This series is by “new to me” author Andy Peloquin. Having followed the author’s blog for some time and reading about his experiences and thoughts on writing, I was interested to see how his writing translated into a novel. I was pleasantly surprised with the first installment in this new fantasy series. While it is billed as dark fantasy, I am not sure that is entirely apt. While there a few dark elements, the main character displayed characteristics of light and darkness and the plot rarely ventured too far into dark content.
The story focuses on and is told from the perspective of “The Hunter”. The Hunter is an assassin for hire but he is no ordinary killer. For reasons unknown to himself, he possesses the ability to quickly heal from most any injury and possesses an innate ability to track his victims. He wields a mysterious blade to which he is bonded and from which to gains extraordinary strength. In the course of his work, he kill with regard only to his pay but The Hunter’s work thrusts him into the midst of political maneuverings and a questionable murder exposes him to danger he did not anticipate. Through the dangerous series of events, The Hunter learns the source of his power and his mysterious past.
The novel was a mixed bag. Throughout the first two thirds of the book, I was quite engaged. I found The Hunter to be both intriguing and confounding. On one hand, he was dark, brooding and mysterious yet he was often unsure of himself and troubled with a nagging sense of morality. While his often conflicting self made The Hunter difficult to understand, it made him an interesting and compelling character.
Overall, the writing was quite good. The characterization was strong and up until the last quarter or so, the dialogue was strong. As the book raced toward an explosive finish, the pace of the dialogue quickened and became clipped. It felt as if in the writing of the final scenes, the author was rushed and the quality took a hit. While I was satisfied with the resolution, there were some bumps along the way.
The author goes to great lengths to create a mythology and world for his character. Overall, this was skillfully done. There is specific care to building a complex system of religion and myth that colors the views and actions of the characters. On this note, after finishing the book, I headed over to the authors page on Goodreads to see his favorite authors and books. It was no surprise that he is a fan of and influenced by Scott Lynch. The entire religious system in this book was strikingly similar to the system found in The Lies of Locke Lamora. Readers who are familiar with Lynch with either see this as an homage to a great series or a simple knockoff. You decide for yourself.
On the whole, the book is enjoyable with an interesting “herovillan”. While I see the author has self published a previous book, this is the first that has been commercially published. As a first novel, it is a success and leaves me interested in the future happenings of The Hunter. I always expect growth in both writing skill and character development. If these both remain on an upward trajectory, I will continue to follow this series and this author.
Note on Adult Content:
While reading, I made specific note that the sexual content was mild. There were certainly adult situations, they were by no means graphic which lends this book to a wider audience.
This book is a new release and can be found here at Amazon