This book is an example of Mercedes Lackey at her finest. The world is well-built and deeply structured with its anti-grimdark, post-apocalyptic message that humanity can and will adapt to the strangest of catastrophes. Even the minor characters are sketched with haiku-like precision. The charming protagonist, Joyeaux Charmand, is the perfect blend of wisdom and innocence. She is an extraordinarily talented Hunter of Othersiders, the monsters of myth and legend, being called from her home in the hinterlands to Apex, the sanctuary city where the remnants of America’s citizens, “Cits” are protected behind magical Barriers. She is to there join the cadre of other Hunters, to protect and defend. The country mouse in the big city trope is understated and well-played.
The story is told from Joy’s perspective. It flows maturely, thoughtfully, but is still fresh and youthful. Of course, as the main character, Joy is shown as special, but one is left with the foreboding sense of “to whom much has been given, much shall be required.”
The one thing I really, really didn’t like about the book was the severe abrupt ending. Other than that, it was golden.
I was given a free copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.