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Genre: Fantasy, Scifi, Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic, Magic
Point of View: First (Joy)
Series: Hunter 1
Predictability: 3 out of 5 (Where 1 is totally unpredictable and 5 is I knew what was going to happen way ahead of time.)
My Rating: 8/10 Stars
After the world ended, magic appeared and with it otherworlders, who think of humans only as prey. Luckily some rare humans with magic have a bond with magical creatures, known as Hounds. These Hunters keep people safe and are required to go in the main city of Apex.
Joy is a young Hunter, who has lived in a monetary on a mountain for most of her life. Her only family is her uncle, who is an important man in the city. When he requests that Joy join him, she has no choice, or she’ll risk the government learning about the other Hunters in the monastery.
She realizes things are more complex in the city than she thought. Her uncle is surrounded by enemies and Hunting is done very differently.
I am proud to say I am yet again an oddball… I really liked this book!
I’ve never read a book before that started so BAD but ended so GOOD!
The Bad (the first 20%) :
Okay, so the first 20% I’d only rate a 6/10 and that’s being generous. The whole beginning is Joy riding the train to the city. It would’ve been so much better if it started in the mountains. Then we could’ve seen what it was like instead of being told about it.
It starts with TONS of info dumping! This girl has concentration issues. If she really spent this long staring into space people would think there was something wrong with her.
Seriously lots of telling! Do we really need to know how they make bread? The telling doesn’t even track! First she’s thinking about bread then it’s the armed services. She also talks to the reader a couple of times. (Which annoys me.)
I understand Joy’s never left home before and she’s homesick. But I wasn’t sure if I even liked her at the beginning! She came off conceited, constantly thinking how much better her mountain was and how silly the Cits are. (Cits = city people)
Speaking of which, I like made up magical words. But then she added in the dystopian slang too, and it was a bit much. Although I liked the names, did we really need things like coffee to be renamed?
Then she got to the Capital, sorry Apex, and Hunters are Vid stars. (It seemed very Hunger Games esque.)
After Joy got to the city, she really grew on me! She really is a genuinely nice person. She also stopped constantly thinking of home and quoting her masters. (Which was beginning to grate on me.)
Once she she gets to Hunter HQ and starts going on hunts, the book improves drastically! The hunts were exciting and well done and I enjoyed the relationships between the Hunters. Though she not only makes friends, but also some enemies. Namely, Ace, the top ranked Hunter. He was a decent antagonist, I certainly disliked him.
There’s also a romance. The dates didn’t do much for me, because they couldn’t speak freely. (Since every minute Joy is being recorded.) There could’ve been more joking and banter, more getting to know him for me. Even though I liked him, I was never sure he was trustworthy and I think that’s why the author left him as a bit of a mystery, so there would be doubt.
The world was complex and there was so much to it; magic and psi energy, hounds and otherworlders. I love how the different mythologies come together. It’s so unique and such a good idea!
My favorite part of the book was the hounds! Joy and her hounds were more like siblings than pets. They had such a great relationship! The way they joked and helped one another. And everyone’s Hounds were so different; from winged lions to Joy’s large colorful shape changing Hounds.
The magic system was obscure, but had plenty of rules to ground it. I liked how it worked and the glyphs and the feelings she invoked. That last battle was pure perfection! Now this shows what a great writer Lackey is!
Do I recommend this book? Yes! But have patience with the beginning. It gets better, I promise!
Another reviewer complained that Joy was too special, but I didn’t think so. Sure, she was good with magic, but she didn’t start out with anything that was rare. (On the mountain at least.)
How do you feel about special protagonists? I don’t mind characters that are special. Talk about a character with a rare talent or a special magic and I’m there!
I am annoyed when they are perfect. Pretty and talented and with a perfect personality, it’s all a bit much. (And boring!)