September 1, 2015
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Centuries ago, the barriers between our world and the Otherworld were slashed open allowing hideous fantastical monsters to wreak havoc; destroying entire cities in their wake. Now, people must live in enclosed communities, behind walls that keep them safe from the evil creatures constantly trying to break in. Only the corps of teen Hunters with lightning reflexes and magical abilities can protect the populace from the daily attacks.There need to be more books where characters are in danger from and battling to kill legit monsters. In Hunter Joyeaux Charmand, a Hunter, does just that. Living in the post-Diseray (like the apocalypse, but not quite) world, she's trained nearly her whole life to protect the people of her mountain village. Now, called to the capitol to join the Hunters protecting the city of Apex and its people.
Joyeaux Charmand is a mountain girl from a close knit village who comes to the big city to join the Hunters. Joy thinks she is only there to perform her civic duty and protect the capitol Cits, or civilians, but as cameras follow her every move, she soon learns that the more successful she is in her hunts, the more famous she becomes.
With millions of fans watching her on reality TV, Joy begins to realize that Apex is not all it seems. She is forced to question everything she grew up believing about the legendary Hunters and the very world she lives in. Soon she finds that her fame may be part of a deep conspiracy that threatens to upend the protective structure built to keep dark magic out. The monsters are getting in and it is up to Joy to find out why.
Joy believes she knows about being a Hunter - the history, the responsibility, the duty, the dnager - but life in Apex opens her eyes to some unexpected things.
Hunter starts (and then really, continues) with a whole, whole lot of information about the world Joy lives in. Some of it, yes, is necessary for the story, to understanding things, but . . .
With so much information - from what had happened to 'our' world, who was who, what was what, how they farmed, what they farmed, whether Joy's home had cow or goat butter, etc - it became really hard to get into the story. (Or to even pay attention to the rest of the narrative.) This was a book that really, really, really needed footnotes. (Or to be much longer and work the details into the story, not just tell us them.) If there had been footnotes, it would be possible to stay 'in' the story and leave the background/details until later if you wished, or break to read them. Between the excess information and some confusing, run-on sentences, it wasn't a very easy read.
About forty percent of the way in, the story did get going more. There was less information and more action.
I liked the concept of Hunter, the monsters, the Hunters, the 'reality' TV aspect (it reminded me a bit of The Vault of Dreamers here) of it and the setup/world (if not how it was presented).
I did wish that Joy had not had such a distaste for 'Christers.' It did not seem that she had an issue with religion or the religious, in general, only Christers. She was incredibly judgmental of them as a whole, as an idea, and even individually when they were friends. It got to the point of being annoying and pointless.
In general, I didn't mind that Joy was telling us the story. It gives us insight into who she is, lets us know how she knows things and how she sees them. There were several times where she seemed to really jump to conclusions, though. Her assumptions were too much for me - especially if they were right because it wasn't logical.
I wish there had been more development of the relationships Joy has with other characters and of the characters themselves. It seemed so much of the book was spent on establishing the world, explaining it to readers and how Joy thought, that there wasn't enough for the other characters and their roles in her life.
All of that said, I do still really like the idea of Hunter. Now that we know about the world, about the Hunters and have met the characters, I am interested in seeing what happens in Book 2. I don't think I fully understand the danger Joy was in (who, why, how, why??) beyond one of her assumptions but hope it's expanded on in the second book.
The concept of Hunter worked for me while the actual execution did not, so I'm not giving up on the series, yet.
*I need to look at a finished copy to see if a Latin/English translation is different from the arc - if not: :(
thank you to the publisher for my egalley via NetGalley