Thursday, January 10, 2008

Books: Hunter's Salvation

So, Hunter's Salvation by Shiloh Walker was another of my prize books from PBR. And it didn't work for me. I technically made it to the end, but there was a serious amount of skimming. Now - first a caveat. I have not read any of the rest of the series. I think that a great series will stand up to that and I can point you to several series where I dove in in the middle and felt the immediate need to hunt down the rest, but I concede I might have liked it better with that background.
Okay, so this is the story of Vax who is an empathic witch who used to be a Hunter (think paranormal police) until he gave it up a while back to go live on his ranch. Jess is a telekinetic reporter who is investigating a series of brutal rape murders that seem to have a little extra going on. She starts poking around a club the victims had frequented and gets to close to something, so her sister is kidnapped, raped, and murdered as a warning. Of course, instead, Jess quits her job so she can stalk them full time. So, Vax wakes up with a serious compulsion to head to a club where he find Jess just about to get into some big trouble.
So, the club has some evil people that are trying to do evil things. And really, blase is kind of how I feel about this plot. I liked each of the main characters and I could see how there were things that made them fit with each other but here's the thing. I didn't really care. There were all these characters that showed up (clearly from other books) and generally, they were there to figure out what the reader already knows. So, watching them discuss it wasn't interesting to me since I didn't have a history with them.
I'm having trouble coming up with specifics about why this book didn't work for me and the best I can come up with was it never made me care. Yes there were folks trying to experiment on people with special powers and gosh that's really terrible and someone should stop that and oh look, they are really evil, so evil they keep having sex with people and raping people - and for whatever reason, I never got to the point where I cared. Usually it's because the evil is so superficially drawn, but I don't think that was it this time, it was clear why - I actually felt we spent a bit too much time with the evil so maybe the issue was that we spent all this time with the evil people and all we really learned was that - they are evil. And when the good guys all gathered to discuss it - what did we learn - there are evil people planning to do bad things. Oh wait - I knew that!
I began to wonder, as I read, if maybe this is an "Empire Strikes Back" kind of thing. When I first saw "Empire" I thought it was such a gyp, that I was glad I hadn't seen it in theaters on original release where I would have had to wait so long until the next installment. But my friend and I went to see it when they re-released it in theaters and we both came away in awe. Time, maturity, better understanding of story-crafting - whatever it was, we were suddenly able to see all the threads and stuff contained within. However, there was not enough in this to convince to to read the rest of the series and find out.

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