Rating: 2 stars
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Length: Novella

Marcus Kildud is used to confronting dangerous situations that might break lesser men, but his most recent job is even more than hazardous than usual. When he and his trusted crew agree to visit the planet of Terrus, they aren’t sure what they’ll find, but the money is too good to ignore. They discover the Prelate’s son is missing and, along with him, a secret the people of Terrus are desperate to protect.

Armed with little useful information, Marcus and the team venture into territory that is as wild as it is unknown. All too soon they realize that they are hunting creatures so menacing and vicious, it’s hard to imagine them even existing. Now they’re in a race against time to satisfy their mission and get out alive. But their enemy is unpredictable and unseen and threatens to destroy even the toughest among their company.

The Hunt is a relatively quick reading novella that focuses on the leader of a small band of space mercenaries. The plot of The Hunt is so thin it’s almost hard to find. It’s there, but it’s far from either detailed or engaging. There just isn’t much world building or even much information about who Marcus and his team are or what they actually do. We know they take jobs for hire and they all want to leave the life and retire, but we aren’t given much beyond that. Marcus is dating his tracker, Malik, and while there’s some on page sex, this book isn’t really a romance. None of the characters are developed enough to be even remotely engaging. The Hunt is supposed to be the start of a series following Marcus and his adventures and maybe further works will offer more evolution, but at the moment, there just isn’t much to work with. There is a scene involving Marcus towards the end that had some depth and it shows what the characters could be if they’re given the chance.

Most of the book centers around the crew’s search for the missing son of the Prelate and the ominous creature that seems to have killed the young heir and all of his men. This should be a tension-filled journey given what’s at stake, but it feels very rote and conventional. As a reader, I wanted more action and moments fraught with danger and these just don’t materialize. Now normally I’d never mention what kind of monster we’re dealing with, but this one can actually be a real trigger for folks so I feel like I need to put it out there. [spoiler] Folks we’re talking snakes. Big snakes. Snakes that fly.[/spoiler] So consider yourself warned. And while the trek itself is pretty mundane, the author does a good job making these creatures suitably creepy and menacing. I think monsters get a bad rap personally, but when they start to fly, even I’m going to think twice about defending them.

The Hunt doesn’t really evolve beyond its very superficial beginnings. There’s not a ton of depth to work with and even the characters fail to make a measurable impression. I’m not sure where the series is going from here, but this one just wasn’t for me.