Sunday, December 3, 2017

The Bookwyrm's Review of Hunter by Heath Stallcup

 Hunter by [Stallcup, Heath]

Author: Heath Stallcup

Length: 200 pages

Publisher: Devil Dog Press

Release Date: December 29, 2016

After reading Heath Stallcup's Monster Squad series, I was in the mood to check out his other offerings. So what do I come across? A book called Hunter. I checked out the blurb, and must have been really tired, because I thought it was a book about Vikings. that was my misreading, because looking back, it didn't say that. Instead, its a book a vampire named Sven Ericsson who came to the new world when Sweden had a colony here in the mid 1600s while he was in the Swedish navy. 

During his first shore leave, after a wild night of drinking, he wakes up in a stable, covered in blood, and is unable to leave the stable, since he can't stand the sun. After the sun goes down, he goes out and meets his creator, Inga, who inducts him into the night world, she shows him how to feed discreetly, and shows him his new abilities. After a few years together, Inga is killed on a solo hunt by some humans. After he hills the men, Sven begins a solo life, cut off from humans as much as possible, hunting Natives in the wilderness. 

Switch to now. Sven, using that new fangled internet thing (he is almost 400 years old, so yeah, its new to him), finds a group advertising members willing to be fed on. Taking a chance,  Sven meets Gibson, a pretty goth girl who actually lets him feed on her. Getting comfortable being with her, she betrays him and she and a group of her friends restrain him and Steal his blood to allow them to turn into vampires. 

After escaping, He is attacked by another vampire named Jasmine, who is an enforcer for the Vampire Counsel, the ruling body of the supernatural world, of who's existence Sven wasn't even aware. He is drafted as her apprentice hunter to hunt the group down, as well as other supernatural threats. This starts a wild series of events, in which Sven ends up partnering with a nephillim named Orel to try and take out a corrupt counsel, as well as kill other supernatural threats. This leads to Sven having to decide where his real place in the supernatural world is, whether as a hunter or a lone wolf.

The characters are a real strength of this book. Sven, even being a bloodsucking vampire, is not evil. Even the Nephillim who can feel evil doesn't get that vibe from him. He is a well rounded character with centuries of various experience. Jasmine and Orel are also well drawn out, and have interesting backstories. The setting is well described, and gives you a feeling of really being in the action. With a fast moving, action packed plot, it avoids a lot of the vampire tropes and really charts its own course. I can happily recommend this story to any fans of urban fantasy, which is probably the genre is most belongs in.


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