Book Reviews

The Secret Library Review: Huntress by Julie Hall

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No one’s afterlife is as dispiriting as Audrey’s–at least that’s what she believes after waking up dead without her memories and being promptly assigned to hunt demons for the rest of eternity.

She’s convinced there’s been a cosmic mistake; after all, she’d rather discuss the color of her nails than break them on angelic weapons. It doesn’t help that her trainer, Logan, is as infuriating as he is attractive. 

When an ancient weapon of unparalleled power chooses Audrey as its wielder, attracting the cautious gazes of her fellow hunters and the attention of Satan himself, Logan is the only one she can trust. With Satan’s eyes now fixed on Audrey, a battle for the safety of the living looms in the shadows.

Fans of The Mortal Instruments, Supernatural, and This Present Darkness, won’t want to miss this epic story of unfailing love and adventure.”

 

Ever wondered what happens after you die? Audrey is about to find out. Don’t worry – this is not a spoiler! Huntress introduces main character Audrey as she takes her first confusing, yet mind-blowing steps into the afterlife. Robbed of her memories, including her own name, Audrey soon learns that heaven isn’t anything like what she imagined, and all about the responsibilities that death brings with it.

 Huntress is book one of the Life After series, which, I have to admit, was a little confusing at first glance. The front cover words the series as Life After Book One which made me wonder if I had accidentally picked up a sequel. After a couple of chapters, I was more certain that this was actually the first book in the series.

The book cover and blurb for Huntress were just irresistible: sexy and mysterious, both. When the cover and blurb are that good, there is a huge amount of pressure to deliver a quality book and Huntress not only met those high standards, but exceeded them. This book had me so hooked, that whenever I wasn’t reading it, it was still in the back of my mind and I gave in to the urge to snatch it up again. Every. Darn. Time.

Audrey is quick to find out that everyone in heaven has a job, and hers is to prevent demons and other dark other-worldly forces from infecting humans back on Earth. Assigned to become a huntress, she is trained by the dashing though ill-tempered Logan, who prepares her for an after-life of battling the forces of evil.

As a character, I found Audrey to be incredibly realistic of any normal girl in this unusual situation: feeling out of her depth, confused and sometimes a little helpless, while still able to pull herself together when it matters. Avoiding the Mary-Sue trope entirely, Audrey frequently finds herself failing, and struggling, while still finding the will to persevere. Huntress fits neatly into the Young Adult Fiction genre, and Audrey is not only a relatable character but a great role model.

Hall’s depiction of heaven overlaps with a lot of already existing visions, but there are many unique elements that craft this version of heaven into a very natural yet intriguing setting. Towards the end, there was an underlying feeling of preaching, which might not appeal to headstrong atheists, but as an atheist, this didn’t actually affect my enjoyment of the book at all.

Hall avoided many clichés which actually has us clamouring to read more once the book is finished. While treating us to continual originality, she has a talent for captivating her readers and keeping them hooked.

Huntress is a well-paced, well-written novel with all-round great character development and several unexpected twists that are difficult to predict. I really can’t recommend this book enough, and it is one I will definitely be putting on my bookshelf as a permanent feature.

Fans of fantasy, and all it’s sub-genres, speculative fiction in general and YA fiction are highly encouraged to read Huntress!

You can find Huntress on Amazon in e-book and paperback formats, and you can keep up to date with Julie Hall’s new releases on her Facebook page.

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