Note: This version of the book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. For the full review, please visit The Review Board website.
Hunters' Quest is the second book in The Hunters of Reloria trilogy. I did read the first book Elven Jewel to get the full effect of all that has gone on.
One of the things I tend to get asked as a reviewer is if the books in a trilogy can stand alone. Although one can read Elven Jewel and get the feel that it is a stand alone story, I cannot say for sure in reference to Hunters' Quest, simply because of the way Hunters' Quest ended.
Although the colors of the cover have a whimsical appeal, a few more illustrations as far as the journey would have been helpful. Yes, there was a map at the beginning of the book but no others sprinkled throughout. That way it would have shown the differences between different locations they were going to, as well as being provided more descriptions on what these lands looked like.
Whether the author intended the books in The Hunters of Reloria trilogy to stand alone or not, the descriptive component of locations and the new characters needed improvement. The way they were presented to the reader isn't an introduction that stands out; it came across more matter of fact than anything. There were bits of comic relief to break up the intensity of the quest yet the down moments threatened to keep one's attention off the main elements of the story. This author doesn't quite strike the balance between establishing local color and having excessive fluff.
There was great potential in a lot of the action sequence yet they were executed in a bit of a detached way. A dynamic tale such as this one should have the author showing the story—to the point where it plays like a movie inside of one's head.
The pace was excruciatingly slow. This was a flaw Elven Jewel also committed. I wanted to dismiss the slow pacing of the first as the author's attempt to establish build up, since it was such a long book. However, Hunters' Quest is about half the size of its predecessor, so why is the pace just as slow, if not slower in this rendition?
The chapters are way too long. They should be crafted in such a way that the action and flow of the story is immediate. When one is thinking to himself, "What happened at the beginning of this chapter?" or "Wait! I'm only on Chapter such and such?" it's a bad sign. When an author has written a riveting story, there should be a seamless transition and an eagerness to find out what happens next. There was not a huge urgency there for me in the first book and even less so for this one.
The main part of Hunters' Quest that delivered harm was the way the ending was delivered. I do not mind if there are incomplete threads in a series, just as long as one of the major threads that was presented to be solved has closure. Hunters' Quest ended abruptly, like that movie that is getting to the good bit, and then "To Be Continued" pops on the screen. I was highly disappointed.
If one is going to do a series, one should strive to have the next part of the series be just as good, if not better than the book before it. This author has a lot of work to do in order to get this one to that level.
(reviewed 11 months after purchase)