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 last of the Hunter trilogy. While I try to post no spoilers, if ye haven’t read the first two 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!
I thought this final installment was going to be about how to end the war with the magic folk and it was – kinda sort of. As I have said before, 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. What I adored about the first two books were Hounds and monster hunting. This book’s plot was a big old mess and so were the characters.
Some of the problems:
- World building – I liked the concept of the Diseray and how monsters came to be but really it doesn’t make sense and isn’t explained. What about all the other towns? Why aren’t there better systems for monster fighting?
- The romance – Lame. Really lame. Sickeningly so.
- The other characters – Lackey set up characters to have a certain point in book two and then completely changes tack. I mean a character dies and it was so lame that a) I didn’t even notice at the time; and b) didn’t care. She had ruined one of me previous favorite characters! The characters got more bland over time!
- The main character – She was whiny, stupid, and selfish. All the intelligence she ever had seemed to wash away. And seriously she still acted like a dumb kid. Not enough character growth. And the special snowflakeness bothered me way more this time.
- The plot – it never really escalated. It was more of the same, rinse, repeat. Even the monster hunts used the same tactics every single time. Boring. Instead of focusing on the magic folk, it instead became a human politics subplot that just sucked. And the subplot came out of nowhere.
- Hounds – I adored all the Hounds and they are never used well. Magic dogs people. They should all do magic cool things. All the time.
- The Final Battle – Absolutely utterly lame. How it resolved was so dumb that I blinked at the pages in confusion. WTF?
- Answers – There were none. At least none that made sense. The book didn’t even feel like an ending. It felt like someone lost the manuscript pages leading up to the conclusion and never noticed.
This series really should have been a standalone book and stopped with book one. And if for some reason she writes another in this series I won’t read it. I thought that this series would end up being a favorite. It wasn’t. It was a quick read but seriously, this book needed better plotting and editing. And it sucked. Publishers how did ye let this happen? Walk the Plank! Arrrr!
Side note: the world of the day is lame. Again.
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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