Lackey (the Shadow Grail series) successfully mixes dystopia and fantasy in this series opener. Sixteen-year-old Joy Charmand, endowed with strong magic and skilled in a variety of weapons, is an accomplished monster hunter in her mountain village, and her deadly pack of magical Hounds is one of the largest ever. Now she has been ordered to Apex City to join the corps of Hunters who protect the capital from increasing attacks by goblins, vampires, and other dangerous creatures. Joy’s hunting techniques are up to the task, but she discovers that Apex City’s internal politics are complex and dangerous. Additionally, her every move and word will be monitored, and because “Hunters are as much entertainment as protectors,” these recordings will be manipulated by the government to provide amusement and a sense of security for the residents of the city. Although not Lackey’s best work (the plot is predictable, and Joy’s quick rise from rookie to star too quick and easy), the novel is exciting, entirely entertaining, and sure to please her fans. Ages 12–up. Agent: Russell Galen, Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary Agency. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/13/2015 Release date: 09/01/2015 Genre: Children's
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