Only the most recent posts pop up on the HOME page. For searchable lists of titles/series reviewed on this Blog, click on one of the Page Tabs above. On each Page, click on the series name to go directly to my review.

AUTHOR SEARCH lists all authors reviewed on this Blog. CREATURE SEARCH groups all of the titles/series by their creature types. The RATINGS page explains the violence, sensuality, and humor (V-S-H) ratings codes found at the beginning of each Blog review and groups all titles/series by their Ratings. The PLOT TYPES page explains the SMR-UF-CH-HIS codes found at the beginning of each Blog review and groups all titles/series by their plot types. On this Blog, when you see a title, an author's name, or a word or phrase in pink type, this is a link. Just click on the pink to go to more information about that topic.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Shiloh Walker: THE HUNTERS

Author: Shiloh Walker
Plot Type: SMR
Ratings: V3, S4, H1
Publishers and Titles:    

The titles below are listed  in reading order along with the name of the hero and heroine of each book/story:

    Legends: Hunters and Heroes (Samhain, 2006, three novellas, the last two of which are prequels to the series): “Hunter’s Pride, “The Huntress,” & “Malachi”
   Hunters: The Beginning (Ellora’s Cave, 2004): two novellas: Declan & Tori—early years; Eli & Sarel

   Hunters: Interlude (Ellora’s Cave, 2005): two novellas: Byron & Kit; Jonathan & Lori
   Hunters: Ben and Shadoe (Ellora’s Cave, 2005)
   Hunters: Rafe and Sheila (Ellora’s Cave, 2005)
   I’ll Be Hunting You (e-book only; Ellora’s Cave, 2007): Declan & Tori—later years
   Hunting the Hunter (Ellora’s Cave, 2009): Kane & Kendall
   Hunters: Heart and Soul (Berkley, 2007): Mike & Leandra; Malachi & Kelsey
   Hunter’s Salvation (Berkley, 2007): Vax & Jess
   Hunter’s Need (Berkley, 2009): Duke & Analise
   Hunter’s Fall (Berkley, 2011): Dominic & Nessa
   Hunter's Rise (Berkley, 4/2012): Toronto (Tor) & Sylvia (FINAL BOOK)

Stand-alone HUNTERS stories:
   Hunters Edge (Samhain, 2009): Kel & Angel
   “Hunter’s Mercy,” historical HUNTERS story in Private Places anthology (Berkley, 2008)
   “Hunter’s Choice” in The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance or in e-book form

Hunter’s World (can be read in any order)
   Hunt Me (e-book only, 2011): Drew & Dakota
   Hunter’s Choice (e-book only): Wyatt & Sara
   Hunters: Belonging (e-book only, Ellora’s Cave, 2009): Levi & Cori

     The reading order and other lists above came from information posted on Walker's web site. Walker is in the process of re-editing and reissuing this series in e-book format. Some titles will change, and the order of e-book publication does not always match the order of print publication. Click HERE to follow her progress. 

     This blog entry was revised and updated on 5/3/12 to include a review of the final book in the series: Hunter's Rise. That review comes first, followed by an overview of the world-building and a review of the previous book, Hunter’s Fall:

       FINAL BOOK: Hunter's Rise: Toronto (Tor) and Sylvia     
    Toronto (Tor) is a Master werewolf who doesn't want to be either a leader or a follower. Currently, Tor is a member of Rafe's team of Hunters in Memphis, where he spends most of his time causing trouble with his arrogant, rules-breaking ways. He makes frequent trips to the city of Toronto (from which he took his name), where he tries to remember his past. More than a century ago when he was a human teenager, Tor was changed into a werewolf when he was attacked by five ferals. That attack resulted in a complete memory wipe of his life prior to the attack. He was rescued and raised by Nessa, the heroine of the previous book

     Sylvia is a vampire who was attacked and changed by a monster while she was living in Toronto over a century ago. She has memories of two young boys who helped to trap her for their Master but then died as they attempted to rescue her. (See where this is going?) When Sylvia eventually escaped, she became a feared and respected mercenary, assassinating other monsters, both human and supernatural

     The confluence of Tor and Sylvia's lives is apparent to the reader from the very beginning, but they don't figure it out until the end of the book. In the meantime, they search for a pedophilic serial killer in Memphis and attempt to come to terms with their mutual lust

     This is a typical HUNTERS story, with appropriately high levels of angst, self-doubt, guilt, and sex. Even though the reader will figure out the connection between Tor and Sylvia long before the characters do, the story line has enough twists and turns to make it a compelling read. As usual, many characters from previous books make appearances, including Rafe, Sheila, Nessa, Dominic, Kel, Sally, and Dillon

     This erotic series focuses on various members of the Hunters, a supernatural organization (vampires, witches, and shape-shifters) that administers vigilante justice to human and supernatural evildoers in cities in the Midwest and South-Central states (e.g., Nashville, Memphis, Indianapolis, Cincinnati). Each book follows a couple from first lust to final soul-mate status, with plenty of angst-ridden scenes of self-doubt and second thoughts, closely followed by countless detailed scenes of over-the-top sex—with a few very light plot interruptions by a variety of evildoers, including rogue vampires, dangerous witches, and mad scientists

     In this world, the supernaturals are living under the human radar. As long as they can police their own people and keep the rogues and ferals under control they believe that they can continue to live in the mortal world without being detected

     Both the vampire and werewolf mythologies are relatively traditional. Most vampires are sun sensitive day sleepers, but older ones can be awake during  the early or late daytime hours. If a human is bitten by a werewolf, that bite unleashes a virus into the human's blood that transforms him/her into a werewolf. That transition is unsuccessful in many people, and the resulting ferals are hunted down and killed by the Hunters. Persons bitten by more than one werewolf frequently die, but if they make it through a brief feral stage, they can go on to become powerful Masters. The most powerful of the vampires are also called Masters. The leaders of the various Hunters groups are all Masters. Here, Tor (a Master werewolf) muses about his world: "Toronto's world was nothing like some of the stuff people watched on TVhis kind weren't coming out of the closet any time soon. Humans weren't ready to deal with vampires or werewolves. Especially not when it was a crapshoot as to who would emerge sane...and who would emerge a monster after the Change. The monsters were executed. Plain and simple." (Hunter's Rise, p. 13)

       Hunter's Fall: Dominic and Nessa       
     The most recent book in the series is  Hunter’s Fall. In the Prologue, which sets off the plot, Nessa is a witch in a village in England in 1506. The villagers threaten to kill her husband, Elias, if she doesn't submit to purification. When Nessa allows herself to be tied up, they kill Elias anyhow, and as he dies, he vows to come back to her. The story in Chapter 1 opens 500 years later as Nessanow a Hunteris in a state of extreme depression. She has been waiting five centuries for Elias to return to her, and she is tired of going on alone. To top it all off, the spirit of Morgan, an evil, energy-sucking witch, is inhabiting—actually, infecting—her body. Nessa killed Morgan and took her body (because Nessa's old body died in the battle), but Morgan's soul didn't leave her body when Nessa took it over. So now, Nessa is fighting off the evilness of Morgan and the depression of her long wait for Elias, and the battle is not going well. 

     Now, we come to Dominic, a Hunter who has been having dreams about a beautiful woman all his life. These dreams have become more and more frequent, and he is driven to find this women who is called Nessa. The story follows Nessa as she gets involved in Morgan's dangerous family life and Dominic as he tries to find Nessa and realizes that he is actually Elias in another body and that Nessa is his wife. Got that? After we get all of this information, the story gets even more tortuous. Morgan's soul overwhelms Nessa and she does some really bad things of which she is extremely ashamed. Both Dominic/Elias and Nessa go though even more tragic misadventures before they finally get their HEA. Really, the final third of the book is one long series of convoluted circumstances that put both the hero and the heroine through an emotional wringer.

    If you love SMR stories that are overflowing with angst and tragedy, this is definitely the series for you.

Here is a quotation that will give you an idea of the angst level of Hunter’s Fall:

"She her hands, remembering the blood. Remembering the choices she'd made. She'd taken lives during that foggy, surreal time when she'd forgotten herself....and she wasn't sure she could live with what she had done....Now happiness lay just inches away. But she no longer deserved it. She didn't deserve him" (p. 293, just a tiny piece of Nessa's two-page interior monologue about what a terrible person she is and why she doesn't deserve Dominic/Elias's love)

No comments:

Post a Comment