They came after the Diseray. Some were terrors ripped from our collective imaginations, remnants of every mythology across the world. And some were like nothing anyone had ever dreamed up, even in their worst nightmares.
Long ago, the barriers between our world and the Otherworld were ripped open, and it’s taken centuries to bring back civilization in the wake of the catastrophe. Now, the luckiest Cits live in enclosed communities, behind walls that keep them safe from the hideous creatures fighting to break through. Others are not so lucky.
To Joyeaux Charmand, who has been a Hunter in her tight-knit mountain community since she was a child, every Cit without magic deserves her protection from dangerous Othersiders. Then she is called to Apex City, where the best Hunters are kept to protect the most important people.
Joy soon realizes that the city’s powerful leaders care more about luring Cits into a false sense of security than protecting them. More and more monsters are getting through the barriers, and the close calls are becoming too frequent to ignore. Yet the Cits have no sense of how much danger they’re in—to them, Joy and her corps of fellow Hunters are just action stars they watch on TV.
When an act of sabotage against Joy takes an unbearable toll, she uncovers a terrifying conspiracy in the city. There is something much worse than the usual monsters infiltrating Apex. And it may be too late to stop them…
This book is one of the finest YA novels I have read to date. With plenty of action, a cool-headed and strong female lead, and the beginnings of a subtle love triangle, it has all the characteristics of a traditional dystopian novel, while remaining fresh and new.
This book opens with Joy Charmand traveling from the little village in the Rockies where she grew up to the biggest city on the continent after the Diseray. Seems like a cliche right? Clueless village girl goes to the big sparkling city only to learn all is not as she thought …
That is not what happens. Without giving away too many spoilers – Joy grew up not in a clueless village as everyone thinks, but in perhaps the greatest center for knowledge on the continent. While lacking some social skills, and city life experience, she knows enough to figure out the politics of the city, while still remaining innocent enough to not understand why the “Cits” – citizens or city dwellers – behave the way they do.
“My Masters had explained to me in detail the difference between the way a solider thought, the way a Cit thought, and contrasted both with the way a Hunter thought. . . Cits – the city folk sort of Cits – they want victories. They want to win or cheer the winner. Soliders want things to end neatly, they want victories too, and win or lose, they want things ended. But up on the Mountain, we’re much more pragmatic. We know what seems to be an ending rarely is, that victories don’t last forever, and you take what you get and make the most of it for as long as you can.”
She, however, catches on quickly, and is soon one of the best Hunters in the city.
This book is a must-read for anyone tired of the classic clueless heroine dumped into a mess of political tangles cliche. Joy is a cool headed politically savvy heroine whom I loved.
I give this book 4.5 stars.