My husband picked this book as an audiobook for the family trip to Quebec because it sounded similar to the Hunger Games series. I was happy with the choice because I read and enjoyed lots of Mercedes Lackey as a teen.
Genre: YA fantasy/post-apocalyptic
Length: 374 pages
Setting: Mostly around Apex, a near future Washington D.C.
Summary: Short version: Hunting fairy monsters with politics
Long version: After the Diseray hit, the Earth was invaded by Othersiders – creatures out of fairy tale that unted humans for the manna. Luckily, Hounds also arrived to helps humans fight the Othersiders, called over by a specific Hunter. Joyeaux is on such Hunter in a secretive community in the Rocky Mountains. To keep her community safe, she heads to Apex City to join the Hunters there. Things are much different in the big city. The Hunters compete to be top in the rankings since every Hunter has a vid channel. Joy just wants to hunt Othersiders. However, she gets into politics because of her uncle, the head of police.
Final thoughts: This is a better version of the Hunger Games, I think. Lots of action, with a bit of intrigue, both political and a larger story with the Folk, for spice. It was a perfect audiobook because Joy tends to talk to the reader. Everything is new at Apex, so she paints a detailed picture of her surroundings for the reader. She makes a couple of friends, mostly with outsiders like herself like White Knight. We can see her settling into society, although still finding it strange.
I also really loved the Hounds. I’m partial to animal companions that can talk to you. Joy is special because of the size of her pack, their type, and their multiple abilities. She even picks up two new Hounds when a friend dies, which is almost unheard of. Joy just has such strong integrity and fighting skills that the Hounds want to fight with her. She still freaks out after a big fight, though, and needs to cuddle with her pack leader for reassurance. She’s also very homesick and can’t really open up to anyone for fear that it will have implications for the hidden community she left behind.
You can tell this is aimed at a younger audience because the violence isn’t graphic and the sex only gets to kissing. Overall, highly enjoyable.
Title comes from: The main character is a Hunter, tasked with her Hounds to hunt Othersiders to protect people
Reading challenges fulfilled: book #47 for 2018
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