While at a nightclub with her cousin Jamie and Deanna, Kiara watches as her ex-partner Ryn walks out on stage during a drag king show. Suddenly, the four are ripped away when Jamie spots the tattoo of the fabled werewolf killers: the Huntsmen.
Why this book?: I was approached because Ryn is nonbinary, and the author was looking for nonbinary reviewers. Also, it just sounded awesome.
I would like to thank Michelle Osgood and Interlude Press for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Charming atmosphere and characters
One thing that immediately grabs your attention is the atmosphere. Without putting much detail into it, Osgood easily crafts an atmosphere she obviously has experience with. I felt comfortable with her style of writing, and fell into the groove of it extremely easily. The writing style was simple and to the point, but was still entertaining and added the right emotions into the right scenes.
I also enjoyed all of the characters, especially the romances going on. I found myself cheering on the other characters in their romantic endeavors, and was completely invested in their development and journey. They were all diverse as well, despite that being quite subtle. Maybe it was mentioned in Osgood’s other novel, but it wasn’t mentioned that Kiara was Korean (half Korean?) until the further half of the book. All of the couples were queer in some way, which I frankly didn’t notice until I started writing this review when I actually had to consider it. It was that natural, and flawlessly done.
An unexpected favorite with . . . quite a few flaws
Now, this is coming as a nonbinary person, and I know that not everyone’s experience is the same, but I thought that Ryn’s ID came off as a little . . . one-sided. Like that you were told one thing or another, but it was never translated over into their actual self. Ryn, who’s pronouns are she/they, almost always goes by she. Ryn is also repeatedly described as a women, even going as far as describing her as a girl. Yes, I know that nonbinary/genderqueer people can go by whatever pronouns they want, but it just seemed a little weird to me to promote someone as genderqueer, but then not have it clearly shown on page. Kiara does double check boundaries with Ryn during the sex scenes, as it mentions dysphoria. However, nothing is ever shown or described
Another thing was the pacing. A large chunk of the book happened in a character’s apartment, and over 100 pages were spent just the characters waiting for something to happen. Yes, while they were waiting, the romance that I found so enjoyable was being developed, but it took so long. Then, most of the action that I was hoping for ended in the last 30-ish pages, and was frankly anti-climatic.
Final Rating: ★★★½☆☆
Huntsmen was an extremely enjoyable read, and I often found myself reading it in favor of other books. Despite my complaints, I did ultimately love it enough to buy my own copy, and I do not regret accepting the ARC, despite my already booked schedule.
I will say that the genderqueer representation did bother me. It didn’t hurt me in the way that I don’t want to read Osgood’s other books, but enough so that it is worth mentioning to possible genderqueer readers.
Would I Recommend?
If you’re looking for some nice queer, Canadian werewolves, hop aboard my bandwagon. It’s the perfect amount of sexy, queer, intense, and hilarious. I also greatly enjoyed all of the allusions to other shows, such as the Star Wars reference and the Game of Thrones board game. However, if you do identify as genderqueer, I would read Xan West’s review here, as their’s goes more in-depth than mine.
Published: April 13th, 2017
Publisher: Interlude Press
Page Count: 218
Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
Synopsis: via Goodreads
Months after saving Jamie and Deanna from crywolf, Kiara and her brother Cole have moved into the city. While clubbing one night, Kiara is stunned to see her ex, Taryn, on stage. But before she can react, Jamie notices a distinctive tattoo in the crowd: an axe rumored to be the mark of the Huntsmen, a group of werewolf-tracking humans. The girls need to leave immediately—and since Taryn is also a werewolf, they need to take her with them.
The Huntsmen are more than a myth, and they’re scouring the city for lone wolves just like Taryn. Until the General North American Assembly of Werewolves lends a plan of action, Kiara’s small pack is on lockdown in Nathan’s apartment building, where she and Taryn must face the differences that drove them apart. Furthermore, the longer the group waits, the more it seems the Huntsmen haven’t been acting entirely on their own.