Dear Ms. Laurentson:
The Hunting features everything I like about your writing and everything I don’t like. Your heroine is strong. Your langauge, while coarse, is fitting for the setting. The hero is hot. What I don’t like is that your book is all crescendo and no diminuendo. Even in the “downtimes” or the non action sequences, the characters are yelling at each other (in jest sometimes) and that creates a tenser atmosphere which in turns gives me a headache.
Skuld has her winged warriors called the Crows and Odin has his Ravens. Neecy Lawrence is a member of the Crows or The Gathering. These women are chosen by Skuld to serve from the forgotten and the mistreated. They are taught to be strong and fearless and to go out and do her bidding (which usually involves beating up and destroying bad men). Neecy is second in command in the Jersey Crows. Her Odin counterpart is Will Yager. Will has had the hots for Neecy for, oh, a loooong time. (I love this kind of storyline). But Neecy doesn’t want to fall for Will for fear of losing her position amongst the Crows. Since she was 15 years old, the Crows have been her only family and she isn’t going to throw that away for a quick good lay with Will Yager.
Will is, of course, Neecy’s opposite. He’s wealthy and well bred (or so you say – I never really saw the well bred part). Will proposes that Neecy give him 24 hours in his bed. Neecy agrees thinking it would get him out of her system. Will sees this as just one more step in his ultimate goal of obtaining Neecy’s full surrender. I never really understood why Neecy couldn’t give over to Will. The conflict seemed manufactured as Will appeared to be a prince of a guy (wealthy, geeky, strong, and goodlooking who could it hit it like no one’s business). The fact that Neecy couldn’t see that made me think less of her.
Will was a bit of a caricature since he had every good trait (I tend to think geeky is a bit sexy myself). Neecy was an unbending and had a tendency toward the immature. The subplot was quite obvious and a bit melodramatic and the sequel setup was done with a heavy, heavy hand.
Having said that, I did think it was clever that you had the Crows constantly “flocking” together and when they were together they were a raucous crowd. It was a fun showing of the character of the Crows, mimmicking real life birds. I loved the dynamic interactions between the Crows and the Ravens. I thought the mythology was unique and different. Your characters’ voices are all very modern, urban, gritty and graphic. It fit, though, your setting and story.
Weighing all the positives and negatives, I have to give the story a B-. I will buy the next book because I think your voice and imagination are compelling.