Hunted By The Others by Jess Haines
Paperback: 352 pages
Available: May 4, 2010
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Book received from: Author
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…
When Shiarra, a private investigator, is contacted by a coven of magi to steal a magical artifact from a Alec Royce, a very old and powerful vampire, she reluctantly accepts the job. Although she prefers to do business with human clients only, her PI firm is in financial trouble and the job pays well. However, the case is far more complicated than it first seemed and when Shiarra’s cover is blown, she finds herself being forced into a life threatening contractual agreement with the very vampire she was hired to steal from. With the help of her business partner, and a few unexpected allies, she must figure out a way to survive the terms of her forced contract with the vampire, and recover the artifact.
I found Hunted by the Others to be an entertaining urban fantasy overall. It has most of what you’d expect for this genre: a supernatural community set in modern day times, a mystery, and some action and adventure. The one thing that was lacking though was the kick-ass heroine. Shiarra falls a bit short in that category with her extreme fear of Others (supernatural beings) and her lack of competency in her own field of work, private investigation. She always seemed to be two steps behind the mystery and her theories tended to fall flat. I expected more from her since she was supposed to be a professional PI. Her aversion to the Others either out of fear or dislike was off-putting for me, and I didn’t connect with her in a way I feel I should with a heroine, especially when the story is told from her perspective. I wouldn’t go as far as to say I disliked Shiarra, I just wanted more from her as a heroine. I do look forward to seeing her character grow as the series progresses.
I enjoyed the secondary characters and thought they supported the story well . The nerdy mage, Arnold saved the day more than once, although his motives may not have been entirely pure. Since Shiarra was so distrustful of Others, I wondered why she trusted Arnold without question. Perhaps it was his nerdy goodness, she couldn’t resist. The jilted ex-lover/werewolf Chaz gets points for going out of his way to prove himself worthy and win back Shirarra’s affections. Since the romance between the two was left open ended, we’ll have to wait and see if Chaz wins back Shiarra’s heart or if he’ll have to compete for her affections. Now, this won’t make sense until you’ve read the book but I’m calling ‘the belt’ one of my favorite secondary characters for it’s wit and slightly sinister personality. There’s just something about a voice in the head that makes for an interesting supporting character. I hope we haven’t see the last of the ‘the belt’.
The action and adventure is well paced and the alternate world is interesting. Being the first in the series, there is always the challenge of setting up a world without smothering the reader with too much information. I felt the author set a firm foundation and I never felt overwhelmed with complicated details. I had a good feel for life in New York City post 9/11 where humans and Others struggle to coexist.
All in all I enjoyed this debut urban fantasy and I look forward reading more in the series.
Purchase a copy of Hunted By The Others
Other books in the series:
Taken By The Others – H & W Investigations, #2 (January 2011)