Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Review - The Hunted of 2060 by Ami Rebecca Blackwelder (3/5 stars)

I got an eBook of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. The book takes an original sci-fi approach to shapeshifters and provides a good love story that also focuses on prejudice. Some of the dialogue is a bit awkward sounding and the heroine is more a go-with-the-flow kind of girl than one who strikes out on her own. Overall it was an okay read.

April gets sick a lot, but when she starts to turn into a wolf she knows something is wrong. She finds herself in the woods and there she meets her twin sister and finds out that she is a Hybrid; a child of a union between a human and an alien race. Hybrids are hunted down and killed by a group called the Militia; the Hybrids are seen as a threat to humanity even though they are a peaceful race. April is forced to flee with her new-found clan as the Militia tries to annihilate the Hybrids. April's boyfriend from college, Robert, accompanies her. Only April is torn because one of the Hybrids calls to her beast blood and she is having trouble resisting. Will the Hybrids be able to destroy the Militia and live a peaceful existence on earth? Will April be able to fight her baser urges and remain loyal to her heart and to Robert?

There are some good things about this book. The futurist, alien take on shapeshifters was interesting and not something you see too often. Gena Showalter does deal with some similar types of shapeshifting alien lifeforms in her Alien Huntress series; so there are some similarities there. The book was fairly engaging and, especially towards the end, hard to put down. The book makes an interesting, if done before, commentary on prejudice and future forms of it.

Unfortunately I had a hard time with a lot of things about this book. I thought that the dialogue was awkward and stilted at points. The writing has a languid feel to it that made even the action scenes seem kind of dream-like; they just didn't have the energy I was hoping for. April as a heroine bothered me; she kind of just went with the flow. She was very dependent on the people around her to constantly save her and was emotionally dependent on Robert to a degree that was unnerving. Robert as a character was also irritating; he was such a pushover and never seemed to express his own personality...he was always an extension of April. The other male lead, Arken, was very alpha male and was constantly pushing April to do things she didn't want to do, he also had no respect for April as a person. I really didn't think there was great chemistry between any of the characters.

There are a lot of characters to keep track of and they are often referenced by their Species Skin color. So in addition to keeping track of a multitude of names you have to keep all of the species skin colors and keep animal types straight. After a while I kind of gave up trying to remember who was with what clan and just went with it. The story takes itself pretty seriously, so there wasn't even a hint of humor. I really like a little snarkiness or a few chuckles in my books and I missed that in this book.

The "love" scenes are mainly full of cuddling and a little kissing, so nothing overtly graphic. You spend the majority of the time reading about April's inner thoughts; she worries and thinks a lot in this book. The story wraps up well. The ending irked me a bit because it felt incredibly rushed. Most of the story went at a fairly deliberate pace, then all of the sudden everything just works out in the ending. The deal with what Arken leaves behind was kind of out of the blue and made me roll my eyes.

The writing style reminded a bit of Maggie Steifvater's "Shiver". Deliberate and dreamy; not my favorite writing style but a lot of people enjoy it...I personally like a bit more energy to my books.

Overall it was an okay read. The premise was creative and the sci-fi take on shapeshifters refreshing. When I finished it I wasn't desperate to read more about these characters. Fans of deliberately paced novels about shapeshifters and love triangles might get into this though.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- The 100+ Book Reading Challenge
- Summer Romance Reading Challenge

The Hunted of 2060 (Volume 1) 

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