Hunting in Bruges
Hunters' Guild, no. 1
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Finalist for the 2017 Raven Award for Best Urban Fantasy.
The only thing worse than being a Hunter in the fae-ridden city of Harborsmouth, is hunting vamps in Bruges.
The medieval city of Bruges is quaint, but the local Hunters' Guild is understaffed, the canals are choked with dead bodies, and there's no shortage of supernatural predators as likely suspects.
On second thought, maybe Bruges isn't so bad after all.
With a desire to prove herself, protect the innocent, and advance within the ranks of the Hunters' Guild, Jenna Lehane hits the cobbled streets of Bruges with blades at the ready. Someone, or something, is murdering tourists and dumping their bodies in the city's scenic canals. With the help of a mysterious stranger, Jenna begins to piece together clues that are dotted throughout the city like blood spatter.
Determined to stop the killings, Jenna delves into a bloody local history that only raises more questions--but some secrets are best left buried. Jenna must put her combat training to the test as she struggles to unearth the truth about an ancient enemy.
Hunting in Bruges is the first novel in the Hunters' Guild urban fantasy series set in the world of Ivy Granger.
Completely engaging, with a conclusion and characters that leave plenty of room for more ‘threats’
I’ve been a fan of this author’s Ivy Granger series, and finding a new urban fantasy with a new city was hard to pass up. From the wonderful world-building of Harborsmouth, Stevens takes time and care to introduce readers to the sights, sounds and feel of the ancient city of Bruges in Belgium. Old buildings, twisty streets and the overwhelming sense of years and memories that reside within, Hunting in Bruges presents the city in a near-visceral way that will feed your imagination as it has you contemplating a journey.
Jenna is an American hunter, who has seen ghosts “as long as she can remember”. When the guild gives her a new assignment – to Bruges, she is expected to manage and lead this rag-tag group of hunters to discover who is responsible for all of the tourist bodies that are turning up at every corner. For a threat this massive, one would expect Jenna to have some backup, but her ‘team’ includes a one-armed pyrotechnics obsessed happy man, a nymphomaniac drug-addled witch, a drunk doctor, and a blind archivist/librarian. Not all that much to work with.
Character driven, Jenna is completely convinced that this ‘assignment’ is a punishment, and for a hard-working, courageous, all about the job hunter, this belief eats at her self-confidence. Fortunately, she has her new friend and possible romantic interest, Ash, to help her find a balance between work and play- and there isn’t much time for play. Jenna’s point of view is the narrative voice in this book, and her thoughts, puzzling out the mystery of the ‘who’ is committing the crimes, and navigating her way through the good, the bad and the ‘destined to be hunted’ is well-defined and detailed. Conversations are realistic and feel natural and the plot moves forward quickly as the threats and the possible villains increase.
Completely engaging, with a conclusion and characters that leave plenty of room for more ‘threats’ in Jenna’s future, this is a well-crafted and fun urban fantasy, keeping the spirit and humor found in the Ivy Granger series yet giving us new characters and obstacles to overcome. Bruges comes alive in this story, and fortunately Ash is there to help Jenna relax and enjoy her time. If you are looking for something that is unique, well-written and a fun escape read: this is the story for you!
I received an eArc copy of the title from the author for purpose of honest review for The Jeep Diva. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.