Image courtesy of Netgalley.com
by Mercedes Lackey
For those of you who can't get enough dystopian in your lives, you will love Hunter. In Hunter, the world has been invaded by Othersiders. The only place that you are truly safe is in Apex (think the Capital in Hunger Games). The reason that Apex is safe is because it is being patrolled by Hunters - those who hunt the Othersiders - and because they have built a border around their city. As you can imagine, the Othersiders aren't the only ones trying to get in, Apex also has an immigration issue.
Joyeaux Charmond has grown up as an orphan and trained at a secret Monastery in the mountains far from Apex. She just happens to be the niece of the Prefect of Police in Apex. When she is chosen to come to Apex to train there, she knows that it has something to do with being the niece of the Prefect.
It doesn't take long for Joy to figure out that not everyone can be trusted and that everything she does is being recorded for the public to watch. This "vid" watching makes Hunters heroes and reassures that Apex is safe from Othersiders; or is it?
There is so much going on in this story that I could write a novel just reviewing it! Despite all the themes and action in Hunter, the book flows nicely. I had a hard time putting it down as every chapter ends with a cliffhanger. I think Lackey put a lot of information into the first book of what proves to be a series; I'm assuming forthcoming books will be less dense. Lackey does a great job of setting up a post apocalyptic political system, tension between Hunters, religious undertones and immigration issues. As in Undertow by Michael Buckley with integration, Hunter could be used to talk about immigration; who do we let in and who do we keep out; and who decides?
Joyeaux is a very likeable character who is completely altruistic without seeming naive. Despite the violence describing fights with Othersiders, I think this book will appeal to upper elementary school students up to adults who really like a good story! I for one, can't wait to read the next installment in the Hunter saga!