I was very lucky to stumble across Sarai Henderson‘s novel paranormal YA thriller Hunter for multiple reasons. First, I was able to read a brand new book that was actually going to be on my TBR pile anyway, and second, I got to meet a new author with a creative mind and a lot of talent. Hunter is exciting, fun, and unpredictable with a creative premise that many paranormal thrillers will enjoy. I definitely recommend it to anyone looking to add something different to their fall reading list.
Sixteen-year-old Hunter belongs to the Telepathic Alliance for the Latent or Newly manifested, otherwise known as Talon, a bounty hunter community known for their ruthless tactics. Her latest mission in San Diego was supposed to be a piece of cake, but when the job takes a treacherous and deadly turn, not even her telepathic abilities could have warned her of the dangers lurking around the corner.
There is only one place for Hunter to go, and that is straight into the hands of the government and their Psychic Intelligence Team, but even the “Normal” world isn’t safe. With each passing hour throwing her deeper into the game of life and death, Hunter must decide who to trust before this mission becomes her last.
It was the concept that hooked me. I mean, Psychic Intelligence Teams either and blurred loyalty lines? What’s not to love about that? Even better is the execution of the material. The story is engaging right from the start, and becomes more intense as main character Hunter realizes that all is not as it seems, and all is definitely not well. I was never bored and while there were a couple instances where mysteries seemed to wrap up quickly or out of the blue, I was never taken out of the story.
I really liked how Henderson set up the world, and that it wasn’t too much different from ours. Long time readers of my reviews know I’m a complete sucker for a world that is way beyond the realm of possibility, but every once in a while I like to come back to the “real” world with a slightly alternate version. The world in Hunter felt real even with the impressive and varied psychic powers and made me connect further with the characters.
Speaking of, the characters are terrific, each one diverse and discernible from the next. Hunter is a solid voice and it’s easy to understand her turmoil and the complexities of her situation. She literally has no one she trusts and just when she thinks she can, something happens to alter her perspective. But I loved how she stayed strong and true to herself, especially at the end. The other side characters were really good, but props have to go to Seeker. I pretty much fell in love with the guy the moment he took the stage. Loyal, compassionate, honest, tough, fearless, and gorgeous–– what’s not to love?
Since this is a review and I’m a nitpicker, there were a couple things that bugged me. Most had to do with Hunter’s past affiliations. A mention of the fate of one of her parents seemed to wrap up way faster than I’d hoped, and Hunter’s companion Bear flip-flopped a little too much for my liking. I didn’t really buy the romance angle and was honestly expecting more of it. That said, none of these impeded my enjoyment of the story. This is a fantastic debut for a new author and I definitely suggests everyone gives Hunter a shot… No pun intended, as there is a lot of gunfire in the action scenes.