**I borrowed the audiobook version of this book from my local lubrary**
Cover: ★★ out of 5
Book: ★★★¾ out of 5
Publishing Date: September 1, 2015
This is a fantasy set in a future where the Apocalypse has occurred, just not in the way most of the world had expected it would. Instead of a rapture, there has been a rupturing of the worlds and magic has become a thing of reality. Not everyone has magic, but those who do are gifted with magical allys to help them fight the monsters that threaten to take out whats left of the human race.
Very BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER meets ENDERS GAME
When you are first introduced to Joyeaux, She has been called to Apex (the capital) from her mountain top home by her uncle to help the city fight off the increasing pest problem the creatures from the otherworld are creating. Unfortunately for her, her uncles status in the government and her particular talent make her a target and she soon finds herself in the middle of a plot to hurt her uncle.
It was fast paced and overall I enjoyed it. I would like to have seen more of the situation with her and her love interest Josh, but hopefully that will be in the next one. Definitely worth the read, though I found that I was a little disappointed in the ending. A little too predictable without much explanation as to why things happened the way they did.
Joyeaux Charmand has spent most of her life at the remote Monastery, training and serving as a Hunter. Since a catastrophic event called the Disarray, monsters of all kinds have crossed into the real world from the Otherworld and it’s the Hunters’ jobs to destroy them. Joy and her supernatural Hounds are summoned to the capital city, Apex, where she learns that Hunters there are regarded as celebrities, with their own television channels and rankings. As Joy adjusts to her flashy new life, gets to know the other Hunters, and starts Hunting, she begins to realize that Apex is not as safe as it seems and that there are secrets the government does not want exposed. This satisfying sci-fi YA novel is set in a fully thought-out future with cultural references woven throughout. Joy’s Hounds are Alebrijes, and the monsters she hunts come from a variety of sources: Drakkens, Folk (evil fairies), Vamps, Tommyknockers, Gogs, and Magogs. The protagonist is a principled, smart, strong girl and is easy to root for. The language can be clunky at times, but the incredible world-building more than makes up for it. VERDICT A perfect choice for “Hunger Games” fans and readers looking for stories with strong female heroines.—Marian McLeod, Convent of the Sacred Heart, Greenwich, CT
”Armed with wit as quick as her reflexes, her magic, and her equally enchanting Hounds, Joyeaux embarks on a journey that sets her questioning the motives of every person she comes in contact with as well as the larger system that was built to keep people protected. Lackey builds this magically post-apocalyptic world briskly…Joyeaux’s narration is spellbinding, the prose easily balancing the technology of the future with the traditions of the past. Captivating, dynamic, well paced, and thrilling.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
”Lackey successfully mixes dystopia and fantasy in this series opener…Exciting, entirely entertaining, and sure to please her fans.” —Publishers Weekly –This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
Description (As listed on Amazon.com):
They came after the Diseray. Some were terrors ripped from our collective imaginations, remnants of every mythology across the world. And some were like nothing anyone had ever dreamed up, even in their worst nightmares.
Long ago, the barriers between our world and the Otherworld were ripped open, and it’s taken centuries to bring back civilization in the wake of the catastrophe. Now, the luckiest Cits live in enclosed communities,behind walls that keep them safe from the hideous creatures fighting to break through. Others are not so lucky.
To Joyeaux Charmand, who has been a Hunter in her tight-knit mountain community since she was a child, every Cit without magic deserves her protection from dangerous Othersiders. Then she is called to Apex City, where the best Hunters are kept to protect the most important people.
Joy soon realizes that the city’s powerful leaders care more about luring Cits into a false sense of security than protecting them. More and more monsters are getting through the barriers,and the close calls are becoming too frequent to ignore. Yet the Cits have no sense of how much danger they’re in-to them, Joy and her corp of fellow Hunters are just action stars they watch on TV.
When an act of sabotage against Joy takes an unbearable toll, Joy uncovers a terrifying conspiracy in the city. There is something much worse than the usual monsters infiltrating Apex. And it may be too late to stop them.
About the author:
(Taken from her website at http://www.mercedeslackey.com)
Mercedes entered this world on June 24, 1950, in Chicago, had a normal childhood and graduated from Purdue University in 1972. During the late 70’s she worked as an artist’s model and then went into the computer programming field, ending up with American Airlines in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In addition to her fantasy writing, she has written lyrics for and recorded nearly fifty songs for Firebird Arts & Music, a small recording company specializing in science fiction folk music.
“I’m a storyteller; that’s what I see as ‘my job.’ My stories come out of my characters; how those characters would react to the given situation. Maybe that’s why I get letters from readers as young as thirteen and as old as sixty-odd. One of the reasons I write song lyrics is because I see songs as a kind of ‘story pill’ — they reduce a story to the barest essentials or encapsulate a particular crucial moment in time. I frequently will write a lyric when I am attempting to get to the heart of a crucial scene; I find that when I have done so, the scene has become absolutely clear in my mind, and I can write exactly what I wanted to say. Another reason is because of the kind of novels I am writing: that is, fantasy, set in an other-world semi-medieval atmosphere. Music is very important to medieval peoples; bards are the chief news bringers. When I write the ‘folk music’ of these peoples, I am enriching my whole world, whether I actually use the song in the text or not.
“I began writing out of boredom; I continue out of addiction. I can’t ‘not’ write, and as a result I have no social life! I began writing fantasy because I love it, but I try to construct my fantasy worlds with all the care of a ‘high-tech’ science fiction writer. I apply the principle of TANSTAAFL [‘There ain’t no such thing as free lunch’, credited to Robert Heinlein) to magic, for instance; in my worlds, magic is paid for, and the cost to the magician is frequently a high one. I try to keep my world as solid and real as possible; people deal with stubborn pumps, bugs in the porridge, and love-lives that refuse to become untangled, right along with invading armies and evil magicians. And I try to make all of my characters, even the ‘evil magicians,’ something more than flat stereotypes. Even evil magicians get up in the night and look for cookies, sometimes.
“I suppose that in everything I write I try to expound the creed I gave my character Diana Tregarde in Burning Water:
“There’s no such thing as ‘one, true way’; the only answers worth having are the ones you find for yourself; leave the world better than you found it. Love, freedom, and the chance to do some good — they’re the things worth living and dying for, and if you aren’t willing to die for the things worth living for, you might as well turn in your membership in the human race.”