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REVIEW: Hunting the Hunter by Shiloh Walker

Dear Ms. Walker:

Front.jpgBrilliant farce of book. I loved how you took conventional paranormal romance stereotypes and just eviscerated them. You took the normal kick ass capable heroine and made her into a whiny, crying boring woman. The whole cohesive world building thing? Totally blown apart with your incomprehensible, deux ex machina filled denouement.

Kane Winter is one of the best bounty hunters in the country. His partner and he are about to nab a very pricey bounty when things all go to hell. Kane’s memory of the events that take place are indistinct because he blacks out. When he awakes, his partner is dead. Kane recalls two vampires attacking the bounty and a third vampire, a woman, joining the fray. For some reason, Kane decides that the woman is responsible for the murder of Duke.

Kendall is a 300 year old vampire who polices other vampires. Not only does she rid the world of nasty vampires, but she can also right crimes by getting rid of abusive fathers, drug dealers, and other subversive elements of society. Through her special group, she also can take children and place them in other homes and recreate their lives for them. And her band of good guy vampires has a special school for training good guy vampires and other paranormals (me thinks someone likes X Men too much).

Instead of having the book take place over a few days, this one takes place over a few years. I think it was great that you didn’t always use chapter headings to tell us of the time passage, but rather hid it in the chapter so that orienting the characters was akin to some road rally gone wrong. Classic stuff just completely turned around.

I loved that your heroine was a complete and utter mess. I think its great how you had this supposed kick ass hunter of vampires who was three hundred years old break down in tears in every chapter. I totally agree that having your heroine cry at every turn was a perfect way to show us that she was keeping her humanity. There was certainly no other character trait that you could have given her such as kindness, generosity, sympathy that could show humanity. Being able to cry definitely makes a killer more human, especially a vampire killer.

I loved your descriptive use of the “lone tear.” I was amazed that after the fourth time you used that type of emotional descriptor I didn’t find it tiresome or irritating. It really didn’t bother me that your descriptions were used multiple times. I mean, when your heroine cries so often you can’t help but repeat yourself with the silent tears and the hot splashing tears and so forth.

Your constant use of dialogue tags didn’t jerk me out of the story either. Your characters don’t just talk, they mutter, they sigh, they murmur, they demand, they scowl, they sneer, they drawl (even if they aren’t from the south but from Ireland), they talk blandly, they respond dryly, they reply sweetly.

I admit that this book hit some huge hot buttons for me. I don’t like dialogue tags. The characters end up getting mangled in my head. I think the names of the characters: Kane and Kendall are too Cute for words. I especially cannot stand crying heroines particularly when they are crying all of the time. I would think that someone who has lived for over 300 years and been exposed to the dregs of humanity would be able to keep her emotions in check. Finally, the world building was incomprehensible and your characters, particularly Kendall, had little physical vulnerabilities. It never occurred to me that she was in any danger from anyone – what with her special X-Men abilities. C- for you.

Best regards,

Jane

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

15 Comments

  1. Nonny
    Jul 10, 2006 @ 17:30:32

    … ouch. I actually just started reading this the other day. o.O

  2. AngieW
    Jul 10, 2006 @ 20:34:48

    So you gave it a C- but you didn’t really say what you liked about it. I was expecting a worse grade based on your write up. So what did you like about it?

  3. Nicole
    Jul 10, 2006 @ 21:09:36

    Yeah…I’m wondering from the review how on earth it made as high a grade as C-.

  4. Jane
    Jul 10, 2006 @ 21:59:08

    Hmm. Well, I didn’t want my money back from reading the book, but it had all sorts of flaws, imo. I guess I realize that some people might find the heroine to be touching and the sex to be hot. For me the weepy heroine was just such an overwhelming hot button that I could not sympathize with the her in any way.

  5. lurker1
    Jul 11, 2006 @ 08:29:29

    Since sucking blood is not my favored form of foreplay, and thus, I wouldn’t pick up a vampire book even if it were the only reading material on a desert isle, I nonetheless loved your review. Laugh aloud funny.

    Actually, the author’s name is a dead giveaway (she demured with a snarky grin). There were approximately 3500 killed and over 16,000 maimed or wounded at Shiloh. True, that’s a mere skirmish compared with Stalingrad, but still, romance isn’t the first thing one thinks of when one sees “Shiloh”….

  6. Shannon
    Jul 11, 2006 @ 09:14:02

    As the name Shiloh significantly predates the bloodshed at Pittsburg Landing, perhaps for most it calls to mind its more peacable Hebrew roots. Regardless, I’m not sure how the author’s name is relevant to a book review.

  7. lurker1
    Jul 11, 2006 @ 09:46:33

    Tongue in cheek, Shannon. An intended pun. A word/image association with “vampire” and “blood”. Not as good as the GYN, Dr. Dick N. Cherry, but assuredly nothing serious. You’re right, of course. “A Gift from God” or “A New Messiah” prompts all sorts of alternate images in this context and within this intention. Thanks.

  8. Shiloh
    Jul 13, 2006 @ 21:24:46

    A C- is better than an F, right? ;o) I take what I can get.

    Sorry you didn’t enjoy the book more, but knowing you don’t want your money back is a plus for me.

    The bad thing about my dialogue tags… sigh… I deleted more than half them in read thru. I’ll have to delete more next time.

  9. Shiloh
    Jul 13, 2006 @ 21:26:45

    oops… meant to mention the pen name.

    I was actually going more with the Hebrew meaning of the name than any battle, although I mainly picked it because I like the sound of the name itself. I didn’t even look up the meaning until after I had more or less settled on it.

  10. Jane
    Jul 13, 2006 @ 22:01:56

    You are a good sport, Ms. Walker. I never even thought that it was a pen name. LOL. I thought it was your real name. For what it’s worth, I’ve read several of your ebooks and liked them which is why I looked forward to this one so much. I intend to put up a review of one of those ebooks next week.

  11. Shiloh
    Jul 13, 2006 @ 22:29:48

    lol… not a question of sportsmanship, is it? I just figured out a long time ago well relatively speaking that I won’t please everybody.

    Those who like a book, wonderful.

    Those who think a book blows bigtime… I try to think of those who liked it.

    And those who have some justifiable issues, wwwweeeelllll… I flinch at every criticism, but it stands a good way to find what needs to be improved and work on it.

    Hopefully with the end result of less flinching next time. And with that said… I’m off to scour for more dialogue tags and then hit the sack.

    Love your blog, Ja(y)nes..

  12. lurker1
    Jul 14, 2006 @ 06:27:43

    I am impressed! An author who understands the proper place of critique in art and who doesn’t take it as a personal affront, and regardless, I do appreciate charm in all its guises. And you ARE a good sport to accept my bad pun with such good humor. I still don’t care for vampires (Salem’s Lot made an indelible impression on my oh so impressionable mind), but if you ever go for romances of the more conventional persuasion, I’d try your books.

    As further mitigation of my name association thing, I have just returned from a car trip through Virginia—where there’s a battle field around every corner and along-side every road.

  13. sybil
    Jul 14, 2006 @ 11:06:17

    I have this to read, hopefully soon. But to poke my nose in here, Shiloh does rock and is a great example for authors.

    Sez I.

    She does write all over romanceland and not just paranormals. I would suggest reading Her Best Friend’s Lover cuz I liked that one *g*. I think No Longer Mine is a contemp but haven’t read that yet. She has quite a few nonparanormals, so shout if you try and like.

    I can always use a rec :)

  14. Dear Author.Com | Marketing Dos and Don’ts: A Reader’s Point of View
    Mar 21, 2007 @ 14:49:53

    [...] over at AAR. And I would probably buy Shiloh Walker’s next book because even though I tore apart her first book, she was totally gracious about it and actually still comes and comments here. Talk [...]

  15. Tracy Cubberly
    Oct 15, 2007 @ 02:04:42

    I liked this book. This was my first book by the author. I will be buying more of her books. I guess Jane and I agree about this book!! But I would have given it a B-!!! LOL

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