Hunted by the Others – Jess Haines [Review]

 Book Details for Hunted by the Others

 

Blurb for HUNTED BY THE OTHERS

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 sexy, 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. . .

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 Jen’s Review of HUNTED BY THE OTHERS

Hunted by the Others coverI read Hunted by the Others because I purchased a box set a long time ago on Nook. Jess Haines was an author I had heard about a lot, and I wanted to check her out. Although I didn’t get into the story as much as I thought I would, I did enjoy reading the first book in the series.

I’ve also read the last book in the series, Enslaved by the Others. I really think, from my experience, it’s best to read the series in order. If you’re going to read H&W Investigations, start with this one and don’t skip any books.

This is a revised and expanded review. I first reviewed this book on our old blog booksthathook.

The Story

Shiarra, a down-on-her-luck private investigator, is hired to spy on a vampire and locate an artifact in his possession. The vampire, Royce, knows why she is there and tries to manipulate the situation. He tries to get her to sign a contract to work for him instead of the mages who hired her. Shiarra has no choice but agree to his terms because she’s terrified of him. The magi (The Circle) outfit her with a magical belt that gives her extra strength and fighting skills, along with a few other accessories.

Before she can tell the mage who hired her that she won’t work for them anymore, the mage is murdered. Shiarra’s pretty certain Royce is behind it, adding more fear to their relationship.

Another mage, Arnold, comes to Shiarra’s aid. He explains that the artifact they wanted is a focus that allows the user to control werewolves and vampires. He takes her to get guns and special armor.

Her ex-boyfriend, Chaz, comes back into her life. She reluctantly agrees to have him help her since he is a werewolf pack alpha. Problems keep compounding for Shiarra. She’s almost killed, Royce falls under control of the focus, and her friend, Sara, is kidnapped. At the end, Shiarra has to survive a showdown with a bunch of werewolves, a vampire, and a sorcerer.

I know I’ve said a lot about the events in the story, but there’s more I haven’t said so I would ruin the book for you if you haven’t read it already.

The plot felt original to me. Yes, Hunted by the Others shares some aspects with other urban fantasy novels, but there are a lot of things that are different too. I especially liked how the belt gives Shiarra powers while keeping her a human.

The way the points fit together made sense and flowed well. The pacing, however, needed work. The beginning took a long time to get going.  Also, the ending felt dragged out. Three times, I thought the story had ended. Then, there was another chapter. Then another, then another! In the middle, the action sometimes got disrupted by exposition that came at inappropriate times.

The Characters

Shiarra was annoying at first because she was scared of everything. Over the course of the story, though, she becomes braver and more willing to face her fears. An example of this is how she was freaked out by the mage’s familiar, a mouse. Later in the book, she allows the mouse to accompany her into the battle on her shoulder. Shiarra’s ability to grow as a person is a definite plus in this book. She’s still scared, but she doesn’t freeze up like she did at the beginning. Her character grew on me, and I ended up liking her.

Arnold is a memorable character who made the book more interesting. He’s the resourceful geek who is unwittingly charming.

Royce is sexy and dangerous. He’s a typical vampire. The thing that makes Royce fun to read about is he’s unpredictable. You don’t really know what he’s going to do. Is he going to hurt Shiarra, help her, or seduce her?

Chaz is interesting because he isn’t like most alphas. He wants to get back with Shiarra, but I’m not sure how that will go. I like that Haines didn’t try to rush this. Whenever I finally get around to reading the next book in the series, I’ll have to see where the romance subplot goes.

The Writing

Jess Haines wrote Hunted by the Others in first person, past tense. This worked well for the story. The only problem I found was too much introspection, which can easily happen when using first person point-of-view.

At first, the writing seemed somewhat amateurish. The further I got into the book, the more confident the writing felt. I’ll give the author a pass on this, considering it was the first book in the series.

What stands out in my mind as the best aspect of this book is the worldbuilding. The author created a detailed world, complete with laws, culture, and history. The author needed to work on making sure she wasn’t repetitive and not interrupting the action to add details about the world or characters. Otherwise, I think she did a good job of giving the reader information without bogging the story down with long passages.

Do I Recommend?

Overall, I enjoyed reading Hunted by the Others. It’s got a lot of action and a fascinating, well-crafted world.

Shiarra is believable and someone a lot of people could relate to. She’s got money and romance problems. Plus, she experiences fear like a human amidst the Others should.

If you like books about vampires, mages, and werewolves, I do suggest reading Hunted by the Others and the rest of the series.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (B)

Note: my original rating was 4.5 stars, but we are no longer using half stars. I had to decide if it was a “loved it” or “liked it a lot,” which you can see led to it being bumped down to 4 stars. It was a good book; it just wasn’t one of my favorites because of the pacing issues.


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About jpschaper

In addition to being a book blogger, I am a mother of three children, a retail backroom coordinator, and a wannabe writer (when I make time to do it).

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2 Comments

  1. Ooh vampires and mages and werewolf exes! I do like unpredictable vampires, and it’s great the MC grew throughout the story. This might be my kinda book!
    Kristen (Metaphors and Moonlight) recently posted…Book Review: Love Song for a Vampire (Dale Bruyer Book 2) by J.L. AarneMy Profile

    • Yeah, if she hadn’t grown throughout the book, I probably would have rated it lower. Have you ever had one of those characters you started out disliking but really cared about by the end of the story? That was Shiarra for me.

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