Rating (out of 5): 4 stars
The first few chapters of Hunted by the Others had me thinking this was going to be a cute, light urban fantasy. Two friends doing paranormal investigations. Quickly, though, the heroine Shiarra has enemies coming at her from all sides. She’s going to have to buck-up, arm herself, take risks and fight her away out of this mess. The plot never turns to dark UF, but blends cheeky one-liners with consistent threats. Halfway through the book, it became one of those mysteries I just needed solved (meaning I could not put the book down, despite reminders from the husband that dinner was ready).
Being the first in an urban fantasy series, Hunted by the Others is heavy on the world building. Haines has crafted an open world, one where the humans know about the paranormal types and have legislated how they can interact. Want to get it on with a werewolf? You’ll need to sign a contract for that. Game for letting a vampire bite you, maybe turn you? Please fill out these forms that essentially turn your life over to the Other.
In addition to the werewolves and vampires, Haines’ world also features a politically powerful coven of mages called The Circle. It’s this group that originally comes to Shiarra wanting her assistance. They say they just need a little reconnaissance. Just keep an eye on the head vampire, and maybe some magical object he probably has, they ask. Normally, Shia would turn down an offer from one of the Others, but The Circle offered a lot of money, and the PI business was hurting.
Trying to slip past the vampires, who are big on the details, doesn’t go as planned. Add in the human groups who wish to eradicate all others and think Shia is their new golden girl, and well everything goes to hell. (Did we mention a werewolf ex-boyfriend? Yep, add that drama in, too.)
I loved tagging along for Shiarra’s journey into becoming the badass the Others respect, but more so enjoyed seeing her eyes opened. She has some big issues with the Others — ones she doesn’t want to admit to — and she’s forced to confront and deal with them. Some of the Others are evil, many aren’t, and it may surprise who you falls on each side.
Hunted by the Others offers up a heroine who can hold her own, intriguing secondary characters, a mystery to get wrapped up in and plenty of surprises. Short version: fun and laden with action.
Sexual content: This one isn’t a romance. But be aware there is plenty of violence… with fancy pants guns.