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Monday, June 09, 2014

Hunter by Night by Elisabeth Staab

I don't usually start a book in the middle of a series but I requested HUNTER BY NIGHT without thinking about the fact that it was the third book in Elisabeth Staab's Chronicles of Yavn series. (Yes, the NetGalley blurb even states that it's part of a series but guess who got distracted by the interesting blurb. I guess I was having a dumb moment.) Thankfully, it wasn't too hard to understand the ins and outs of the world that Staab has created: Vampires and wizards hate each other and have been fighting for ages. Wizards don't have to market cornered on superpowers: vampires also have unique talents, though it varies from vampire to vampire. Staab does a good job of giving the reader a sense of the series mythology -- even someone who's come late to the game like I did -- but I didn't see a lot in HUNTER BY NIGHT that was terribly original. There are a lot of genre standards (both in terms of urban fantasy and romance) and they're executed successfully but not in a way that makes me want to rave about the series.

In HUNTER BY NIGHT, we get the outsider and the general falling for each other. Alexia is an oddball, a human living among vampires, because her best friend became the vampire queen (back at the start of the series, I think). Now, the queen is pregnant and Alexia is planning to disappear after the birth because she's chafing at the lack of freedom. Unfortunately for her, the vampires' old enemy appears to be back from the dead and so Alexia's safety is threatened along with everyone else's. Staab creates a decent sense of suspense and danger, particularly around the midpoint of the novel, but I think my lack of complete investment ratcheted the stakes down fairly significantly.

On the plus side, the romance between the two lead characters is nicely written. From the start, Alexia and Lee have strong chemistry. Lee's the typical broody old vampire with issues. He hates humans, which makes his attraction to Alexia extremely awkward, and he's got a few other things holding him back as well. Alexia is also trying to avoid her attraction to Lee but it's not as angst-ridden for her since she hasn't had hundreds of years to build up hatred and distrust against vampires as a species. And when they finally start to act on their attraction, they definitely smoulder.

Generally, I liked HUNTER BY NIGHT. The characters were good, the world interesting, but I wasn't completely blown away. Maybe it's because I haven't been with the series from the start -- but I do think HUNTER BY NIGHT can be read as a stand alone. I may buy the first two books the next time there's a sale, just to see what they're like, but I'm not 100% gaga over the Chronicles of Yavn, at least not right now. I'd suggest that you try the excerpt below and decide for yourselves.

Read an excerpt (click on Excerpt tab)



Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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4 People left their mark' :

  1. I didn't know the series at all, it sounds interesting, but I can imagine it isn't the best way to start in book 3. I'm going to check it out though, very helpful review!

  2. I am just put off by the cover, there is something wrong there. Can't put my finger on it.
    I haven't read a book by this author yet.

  3. I think it's his face. It's overly airbrushed or something.