Ahoy there me mateys! So I have been a fan of Mercedes Lackey ever since I picked up her Valdemar books as a kid. This book is the second of the Hunter trilogy. While I try to post no spoilers, if ye haven’t read hunter then ye have been forewarned and continue at yer own peril . . .
As a reminder, the world is a post-apocalyptic US where after said disaster, a seam to the Otherworld opened allowing magic and monsters through. Several centuries later, the world has slowly rebuilt behind walls and there are armies and other groups trying to keep regular citizens safe. One of those groups is the Hunters whose purpose it be to hunt monsters of course!
In this installment, we continue to follow Joy who has become a member of the Elite group of Hunters. The sewers under the center of town are supposed to be safe but Joy is given an undercover job by her Uncle to patrol the pipes and find out what is causing the disturbances. Add in increasing storm surges, higher rates of monster attacks, and trying to make time to see her boyfriend and Joy’s life is anything but calm.
This series just continues to be outright fluffy fun. The highlights of the book are still Joy, Joy’s Hounds, and Knight. I also loved the addition of the two Hunter brothers. There is less romance in this one and it is actually a little lighter on plot. This book does have a bit of the set-up for the next book problem. There are questions with no satisfactory answers. But I really didn’t care. I am really here for the Hounds and for monster hunting. There was plenty of that.
If ye haven’t read any of Lackey’s YA stuff, there is a lightness of tone to the books and the plot doesn’t really tend to have tons of psychology or real character development. But it does have excellent characters to root for, fun magic, and good conquering evil. I loved her YA series with dragons jousters and I love this one too. These are young adult books that harken back to earlier times and types of fantasy stories. And there be nothing wrong with that. I recommend Lackey’s work to the crew. Now all I have to do is finish the series!
Goodreads has this to say about the novel:
Joy wants nothing more than to live and Hunt in Apex City without a target on her back. But a dangerous new mission assigned by her uncle, the city’s Prefect, may make that impossible.
In addition to her new duties as one of the Elite, Joy is covertly running patrols in the abandoned tunnels and storm sewers under Apex Central. With her large pack of magical hounds, she can fight the monsters breaking through the barriers with the strength of three hunters. Her new assignment takes a dark turn when she finds a body in the sewers: a Psimon with no apparent injury or cause of death.
Reporting the incident makes Joy the uncomfortable object of PsiCorp’s scrutiny—the organization appears more interested in keeping her quiet than investigating. With her old enemy Ace still active in Hunts and the appearance of a Folk Mage who seems to have a particular interest in her, Joy realizes that the Apex conspiracy she uncovered before her Elite trials is anything but gone.
As the body count rises, she has no choice but to seek answers. Joy dives into the mysterious bowels of the city, uncovering secrets with far-reaching consequences for PsiCorp… and all of Apex City.
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