Felix, Luka, and Ryder managed to defeat Rafe and his plans for destruction, but Felix is still suffering the after effects. He has lost all his memories since the battle with River, and he doesn’t remember his boyfriends falling for one another, nor them becoming a triad. Felix is feeling off and listless, mourning his lost memories and feeling out of sorts. Fortunately, Ryder and Luka are there for him with a lot of love and support, and ultimately, Felix begins to come back to himself.
Just as the men think things are settling down, however, Felix suffers an attack on his life. Then one attack leads to another. It is clear someone is after Felix, but he has no idea who could want him dead. And before long, the attacker is targeting Luka and Ryder as well. When they learn who is after Felix and why, the men know it will take all they have to stop the attacker before it is too late and all they have built is gone.
Hunted is the third book in A.T. Brennan’s Legacy of the Assassins trilogy. The books closely follow one another and this is best read after the first two books. Each story has focused on a different threat the men face, while the relationship has been developing over the course of the trilogy. It has moved from two distinct relationships between Felix and each of his boyfriends, to now one triad with all three men. For me, the relationship end was the highlight of the story. The guys are really fitting together well and the connection among the three of them is very clear. The men have distinct personalities and unique ways of relating to one another, which I really appreciate. So while they may be a triad, Felix’s relationship and dynamic with Luka is different than Ryder’s, for example. The guys are also super steamy together and I think this book is the sexiest of the three. I really enjoyed the relationship development here and the men have come together well over the three books.
The larger conflict is that someone is trying to kill Felix and the guys don’t know why or how to stop it. Unlike the first two books where the antagonist was known early on, here we don’t know who is after Felix right away, just that someone keeps making attempts on his life. When we do learn what is really going on, it all ties together well, but for a while things are sort of vague as they fight against an unknown threat. This story probably has the least intensity of the three in terms of big battles. The other books seemed to build to more of a climax to me, but this still has some exciting moments.
Where I struggled the most here is that things just started to feel repetitive. And as with the first two books, things don’t really heat up until the end, so that just exacerbated my feeling like we were just biding time and repeating the same actions over and over. So much of what happens in these books is the men getting beset by various magical injuries, and either Felix having to untangle the magic to save them, or Brendan stepping in to heal them. I think there are at least three, if not four, times in this book alone where someone is either dead (or mostly dead) and in some sort of stasis or coma and then brought back. So while I think Brennan has done a nice job building a detailed magical world, it often feels like we are just doing the same things over and over while waiting for the ultimate battle to arrive.
I think the big bad guy plays out well here, but I did find some aspects of this story confusing. We know that the attacker branches out from Felix to also try to hurt Ryder and Luka as a way to get to him. And the men ultimately have to be in hiding because they are vulnerable once Felix’s identity is revealed. But Zane and Brendan, who are helping them, are still wandering around all over. There is some convenient nod to the fact that because Brendan and Zane are more respected social group, they are not at risk because harming them would lead to repercussions, unlike with Luka, Felix, and Ryder. But this made little sense to me. First, someone who is painted as an unrepentant killer like we have here is not going to really care about whether it’s “ok” to kill these guys, are they? And even if Brendan and Zane aren’t at risk themselves, they keep meeting up with Felix and the guys, going to his apartment, etc. Doesn’t that risk them leading the bad guy right to our triad? It isn’t a big deal or anything, but it just felt like a pat explanation that didn’t really make much sense.
As the series closes, I will say that overall I enjoyed this one and thought it had some unique takes on urban fantasy. I was a little hesitant at first to see our romantic pairs turn into a triad, but I ended up really like these three men together and think the relationship and the connections between them were the highlight of the series for me. The world building overall is very detailed and clearly Brennan has put a lot of thought into it, but there is a lot I felt like was never totally clear. The big battles were engaging, though I think pacing-wise the books rely too much on saving the action for the end. But I think the series comes together well and overall this is a fun urban fantasy series, especially for fans of a menage/poly relationship.