(I received an early copy of Hunter from Disney Hyperion in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)
Hunter by Mercedes Lackey is about Joyeaux Charmand, a teenage Hunter of monsters from the Otherside who is called to protect the citizens of Apex. On the outside, it looks like a sort of fantasy-dystopian combination with the chance for some action-packed goodness and a female main character who can kick some butt. On the inside… eh. I did not enjoy Hunter very much: the writing didn’t stand out to me, I didn’t really connect to any of the characters, and a lot of the backstory just did not seem very well done. I give Hunter a 3/10, because truthfully, I struggled to read it.
Things I Liked:
- Hunter did have its moments. The pacing was pretty good, with conversation or personal reflection time to balance out the action-y scenes.
Things I Didn’t Like:
- I really didn’t connect very much to any of the characters. There were moments when I really liked Joyeaux at the beginning, but those tended to fade as I got closer to the end. She’s strong and can definitely kick butt, which I usually enjoy, but for some reason I was just not attached to her. All of the characters in Hunter fell flat for me.
- The writing is bland and lacks maturity or sophistication. Comma splices and excessive explanation points drove me insane, but mostly it just felt very childish. Mercedes Lackey also uses annoying dystopian vernacular, in which new technology or innovations are just a play on current, similar objects. For example, “Hot Chocolike” is the new version of hot chocolate. This vocabulary in dystopian novels irritates me.
- I was definitely not a fan of the backstory. The Diseray is basically when society fell apart and all the monsters from the Otherside came through into our world, and it was caused by the Christers, who are obviously Christians. I still can’t tell if this rubbed me the wrong way solely because I’m a Christian, or if non-Christian readers would find it odd that this book very clearly blames Christians for its apocalypse. Either way, the backstory felt random, unnecessary, and slightly offensive.
- There are too many details to keep track of. Along with the backstory, new monsters are constantly being introduced, such as Gazers and Jackals. There are so many different monsters, and each of them is described briefly and then referred to only by its name, that I had trouble remembering them all. This made certain sections of the book quite confusing.
- Honestly, the book didn’t hold my interest enough, and for the last 100-150 pages, I was just trying to get through it to the end.
I don’t really recommend Hunter. Maybe I couldn’t get into it because I have so much else going on with school and college applications, but I definitely did not enjoy it. I hope all of my lovely readers are enjoying interesting books right now, though, and I’ll see y’all soon with a new review!