My Rating: 3.5 stars: Liked it a lot - recommend (B+)
The Hunter is classified as a paranormal romance, steampunk western. With that said, let me translate: The story’s setting is a western - taking place during the late 1800’s on the planes of the wild west. The paranormal factor is strong and is the heart of the storyline. The steampunk attributes are more related to the props than the setting and way of life. Think Will Smith’s Wild Wild West with demons.
The story focuses on the youngest of the three Jackson brothers all raised to be Hunters - men and women that hunt down and kill the Darkin which torment the human world. Colt was told by his father long ago that someday the boys must collect and unite the three pieces of the mythical Book of Legend to prevent the coming of the creatures from Hell to end of the world. In his solitary journeys, Colt discovers a piece of the Book is hidden behind a door that only a demon can access.
Enter Miss Lilly. A human-turned-succubus after making a deal with the evil demon lord, Rathe, to protect her sister, she makes a bargain with Colt to help him open the door. Although a Darkin, Lilly comes across more human than demon, and it makes me wonder how she survived the past 25 years as a succubus. At times I felt she was a bit too prim and proper to be a believable succubus. Also, I felt the use of her demon powers was not consistent throughout the book - sometimes flashing in an item to help them and at other times sitting back remaining “helpless.”
Together Colt and Lilly take on the challenge of finding the first section of the book. Both are instantly attracted to one another, but are cautious given their respective backgrounds and situations. Colt constantly questions if his growing need for Lilly is because of her demon powers, and Lilly doesn’t trust because of her father’s grifter ways.
At first I found their budding romance sweet. I adored that she refused to use her succubus powers, hoping to find out if Colt was really falling for her. I admired their baby steps forward and loved when they would give into a passionate kiss. However, after about three-quarters of reading this back and forth play, I grew a bit weary of the constant inner-monologue each had questioning his/her own feelings and the other’s motives. I felt that there was too much contemplation and not enough action.
The overall plot of reuniting the pieces of the Book is interesting and I like the mythology Ms. Meyers has fleshed out in The Hunter. The conclusion was adequate, but I was not completely satisfied with the actions Colt took to fulfill his promises to Lilly. Knowing that there are still two books in the series, I am okay that the details of her world aren’t rock solid or completely laid out in this first book - it leaves room to grow. However, I am a little disappointed that the steampunk factor wasn’t a bigger part of the story. Maybe it’s the engineer in me, but I wanted a larger integration of the devices and instruments - for the world to be reliant on the steampunk way of life.
All-in-all a good read and definitely worth picking up if you enjoy westerns and paranormal romances. I look forward to finding out where the story is headed and how the Jackson brothers will save the world. The next book, The Slayer, is due to release next April, and I will be looking for it in the stores.