Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Book Review: Martyr (The Hunted #1)

Release Date: October 28, 2014
Author: A. R. Kahler
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Length: 384 pages

Three years have passed since magic destroyed the world.
Those who remain struggle to survive the monsters roaming the streets, fighting back with steel and magic—the very weapons that birthed the Howls in the first place.
Tenn is one such Hunter, a boy with the ability to harness the elements through ancient runes. For years, the Hunters have used this magic to keep the monsters at bay, but it's never been enough to truly win the war. Humans are losing.
When Tenn falls prey to an incubus named Tomás and his terrifying Kin, Tenn learns there's more to this than a fight for survival. He's a pawn in a bigger game, one with devastating consequences. If he doesn't play his part, it could cost him his life, his lover and his world.



Protagonist: Tenn is a mage fighting the good fight against evil undead beings named Howls and those who brought these unholy monsters into being. Tenn is an interesting character because he lives in a world where magic is real and an accepted fact by most if not all the population, however like most fantasy series, he's drawn deeper into the world of magic and there is a prophecy about him that adds a lot a weight to his shoulders. Unlike most characters, Tenn pushes away his prophetic duty and never really warms up to the idea that he could potentially save the world. He has experienced many turmoils over his lifetime, many of which he blames himself for, even when those around him try and explain that either it was unavoidable, or that the incident was beyond his control. He's a very scarred character and I surprising found that I really liked him, he was refreshing and while a bit down in the dumps, he really brought a great deal of realness to this fantasy tale.

Romance: From the beginning of this book Tenn already has a boyfriend, one that he's been seeing for a while and is already in love with. This kind of bummed me out because while I liked Jerret as a character, I could never really get into their romance. This was because even though the book has a lot of flashbacks, we never really see the relationship grow and form, and so it felt sort of like insta-love even though it was probably the farthest thing from it. Then there's Tomás, the incubus that has his sights set on Tenn. Tomás is a very interesting character because even though I knew he wasn't a good guy, I found myself wanting him to be in more scenes because there was an amazing chemistry between he and Tenn, and a lot of who he is, is shrouded in mystery. While I wouldn't exactly say that this story has a love triangle, I would say that Tenn's love life is complicated.

World-Building: This book is a bit of a hybrid of genres. It has the feel of a post-apocalyptic in terms of this great event almost wiping out humanity, with the essence of a fantasy novel, such as characters being able to control magic and fight these demonic monsters. I really loved the feel of this book. It was unlike almost anything I've read before and full of rich detail and amazing plot. There were times when I could feel myself in these scenes and easily picture the action and battles raging throughout. This is easily one of the coolest, and at times most terrifying, worlds I've ever read about.

Predictability: While there was quite a bit of this book that I did easily see coming, just from the superb foreshadowing and the implications in the title and summary, there was a lot that I had thought would happen in this book that never did, either because it's something that will happen in later installments or just won't happen at all. I will say that after reading this book I was dying to know if my predictions for the future of this series would come true and was bummed once I remembered that this book isn't even officially published yet and so there's no info whatsoever as to the second installment, at least none that Goodreads could tell me.

Ending: The end was spectacular, there was a lot of emotion and plot rolled into the final confrontation and at the very end there was a cliffhanger that tore at my soul because it had me asking all sort of questions. Like I said above, once I finished to book I practically ached for the next installment, which rarely happens, I can't wait to see where this series goes from this point on though.


This book was spectacular. it was full of so many amazing things, and while I am still a bit sore about the fact that Jarret and Tenn's romance was already established going into this book, I will say that this book sort of makes up for that fact by the end...