let down. I know that’s vague but spoilers people.
I ended up enjoying this one because of the last 50-100 pages. But if the ending hadn’t saved it, this would have probably been a two star book. I’m definitely going to continue the series because I still want to know what the point of that one thing was, but I really wish the plot had been more exciting in this one. My advice? Wait for the second one so you can read them back to back.
Have you read Hunter yet? What did you think of the pacing? Did you find it to be slow? Are you also mad that we never saw that one thing that happened at the beginning again?