Sunday, November 14, 2010

Review: Hunted By The Others (H&W Investigations, #1) by Jess Haines

It isn’t that Hunted by Others is a bad book. It’s just not terribly original. I’ve read so much urban fantasy/paranormal romance in the past few years, that I can’t help but compare this book to more successful, prominent series in the genre. This debut novel was enjoyable for a time, but I found myself losing interest the further I got into the story. I also couldn’t help but notice the glaring similarities between this book and Kim Harrison’s Rachel Morgan series. Three stars is generous considering that I skimmed the last hundred pages. Perhaps had I been new to the genre, I would have enjoyed this book more. It’s really difficult nowadays to find a series that brings something new and different to urban fantasy.

The story centers on a young woman named Shiarra Waynest, a private detective who gets hired by the Circle (a group of mages) to find an ancient artifact that can control vampires and werewolves. Shiarra is living in a world where those of supernatural origins chose to reveal themselves to human society after the events of 9/11. Since Shiarra is human, she is reluctant to get involved in paranormal politics, but agrees to take on this very dangerous case because the money turns out to be too good to pass up and without it she risks losing her business. The job entails that she get up close and personal with the infamous vampire Royce who owns half the city and is suspected of being in possession of the artifact in question. She also finds that she has become a target of the werewolves and the whites hats (an organization of humans who hate supernatural beings and whose goal is to exterminate them). With the help of her business partner Sara, a quirky mage named Arnold, and a special belt that gives her super strength and speed, Shiarra fights to stay alive and finish what she started.

There is something incredibly unappealing about a main character who is afraid of everything. Any time Shairra was confronted with something supernatural and/or magical she either A. screamed her head off, B. shook uncontrollably, or C. curled into a fetal position. It wasn’t until she got the belt that she started to show any emotional/physical strength whatsoever. I should also point out that all skills used when wearing the belt, including any semblance of calm that she conveys during a fight comes from the dead hunter’s spirit that gives the belt power. The belt part was nifty, but the main character was annoying and weak and redeemed herself only towards the end of the story.

Rating: 3/5 Stars

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