Hunter’s Rise (Hunters #14) by Shiloh Walker
April 3, 2012
Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “This was going to end in heartbreak.“
His past is a mystery, even to him-a werewolf with memories so lost in a fog that even the Hunter’s healers cannot help him. More than a century ago, Toronto awakened on an unfamiliar street, naked and alone- and dogged by the unanswered questions of his enigmatic existence.
The vampire Sylvia is no Hunter. She’s a mercenary who just barely skates this side of what the Hunters consider acceptable. All she wants is to hunt her quarry, and make a lot of money. Her newest prey is a devious killer. But her newest complication is of a more intimate sort: a blonde, blue-eyed werewolf who interferes with her plans in so many exquisite ways. (goodreads)
Toronto is a werewolf whose past is a complete mystery. Attacked by five feral wolves and left for dead, he was found by the witch Nessa and nursed back to health. He now works as a hunter and lives to annoy master vampire Rafe. When a vicious pediphile vanishes from house arrest, Rafe sends Toronto to find him and bring him in. Rafe warns Toronto that he will have to some competition in the form of a certain mercenary vampire who also has the pediphile on her hit list. Sylvia, a vampire who murders for hire, has been paid by the pediphile’s last victim’s parents to take this animal down. She knows she will have to tread carefully to avoid the pious hunters who object to her methods, because one way or another, this pediphile won’t see the light of day again.
Hunter’s Rise in number fourteen in Shiloh Walker’s long standing Hunters series. An emotionally dark paranormal series that gives us damaged characters who have managed to survive in spite of their abusive pasts and eventually find a way to overcome and be happy. Though part of a series, this can be read as a stand alone. Shiloh Walker has a wonderful writing style that draws you into her character’s’ emotional pathways and lets you feel with them what they are experiencing. What I particularity have always enjoyed about this series is that Ms. Walker doesn’t always give us likeable characters. Some are insane, some are cruel, and some are just plain annoying.
Toronto is one of those characters who can be annoying. He is stuck in the past and can’t see beyond his own emotional dark hole. He’s not happy being a hunter and not happy being under Rafe’s thumb. He causes a lot of turmoil as he is neither a leader nor a follower; often leaving his fellow hunters high and dry. He wants to do what he wants to do and the hell with everyone else. Nessa and Dominick come to Rafe’s territory because she has been getting more visions about Toronto but refuses to tell him what they are. This of course, only infuriates Toronto because he needs to know what happened to him in the past. Why was he bitten and who was he before the change. Her only advice to him is to let it all go. That who he was doesn’t matter, compared to who he is now.
Sylvia is a lot like Toronto in that she too was changed against her will as a young woman and suffered greatly for it. She knows her past though and has managed to make a life for herself in spite of it. As a mercenary, she is able to weed out the monsters of the world but without the constraints imposed upon the hunters. Despite her nonchalant attitude, Sylvia will often take pro bono cases for those who need help but don’t have the ability to pay her fee. The pediphile case calls to her because of her past.
When Toronto and Sylvia meet, there is a connection between them that sparks instant chemistry. While Toronto will do anything to be with her, even trying to exert his will against hers, Sylvia struggles to maintain her anatomy. Her past requires her to be in charge of her own life. This causes some problems as they agree to work together to being the pediphile to justice. Toronto knows that he keeps running over her and making decisions for both of them but is powerless to stop himself. They are both strong warriors who are used to being in charge. It makes for some interesting scenes.
The romance between them is hot yet bittersweet. The chemistry smolders in the background as they struggle to get past old emotional scars and baggage. It’s a major part of the storyline and tends to overwhelm the main arc at times. Their physical scenes are tasteful and satisfying though few and far between. There is a lot of sexual tension in here that delights and it was very easy to get caught up in the emotional undercurrents of these two damaged lovers.
There are three storylines in here. The romance, the main conflict, and a subplot that branches from the main conflict. Each one is a piece in the puzzle; and eventually merging together towards the end. The secondary characters are bold, viable additions to the story and I did like seeing many old yet familiar faces. I will say I still think Nessa and Angel are annoying. Angel is especially strange; not in a “haha” way but more in a “I wanna punch you repeatedly in the head” way. I am not a big fan of psychics who hint at someone’s future then tell them that they can’t help you with it. I also felt cheated with the resolution concerning the villain and Toronto’s past. The villain’s demise is anti climatic and it leaves you slightly off kilter as to what exactly his purpose was in the book. Though built up as a major player, he is rarely seen and our hero and heroine never interact with him. We are also given clues to how Sylvia and Toronto are connected but it’s never firmly established. I do not know if Ms. Walker plans to address this later in the series or not.
All in all Hunter’s Rise is a nice addition to her Hunters series and I look forward to visiting this series again soon.
Overall Rating: C+