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Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite
Fans of tightly plotted and skillfully written stories and compelling young adult fantasy will enjoy Hunter, the second entry in the sci-fi series Adalta by Sherrill Nilson. The two leading characters are both broken. Tessa Me'Cowyn has lost her dream of becoming a healer, a dream stolen from her in a brutal way. Now, she becomes one of the dreaded assassins of the planet. Galen Morel is a man driven by a mental fog that compels him to do things against his will. But he is about to discover a powerful gift, one he can’t refuse. He is the legendary Kern, the one with power over plants and soil. Tessa and Galen must unite their forces to fight an ancient evil that is summoned by a malicious magician. Will they muster enough energy to stop the Itza Larrak — “huge, half-metal, half-flesh with metal wings, and its minions, the urbat, vicious dog-like monsters with armored bodies and stubby wings.”
Strange creatures, flying horses, magic, and the art of war are elements that Sherrill Nilson uses to enrich her story. The writing is impeccable and the diction has music of its own. The narrative is focused and balanced and readers who have not yet read the first book in the series won’t get lost, thanks to the skillful use of backstory. I loved the fact that the backstory is kept to a minimum and instead of it coming across as a distraction, the author transforms it into a stream of consciousness, allowing readers insights into the background of the characters. Character development is top-notch, the conflict is phenomenal and it is used to enrich character curve and allow the characters to evolve steadily. Hunter is filled with surprises that readers won’t see coming and even though it is set in a fictional world, it is permeated with a realism that makes it so close to home. A real delight, indeed!