Lynn: Mercedes Lackey is a famous name to fans of adult fantasy and I was truly excited to receive a galley of her first YA book, Hunter (2015). The veteran author delivers with practiced panache, introducing teen readers to an Earth devastated centuries ago by the Disery, in which the boundary between the Otherworld and ours was torn open, allowing monsters of of every sort to pour through. Now, what’s left of the population lives in communities guarded by magic-using Hunters. Hunters are aided by the intriguing Hounds, the only type of Otherworlders to aid mankind.
Joy and her Hounds have major skills and
they definitely kick supernatural butt.
Joyeaux Charmand has been a Hunter since her magic manifested at age 9. She has lived and trained in a small mountain community but, with attacks on the rise, she is called to service in the capital, Apex City. Joy is shocked when she’s told that “Hunters are as much entertainment as protectors.” Every time she goes out on patrol, cameras record her actions; each Hunter has her own TV channel and competes against the others in rankings. Joy realizes that the ordinary Cits are being shielded from the truth about the incursions and that the government is keeping complicated and dangerous secrets. But she has important secrets of her own and must figure out who, if anyone, she can trust.
Lackey’s world-building is terrific and I was instantly immersed in the fascinating tangle of issues. Joy is a strong character, smart, tough, and self-reliant yet still a believable teen. The Hunters’ Hounds, who appear in various forms, are a nice addition, providing much of the magic, and a good deal of humor, in this dystopian fantasy. As a team, Joy and her Hounds have major skills and they definitely kick supernatural butt in high-tension action scenes. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough and am ready right now for a sequel! Earlier this month, I told Katniss to move over for Yael, the heroine of Ryan Graudin’s Wolf by Wolf. Now it’s time to make room for another new girl, Joy—and her Hounds.