Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Book Review: Hunters Unlucky by Abigail Hilton
For sixteen years, the Creashia and the Ferryshaft have been in an uneasy peace. It's into this world that Storm, a half-orphaned runt Ferryshaft, is born. When he learns the Creashia raid and kill a certain number of his herd every year, he begins to question why. The bigger, stronger Ferryshaft don't speak of the raids, much less fight back. It's going to be up to Storm to change things.
If he can survive a world where everything and everyone seems to be against him.
That's my summary. Here's the one I pulled from the author's website
Storm is born into a world of secrets – an island no one visits, names no one will say, and deaths that no one will talk about. The answers are locked in his species' troubled past, guarded by the fierce creasia cats. But when Storm's friends are threatened, he decides that he must act, pitting himself against the creasia to show that they can be resisted and outwitted. To prove his point, he must stay one step ahead of clever hunters, who have more to lose than Storm imagines.
For animals, generations pass much more quickly than they do for humans. Sixteen years has brought about three generations since the war ended, and yet the forgers of the peace are still alive. When lives move fast, so too will peace and war, especially in species that have fought each other for ages. When instincts fight with morals, Hunters Unlucky is what you get.
I've talked about Hilton's style before in my reviews of the Guild of the Cowry Catchers books (here). She remains true to being clear and easy to read while still giving great depth and painting wonderful pictures. You don't read her writing (or listen to it, since I experienced this book through audio) so much as you feel it.
I got sucked into Hunters Unlucky from the onset. It's ridiculously refreshing as Hilton once again has no human characters. These animals are believeable characters with some human-like traits, but when you get down to it, they're still animals and have animal behaviors. They think like animals. If Animal Farm met fantasy, this is what you'd come up with, and Hilton really nailed it. I'm not talking about the social commentary, I'm talking about the value. Don't disregard this book because it's talking animals. It's not simple or childish in any way.
I never felt left out for being human, though. It would be so easy to fail to connect with the characters because they're not human. Honestly, I didn't care one bit. I still can't say for certain exactly what a ferryshaft is, but I have my ideas. Hilton never really explains them. It would not make sense in the book for her to. Being Ferryshaft isn't unusual for them, so why would they inspect themselves as if they were unusual? It's brilliantly done, and I can't imagine the work that went into making this book what it was.
Would I Recommend This Book? Highly. Hunters Unlucky is unlike anything I've read in a long time (not counting Hilton's other work) and this book truly is a gem. If you're looking for something different from the norm, or if you miss the talking animal type books from your childhood but want an adult story featuring that sort of character, this is the book for you. It's a great mesh of nostalgia and the new. I give Hunters Unlucky a hidden 5 of 5 stars.
For more information on the author, visit http://www.abigailhilton.com/