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Hunter's Death by Michelle West

Review by Jojo

Spoilers for Hunter's Oath, but I mean that in the very loose sense. I'm not going to give any major plot away, but obviously it'll tell you some minor things... Can't be helped.

Hunter's Death is the second book in the Hunter Duology written by Michelle West, continuing where Hunter's Oath left off.

The Characters
Along with the main characters from the first book (Stephen, Gilliam, Evayne, Espere, Kallandras) we are introduced to a whole lot of new characters, most of which get, at least for a small section, a chance of telling the story from their p.o.v. There is Jewel "Jay" Marken, denleader to a punch of street people; Meralonne Aphaniel, who we see a bit of in the firs book and a lot of in this one, mage extraordinaire; The Terafin, leader of the House Terafin, the most powerful of the Ten Houses, who are second only to the Kings and Queens; Devon and Torval, two Chosen of The Terafin; the two Kings and Queens, the Exalted of the Trinity (the Mother, and the two first God-born Kings of Averalaan), and a couple of bad guys who we see so little off that I have already forgotten their names.

Plus there are some more Gods introduced, but we don't see from their eyes...

The World
The world is set on the same planet as the last, but we have traveled now to the Empire, were Averalaan is found. It is vastly different than Breodanir and, over the span of the book, I get the feeling that Breodanir is an older place than Averalaan. However, this city is one that has been made over again and again and the original city probably goes back further than the history of Breodanir.

The Plot
Defeat the bad guys. *g* In short, it's a battle between the Gods, the good guys trying to keep the Covenant from being broken, the bad trying to open up a way through the barrier so that their Lord of Hells can get back on Earth. Real basic plot stuff that could have been so very interesting, and maybe it was, but I was so confused... Most of this book was people running aroung, trying to find out what was going on, trying to connect everything and they just couldn't do it. There was one annoying part where one character is asked about a mythic set of monster-types, and this character is scornful. "They're just childrens' tales!" even though half a doze on other 'childrens tales' are walking the streets. Later on in the story this same character suddenly knows oodles about these creatures and makes remarks about how terrible it would be if they should wake...

The Grade
This is hard. Here's the deal. I really loved the first book. I was in tears before the 100 page mark. That is a sign of a great book, that I can be that connected to the people that soon. And this book was't a bad ending. It really wasn't. I just wasn't in to it, and here's why I think that was. There are a few reasons.

First, and this may not be a bad thing, nothing happened how I thought it was going to. The overall plot was a long time in coming, making itself clear, all the implications.

Second: Hardly any of the characters that we saw a lot of in the first book have a chance at their p.o.v. We barely see Evayne, who was a character I wanted to learn a lot more of, and what we see of Stephen is limited. My two favorites right there. Instead, we see from a lot of new people and it gets confusing. It feels a bit rushed. Which isn't all that great, because I really liked a lot of the new characters. Jay, for instance, and the Terafin.

Third: We are in a new city. A different country, or empire, and most of the characters we see through are from there. So, not a lot of its ways are explained, and I felt like an ignorant foriegner for most of the book.

Fourth: So many things that I thought were going to happen didn't. That's definitely not a writing fault, that's my own for having so many, but it was enough to hinder my ability to connect.

Too much happened, I think, in too short of time. I felt, for a good part, like there was another book that I had missed, or that I had a few chapters missing from my book. I just wasn't in the story.

To be fair, I was reading this while taking care of Jeff, fresh from his surgery, so I did a lot of reading in spurts and that could have been detrimental to the connection I was building. And, in the back of my mind, my muse is restless, yelling at me to stop reading and get writing... So these are factors that I take into consideration.

And, of course, I wasn't pleased with the ending, but, again, that's always the case. I just don't like them.

So, this is getting.... 3 amulets? I like her writing. Eventually I'll try her other series. People may like it, too. *nods* I'm glad I read it. I just wish I had felt for it like I had the first.


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