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I Belong


Review: Hunted by the Others by Jess Haines

Title: Hunted by the Others

Author: Jess Haines

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publication Date: May 4, 2010

Format: Paperback, 352 Pages

ISBN-10: 1420111876 (Kensington/Zebra)

ISBN-13: 978-1420111873 (Kensington/Zebra)

Synopsis (Product Description):

They are the Others — the vampires, mages, and werewolves once thought to exist only in our imaginations. Now they’re stepping out of the shadows, and nothing in our world will ever be the same again…

IN A TOWN LIKE THIS, BEING A P.I. CAN BE MURDER

Shiarra Waynest’s detective work was dangerous enough when her client base was strictly mortal. But ailing finances have forced her to accept a lucrative case that could save her firm — if it doesn’t kill her first. Shiarra has signed on to work for a high-level mage to recover an ancient artifact owned by one of New York’s most powerful vampires.

As soon as Shiarra meets scary, mesmerizing vamp Alec Royce, she knows her assignment is even more complicated than she thought. With a clandestine anti-Other group trying to recruit her, and magi being eliminated, Shiarra needs back-up and enlists her ex-boyfriend–a werewolf whose non-furry form is disarmingly appealing–and a nerdy mage with surprising talents. But it may not be enough. In a city where the undead roam, magic rules, and even the Others aren’t always what they seem, Shiarra has just become the secret weapon in a battle between good and evil–whether she likes it or not…

Quick & Dirty: An enjoyable read with danger, tension and a fascinating paranormal world.

Opening Sentence: Long, delicate fingers caressed the stem of a wineglass, trailing upward to catch a few small beads of condensation on the glass.

Excerpt: Chapter 1

The Review:

Supernatural elements known as the Others have revealed themselves to the public.  Our protagonist, Shiarra Waynest, is a private investigator struggling to make ends meet.  Seeing no other alternatives, and against her better judgment, she decides to accept an assignment from a coven of mages known as The Circle.  The Circle wants Shiarra to obtain an important artifact from Alec Royce.  He’s a very powerful vampire and runs a large portion of New York City.  Royce is basically the supernatural King of New York.  Naturally, things don’t go as planned, and Shiarra finds herself facing dangers from all sides.

Shiarra isn’t the typical urban fantasy heroine.  She has her share of flaws, and comes across as much more vulnerable, inadequate, and unsure of how to handle certain situations than the typical take charge/kick-butt action heroine.  Shiarra isn’t unrealistically competent or proficient in the field of investigative work.  She really does capture the essence of what it’s like being human and trying to navigate dark and deadly territories.  Fear, prejudice and inexperience make her irrational at times.  Shiarra is leery of supernatural creatures, and really doesn’t want to get close with them.  At times she was so caught up in her disdain and biases against the Others that she wasn’t able to clearly access the situation.  Ultimately, Shiarra leads readers on an amazing journey filled with danger and mayhem.  Hunted by the Others isn’t an overly dark and gritty story, but it’s a solid urban fantasy.  Ms. Haines delivers plenty of action and character development.

A well-rounded supporting cast of characters help to give the story depth, and keep the story interesting enough to keep readers engaged.  Sara plays the role of Shiarra’s business partner and best friend.  Chaz is Shiarra’s ex-boyfriend with some supernatural secrets of his own.  He plays a large part in getting Shiarra to deal with her fears and judgment about the Others.  Arnold, who is a mage from The Circle, also helps Shiarra navigate the deadly elements plaguing this supernatural world.  I know that there is something deeper going on with him, but I guess I will have to wait until the next installment to find out.  Royce is definitely an intriguing character and I’m looking forward to learning more about him.  I don’t want to give too many details away, but I like what Ms. Haines does with the White Hats and the concept of legal arrangements between humans and the Others.

Overall, this urban fantasy romp doesn’t disappoint.  Hunted by the Others is an absorbing and fast-paced tale.  Ms. Haines does a fabulous job worldbuilding and her characterization is excellent.  I loved being pulled into the supernatural world that Ms. Haines created.  I’m looking forward to visiting this world again in Taken by the Others, which is scheduled to be released on January 4, 2011.

Notable Scene:

He rose slowly, unfolding from the chair like some great predatory bird preparing to dive down on its prey.  I shrank back even further as he came around the desk, slowly and deliberately setting his hands on the arms of my chair and leaning forward right into my face.  Both of my hands involuntarily walked up to shield my neck as I slid back in the chair.  My knees drew up to my chest as he glared down at me, my mouth dropping open and eyes wide in shock and fear.  His breath, when he finally spoke, smelled like a mix of mint and copper, cloying and chokingly thick.

The H&W Investigations Series:

1. Hunted by the Others

2. Taken by the Others – January 4, 2011

Visit Jess around the web here: Website | Blog | Facebook

FTC Advisory: The author provided me a copy of Hunted by the Others.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.  In addition, I don’t receive affiliate fees for anything purchased via links from my site.


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One Response to “Review: Hunted by the Others by Jess Haines

  1. Freda MansNo Gravatar
    1

    Added to my list, sounds really gritty. Great review!

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