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Review: Immortal Hunter by Kait Ballenger (Execution Underground #2)

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Immortal Hunter by Kait BallengerImmortal Hunter (The Execution Underground #2)
Kait Ballenger
Published: April 1, 2014 (HQN)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Reviewed by: Jo

Rating (out of 5): 2.5 stars

Note: While this review will be spoiler free, it may reference events in previous books in the series. Check out VBC’s review of book one Twilight Hunter.

After being kidnapped and tortured by the sociopathic Robert, David’s ex fiancé has been left in a coma. With Allsún being half fae—and therefore a natural enemy to the demons—David knows it’s bad news when one of her doctors becomes possessed.

To make matters worse, demon-possession fueled murders are sweeping through town. The crimes are particularly heinous, and the victims infants and their families. As the resident exorcist of the local Execution Underground unit, David knows it’s his responsibility to hunt down those responsible… and fast.

When Allsún awakes, she agrees to stay near so he can keep her safe, but only if she can help. But after more than five years apart, working together opens old wounds. As the Execution Underground race against the clock, David realizes he will do anything to not just keep Allsun alive but also get her back in his life again.

The military aspect mixed with the supernatural in Immortal Hunter works well, especially as it looks as if each new installment will focus on a different supernatural sect, keeping it fresh. With David being the exorcist of the unit, demons are at the center of Immortal Hunter, and we get to learn about their history and hierarchy. I would have liked to have learned more about the Fae, considering Allsún is half fae, but there was enough that I’d be interested to read another installment featuring them. I’m also definitely intrigued by the other Hunters in the group, I just wish they featured more heavily. Saying that, there was some foreshadowing here (for what I’m guessing will be the next book) with Shane, that looks set to delve deeper into the witches and occult.

The plot moved along at a good pace, although the nature of the demon’s attacks made me uncomfortable at times and the big showdown felt somewhat rushed. With this being the second (or third depending on how you view it) installment I would have liked to have seen more of a long reaching story arc begin to emerge, or, after that monster cliffhanger at the end of Shadow Hunter, at least some sort of update on Tiffany. However, the Demons discovery of Allsún may have more far reaching consequences in future books.

My major issue with Immortal Hunter, in fact with this series in general, is the overall characterization. Pretty much every character had a emotional hair trigger causing them to have immediate, extreme reactions; when they’re angry they punch a wall, sad and they immediately cry, laugh and it’s hysterically. It left me feeling desensitized to their emotions, leaving very little build up, so that when a situation actually warranted such a reaction it didn’t have the same impact. It left me feeling unconnected to the majority of the characters, making it difficult to not only root for them but, in some cases, to even like them very much, as they angrily lashed out at one another.

While I really like the worldbuilding in this series and am intrigued to see where it goes, my struggles with the characterization took away from the relationships, and therefore ultimately the romance in Immortal Hunter. I’m left feeling unsure if I’ll continue with the Execution Underground.

Sexual content: Graphic sex

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