Thursday, October 27, 2016

Hunter by Mercedes Lackey

Posted by Rebecca Brendel

Reviewed by: Andrew Zollman

What I Read: Hunter by Mercedes Lackey

Find It @YCLD: Here!

What It's About: Mercedes Lackey's post-apocalyptic science fiction mixes magic and technology and a view of society 250 years after a series of catastrophes call the “Diseray”. Millions died and creatures once a part of legends and folktales came into the world to terrorize those who were unprotected. 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. Monsters.

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 (Civilians) 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.

What I Thought: Where should I start… Ah, although the book is set for adults, it should be noted that the book would have been better served for a young adult or transitioning teen reader. The friendships, relationships, and interactions between characters have an innocence to them that you don’t generally find in adult relationships.

Just remember that there are no bad books, just poorly written ones.

I have to say that Mercedes Lackey did not do a good job writing to build or create this new post-apocalyptic world. This may be why our library hadn’t picked up the book and series until 2016 even though it was released in 2015 as a paperback. There might have been revisions and changes for the rerelease to warrant buying it.

I know I may be ostracized for saying this, but I wish authors wouldn’t base their stories in the same type as hunger games or another series just because it is successful. Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar Series, is better constructed and well written, where Hunter was slow and painful to read. Initially, the book was hard to understand and the background of the character is barely touched upon throughout the first 25% of the book. When looking on Goodreads, I found that many readers did not finish the book at this point and gave up. I however didn’t let this daunt me, so I continued to plug away and read through.

Once again, it seems this book was written for a younger audience. The story does eventually pick up and actually start moving forward at about the halfway point. I believe if Mercedes Lackey had provided a little more information about the society and how people live, it would have given me a better understanding and made it easier to follow. Joy did learn about Cit customs and society, but these interactions were limited to semi intimate dates and interviews with Apex News reporters with Hunters. This was the reader’s only window to society and how it worked. I wish shed had fleshed out the story and built the world a little bit better.

The second half of Hunter took a complete turn back to the story and its objective. Lackey introduced the conflict and hidden side of society Hunter Joy found alarming. The conflict with other Hunters pushes the story to the true problem of society and what it was doing to the Cits and how it treats the people within and without Apex.

Hunter is not a new type of novel and despite its obvious weaknesses in the first half of the book and throughout, it is not a bad read. The content of the first book is set up to change and grow with the second book Elite. My hope is that the content will mature and become a cohesive whole to the greater issue at hand instead of smaller disputes and political maneuvering going on in Hunter. I recommend this series for younger readers more interested in following a character, learning again about fairy tales, and following the action of the Hunters. It gets better at the end so keep with it, even though it is barely compelling in the beginning.

Readalikes: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins; The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

Or look this book up on NoveList!