Review: Hunter by Mercedes Lackey
What the Cat Read would first like to thank Disney-Hyperion for providing a review copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks also go out to Rockstar Book Tours for letting us participate in this fantastic tour event! If you would like to see all of the blogs involved in the event, please click on the banner above, murr! =^.^=
I’ve always been a fan of Lackey’s novels. She’s been a household favorite since the time I was a tiny little kitten to present day. There has been very little which she has written that I have not loved, so when I heard that she had a new YA novel releasing this year, I pounced on the chance to read it because I knew it was going to be enjoyable. And I can assure you that it did not disappoint. Fans of Lackey’s various series are going to purr over Hunter, the first in a brand new YA series that blends cultural paranormal myths with reality TV stardom and just a dash of what lovers of young adult novels have come to expect in a new title.
Okay, yes, I will admit that this does have some elements that feel very Hunger Games-ish, and I can understand that for some readers this is something that can be a turn off, but hear this feline out and give the book a chance. If you look beyond the similarity between the Tributes from the Hunger Games and the Hunters in this book, you will find a story rich with cultural traditions and beliefs, political intrigue, and lots of action. It’s classic Lackey writing.
Joyeaux (Joy) Charmand is a strong, intelligent, and compassionate young woman who knows how to navigate her way through the inner political world she finds herself in in Apex City. Because she comes from a rural area she is often thought of by others as being a “turnip,” and while there are some things where her ignorance is not feigned, she is, for the most part extremely street savvy and knows when to play dumb. I instantly connected with her and cheered at the end when she took up the challenge to become Elite, something that few Hunters aspire to try and become. She is a character young felines will enjoy and want to emulate, and Bastet knows we can never have too many strong female characters in books, despite what some may think. As for the secondary characters, while I didn’t feel like any of them really stood out in any exceptional way, I think there is a lot of potential for some of them to be important players in the rest of the books in the series.
What I really enjoyed about Hunter though was the world that Lackey built, in particular the blending together of different cultures, beliefs, and traditions. From Tibetan, Christian, Aztec, and Native American beliefs to European, Celtic, and Welsh myths (and more), this is where Hunter differs from all the other Dystopian young adult books. The Othersiders are fascinating, especially the Hounds and I loved how each set of Hounds was unique to the Hunters they chose to connect themselves to. I can only hope that Lackey delves further into each mythos in her future books because she’s really got a great world started here.
The only thing that I had trouble with was the deliberate misspelling of various words throughout the story. I understand the reasoning behind Lackey’s choice to change the spelling as it fits with the world that she’s created, but I’m not going to lie and say it didn’t get under my fur a lot in the beginning. Halfway through the book I started to gloss over the misspellings, however there were times where I was still momentarily jarred by them. An example: vaygen. Yes, it is fairly obvious what the author means here, but still, it was difficult to not cringe every time I came across a misspelling.
Overall though, this is a fantastic start to what promises to be an exciting series of books and I for one am greatly looking forward to discovering what happens next.
About the Author:
Mercedes Lackey is the acclaimed author of over fifty novels and many works of short fiction. In her “spare” time she is also a professional lyricist and a licensed wild bird rehabilitator. Mercedes lives in Oklahoma with her husband and frequent collaborator, artist Larry Dixon, and their flock of parrots.
5 winners will receive a finished copy of HUNTER. US Only. To enter, click on the Rafflecopter link below: