I received copy of this book to review for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
The first book in this series released over a year ago, and as I was reading Hunted, I kept thinking about how the story and characters have developed exponentially since then. Things are coming together and making sense while still giving Kemp much more story to tell. I was no longer scratching my head wondering what just happened. The characters are more fully developed, and I was better able to connect with them. Plus I was just darn excited to find out what was going to happen next!
LeKrista has changed in many ways from the first novel, all for the better, while staying true to herself. Her physical appearance has changed. She doesn't spend so much time passed out, and she's much stronger and quite a fighter this time around. I was happy to delve into LeKrista's family history, and as I got to know her and her family, I felt more connected to her in this book than in the first one. When she begins having disturbing nightmares where she's emotionally devastated over and over again, I wanted to kill the person hurting her in those nightmares. I wanted her to get revenge in those terrible dreams. They affected me in a way that made me want to cry for her.
In Hunted, I learned more about Pierce and why he's been keeping a huge secret - he's more than human but can't tell LeKrista until they're married and have consummated the marriage. I think this is really interesting and different from other stories. The heat between Pierce and LeKrista has been turned all the way up! In the first book, their relationship seemed blah and lifeless. I wondered why they were even together, so I was excited to see they are passionately in love.
I'm still not sold on Roman's character. Different characters have been snarky to LeKrista about choosing to associate with Roman, but really, he came for her to protect her. She didn't seek him out. I don't trust Roman; I think he pretends to love LeKrista because he wants the very same thing as the vampire he created - to use her to take over the world so vampires don't have to hide from humans any longer, not to mention the fact that Vampires, Mages, Werewolves, and Shapeshifters are all vying for power.
For the minor characters, I love Tate the most. She's become LeKrista's best friend. Craven, the daywalker, is a new and interesting character thrown into the mix. He's a welcome addition to the cast of characters, and as a daywalker, he differs from vampires in a few ways that I thought were really cool. Lizette is just plain annoying. Shouldn't she blame the one who turned her into a vampire rather than LeKrista? Sometimes her vendetta felt like a repeat of when Perdita was after LeKrista. When it comes to Eddy I'm torn - much of the time I don't like him, but then he'll say or do something that makes me think it's possible I'll end up liking him.
I'm still trying to understand the Mages. LeKrista learned she's a powerful Mage. Since she's a Mage as well as her family, why won't the Mages help her? I understand they don't like that LeKrista has been mixed into vampire affairs, but I'd think they would want to help untangle her from all that. Xiomara, who is one of the most powerful Mages and the one who seems to be in charge, has a cold heart. I think she's afraid of LeKrista's power.
With time, memories, and events shifting all around, characters with magical powers, and mysteries to be unlocked, Hunted is a book not to be missed.