I received a copy of Rogue Hunter: Inquest by Kevis Hendrickson in return for an honest review.
I looked forward to reading the adventure of Zyra Zanr, inter planetary bounty hunter. I was particularly delighted reading the forward from Hendrickson promising a book of 'grittier and more mature exploration of Zyra's adventures, the action more intense, the danger greater, and the stakes higher. If you love drama in your space opera, then you are in for a treat'.
I would like to congratulate Hendrickson for introducing a competent, capable, independent, female protagonist.
Unfortunately although the book started well, by the third chapter I was realised the writing was not living up to expectations. The character development was sparse and the plot even more so. Whilst characters made provocative decisions that moved the plot forward their motivation for decisions taken was at best partially and more often than not, neither explored nor explained. Indeed one episode appeared completely nonsensical other than to hasten the plot.
As I read onwards I wondered if perhaps the author had been influenced by chase scenes from Terminator films into which he transposed the Zanr and her quarry Boris Skringler, and seemed particularly cliched. I also puzzled throughout the book why her eye movements were described multiple times when there was no other character there to observe them dilating, widening, narrowing, etc. Weird..
The final plot twist perhaps devised to keep the reader interested in following the 'epic journey for the greatest bounty hunter in the cosmos' was again without any given rhyme or reason and I for one will not be perusing any further instalments for Zanr. My reading preference is to have story arcs that make sense, I am more than willing to work towards gaining understanding and to puzzle out a plot piece by piece, but if no explanation is forthcoming or even hinted at by the end of the book, it does not entice me to read further.
If you are looking for a gritty space opera drama then I suggest you read Fireheart by Gloria Giroux which has huge character development and a clever and interesting story arc, (although the protagonists are predominantly male). Perhaps it is unfair to compare the two, since Rogue Hunter is 166 pages and Fireheart is a weighty 660 pages. This is a book that I had just completed prior to reading Rogue Hunter by Hendrickson perhaps suffered in comparison, because I note other glowing reviews of his first installment, and it is with huge regret that I am unable to offer an equally positive one.