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A good try, but Hunter has a way to go
on 9 April 2008
Despite a worthy attempt at creating a `new' post-apocalyptic world, Faith Hunter fails to convince. Even if all the right elements are present - a quirky, vibrant protagonist, mysterious and elusive creatures of the heavens and proficient supporting characters, when it comes to combining these elements Hunter loses the intrigue. As a lead character `Thorn' is not evocative enough to carry the book by herself, and, as is seen especially within the last 20 pages, the action drags when the reader is restricted solely to her. Although there are other characters that could easily be utilised to establish a more thrilling closing, Hunter mistakenly devotes relatively little time to them.
When commenting on the book, Kim Harrison asks `What's a woman to do when she falls in love with a seraph's child?' Of this `love' we see very little. What we do see is Thorn in `mage heat' which comes across as just a base excuse to throw sex into the otherwise platonic storyline - and it doesn't really sell. We are never convinced of the protagonist's emotions, only her need to bed the seraph's child, this lack of love articulated when she expresses desire for a random man just over half way through the book.
However, the story holds elements of interest that will entice fantasy fans and Hunter's fluid writing makes it easy to turn the page. Although her post apocalyptic world is a far cry from the likes of Terry Brooks, as the first in a trilogy there is only room for improvement.