After we both read book 1 of the Hunter Series I hope my review of book 2 helps us decide if the series is worth it.
Series: Hunter #2
Author: Mercedes Lackey
Genre: Fantasy, Sci-fi, Dystopian
ROTS Setting: Alternate Future
Synopsis: Elite Hunter Joy is quite happy hunting and working with other Elite. Sadly it doesn’t last for long. On a secret assignment from her uncle, she uncovers a conspiracy. The who seemed to be so much more of a threat in APEX than on the mountain of her home increase in activity and the safety of the people can no longer be guaranteed.
Recommendation: There are a lot more fight scenes and big ones. So I like it better than the first book. It is definitely a teen dystopian book.
MARKED SPOILERS WILL FOLLOW
Ok let me break this down for you. Hunter Joy is still her usual self all overpowered and always able to handle the “too difficult” tasks. As is a pitfall of such a basic magic system (more on that later) she always has that extra reserve of energy that she didn’t know she had. The most interesting characters in this book are the hounds(few speaking roles), the enemies(cryptic and even fewer speaking roles) and Hammer and Steel the two elite brothers that you meet in the beginning of the book. Thankfully the romance was very very limited and didn’t interfere with the book.
The biggest problem in the Hunter Series is the magic system. Don’t get me wrong -I like the hounds. Hounds = Cool. Magic = Lame. I think it might offend her, but I want to send Lackey Sanderson’s Laws of magic. As I mentioned before, magic that uses physical stamina/energy has been done many time and is a really basic form of magic. in this case it is just too ordinary. I am going to spoil the whole book for you ok. Please highlight to read the rest of the paragraph. The hounds can absorb mana from othersiders and then give it back to the hunters as magic. Not very surprising but it is supposed to be a big revelation for everyone. Anyway, Joy uses her big pack of hounds as a battery to turn a no-win situation after a battle into an easy win for the final conflict. This twist is what the entire series hangs onto. This just ends up being a very poorly thought out magic system and a very cheap way of solving the problem. You may return to your scheduled programing.
My other big issue aside from that thing about magic is word choice. Joy uses very very flowery words with lots of descriptions and then out of the blue slides in a “hip” word that just doesn’t fit her voice or vocabulary. Also if I have to hear that she is only alive or performing actions because of “instincts” or “reflexes” again it will be too far soon. Lackey, go buy a thesaurus, then stop using these words to explain why your character is cool. This is a great book to use as a case study for “show not tell”. Show the audience what is happening don’t tell them. Do not change the narration style right when the action ramps up.
As teen rubbish, it is what it is. It’s like girlfriends in high school- in the moment they seem so meaningful and deep, passionate and eternal. Then looking back they just end up being boring and shallow. Lackey is so good at what she does that the experience listening to the story just kept me going. But once I start thinking about the details it falls apart.
So I hope this helps you decide if you want to read the rest of the books. Tell me what you think if you pick this one up. Am I being too harsh? Or are my criticisms valid?