“The defeat of the near-invincible villain Krodin has left a void in the superhuman hierarchy, a void that two opposing factions are trying to fill. The powerful telepath Max Dalton believes that the human race must be controlled and shepherded to a safe future, while his rival Casey Duval believes that strength can only be achieved through conflict.
Caught in the middle is Lance McKendrick, a teenager with no special powers, only his wits and the tricks of a con artist. But Lance has a mission of his own: Krodin’s ally, the violent and unpredictable supervillain Slaughter, murdered Lance’s family, and he intends to make her pay.
In the fourth installment of Michael Carroll’s acclaimed Super Human series, Lance–unwilling to be a pawn in Dalton’s and Duval’s plans–turns his back on his friends, breaking his ties with the superhuman community. He embarks on a life-changing journey across the United States, searching for the skills and means to attain his true goal: vengeance against Slaughter.”
I didn’t know this was coming out. I didn’t know it was out. Good thing I got stuck in a mall then. Because Hunter? Is wicked good. And I’m not just saying that because it focuses on my favorite character from Michael Carroll’s series. Hunter really is good. Even if I still don’t know what the book was supposed to be about.
But why don’t we figure it out together?
Hunter is about Lance, one of the more important characters from the series of novels author Carrol wrote as a prequel to The Quantum Prophecy trilogy. He’s not a superhuman, but he isn’t completely human either. He has a gift of gab, which is one of the reasons why I enjoy reading him. And while he’s plenty annoying at times, he’s not wring-his-neck annoying like Seth from Fablehaven.
Unlike Stronger, Hunter’s bridging of the prequels and the original trilogy is more linear–and easier to follow.
Hunter has Lance traveling through the United States of America, before flying off the country. He also sows seeds that were missing in the prequels, but bloom in the original trilogy.
Overall, it’s just a better bridge between the timelines.
Hunter features a side-story where Lance spends time working for a carnival. And it’s a fun little side trip that really doesn’t add anything to the story–but sets up an event that will, I think, be important in the next book.
Hunter starts with a goal that we know wouldn’t come to fruition. A goal that gets a satisfying ending, but is ultimately a frustrating mislead because it’s so obviously a set up to get Lance out of the main action. Because he is never mentioned in the original trilogy, and there has to be a reason why.
But the book is good. It’s an enjoyable (and fast) read. And even though it was, ultimately, just a set-up for the things that happened in the original trilogy, and the things that will happen in the (maybe) finale, you wouldn’t mind. Because it’s an enjoyable read.
In a way, it’s similar to Jonathan Maberry’s Flesh & Bone. It’s just a bridge between events. Our main character develops his personality. He grows as a person. But unlike Flesh & Bone, we don’t feel a palpable tension to the events that will unfold. We don’t feel the drama leveling up. We don’t fear for the characters because we know that they will be just fine. Because we already know what happens with The Quantum Prophecy. This book is more an explanation of how things change, more than an actual stand-alone story. And that is a point against Hunter.
And yet it’s a fun read. Wicked, and not just because the cover is green. So I don’t feel like I wasted my time reading this book.
I just wish there was more meat to it. I wish we spent more time building up to what happens after The Quantum Prophecy. Because, obviously, something big is coming up. The end of The Quantum Prophecy teased it. Stronger teased it. Hunter spells it out in the epilogue.
So why wasn’t there more to Hunter? Why did we have to spend so much time on an ultimately useless, albeit entertaining, chapter of Lance’s life as a circus worker?
Was it wrong for Michael Carroll to turn Hunter into its own novel, instead of keeping it as flashbacks throughout the final book? We’ll find out for sure when said final book comes out.
In the meantime, I’ll stand by my stance that Hunter is wicked good. If only because it’s a fun book to read.
I couldn’t find more than one review online though, so you’ll have to make do with mine–and this guy’s (Judge-Tutor Semple) for you to make your mind up on whether you’re willing to give this book a chance.