Thursday, February 18, 2016

Hunter by Mercedes Lackey Review

"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…"
To be honest, I don't remember Mercedes Lackey's writing to be info-dumping-happy. But that is what happens in this book.

Hunter, which is YA Fantasy/Dystopian, is a peculiar mix of  supernatural, Dystopia, fantasy, magic, romance, and more. It's almost as if the author can't decide which genre she really wants to dive into or as if the author wants to have a little bit of everything to make the story unique. It isn't necessarily a bad thing. The author is trying, but she doesn't really get away with it. It's a weird mesh-up between genres. Some sort of bizarre love child created by Dr. Frankenstein. (Okay, I admit that is a bad analogy, but I have no other ones I can think of). It actually reminds me a bit of Kiersten White's Paranormalcy, just without its grace and fluidity. 

Let's talk about the information dumps. Thankfully, she only sets it in the exposition and the very moment right before the climax. These info dumps are similar to a popup box and stand out like an elephant in a tiny Fiat. Sure, they could get annoying at worst, but they prove themselves to be crucial to the plot. The dumping of information are tactless and could have been arranged in a better way to smooth over the story, but it doesn't get in the way of action-packed moments. 

The plot is too condensed. I think if Mercedes Lackey has been given at least fifty more pages of blank paper, she would have a much better book. Alas, she makes with what she have with a plot that moves like a gentle breeze. It's not smooth, as I said before. And I was very tempted to abandon it, but I had to see it to its end.

Speaking of the ending, the last info dump isn't a great place for an info dump. Just not. And I can't help but scratch my head over and over again. And am I hungry for more? No. 

Characters... Joy is more action than development, and once again, I have to point out that if Lackey has been given fifty more pages and allowed to be a brick-sized book, the story would probably work. But it doesn't...

In conclusion, if I knew what I was going to read, I wouldn't read Hunter. It's underdeveloped in a lot of areas, and it needs more work (read: major rewrite!). It's just a newborn, but I do see potential in its world building if the author lines her cards correctly.

Rating: One out of Five

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