THE HUNTER AND THE HUNTED
by Kelley Armstrong
PUBLISHER: Hachette Digital (UK) | Dutton Adult (US)
RELEASE DATE: 12 June 2012
FORMAT: Ebook, 100 pages
GENRE: Urban Fantasy
It was supposed to be a quiet honeymoon. But when the happy couple just happen to be werewolves, ‘quiet’ is not an option. Clay and Elena are trying their best to enjoy a traditional romantic getaway. But secretly, they’re both bored with drifting round St Louis, pretending to be a normal couple. So when Clay realises a non-pack werewolf is stalking Elena, he leaps at the chance to pursue his rival and teach him a very hard lesson. The trouble is, Clay’s plan involves deceiving Elena, which is not a good idea… Originally part of an anthology of supernatural romance stories, Stalked is the perfect introduction to Kelley Armstrong’s Otherworld series and an exhilarating, action-packed interlude for fans.
Dark witch and part-time angel Eve Levine is desperate for a little entertainment. With her lover Kristof away on business, things are so quiet in the afterlife Eve’s even ready to volunteer for an extra week’s worth of angel corps duty, just to pass the time. Luckily something even better comes up: a real celestial bounty-hunter mission. But when the trail leads her to the British Museum and a mysterious, secret dimension, a pleasant diversion turns into something much more intriguing – and dangerous… Packed with suspense and surprising twists, Off-Duty Angel reveals fascinating new insights into a beloved series character. (Amazon)
According to the author’s forward, Kelley Armstrong jumped at the opportunity to write a novella prior to the release of the final instalment of the Otherworld series to give two of her characters their share of the limelight. THE HUNTER AND THE HUNTED is comprised of three short stores with one being a teaser for the final novel, 13. I am not normally a fan of short stories but as this was Kelley Armstrong and an Otherworld novella, I was quick to rush and download it.
STALKED is written from Clayton Danvers point of view, a character that has relatively stayed in the background for much of the series. Clay and Elena are on their much deserved honeymoon in St Louis but they are being stalked by a mutt who wants Elena for himself, and to take down Clay in the process. Clay spends the majority of the story trying to hide this fact from Elena as he wants to make their honeymoon and time alone together as special as possible. Even after almost twenty years together, and two kids later, he still feels guilty turning her into a werewolf. Clay knows that Elena had plans for the perfect wedding and honeymoon before he bit her, and while they didn’t actually have a wedding he wants this holiday to be a celebration of all the things they had gone through and still stayed in love with each other. The mutt not only physically challenges Clay, but also challenges his honour and reputation as the pack’s enforcer, but this is secondary to protecting Elena. The inevitable battle ensues between Clay, Elena and the mutt and as there is one more book to go I think you can guess who the victor was.
A Clay POV was a good choice as the character gets relatively little ‘face time’ in the series as Armstrong focuses on her strong female characters. The plot doesn’t just deal with the hunt but gives the reader an insight into how much Clay loves Elena, his struggle with the guilt of turning her and how he strives to give her the honeymoon she always wanted. Armstrong is able to write convincingly from both the male and female perspective. Despite the blood and guts this was a sweet story in the end.
OFF DUTY ANGEL is an Eve Levine story that finds the part-time angel at a loose end as she is currently on holiday from angel duties, and a bit bored. Her celestial boyfriend, Kristof, is busy working and can’t spend time with her so in an effort to keep Eve occupied he teams up with her angelic partner, Triesl, to fabricate a mystery to keep her busy. This case ends up being more than it seems and leads Eve, Triesl and Kristof on an adventure through the British Museum, a secret dimension, and even a brief trip to hell and back.
Armstrong clearly enjoys writing this character but I found the story a bit flat and predictable. It was obvious to me that the case was a set up from the start and I was a bit surprised that Armstrong chose to write a plot with such a predictable conclusion. I may, however, be a bit over critical as I have never really enjoyed Eve’s storylines as much as the other characters.
The situation is retrieved with the final short, the prequel to 13. The story starts with Savannah and Jaime following the rescue of Savannah’s step brother. The pair end up being arrested and their time in jail leads to a lot of spilled blood, death, and destruction. Armstrong does introduce an excellent twist for both Savannah and Eve at the end of the story. I am looking forward to seeing how this plays out in 13.
I really enjoyed the Clay POV in STALKED, as this is a character I have always enjoyed despite the fact he can be quite irascible and tends to stay in the background. I thought the story was touching and well written, especially as Armstrong wrote the majority of the series from the female perspective. I didn’t enjoy OFF DUTY ANGEL as much as some of her other short stories, mainly because Eve has never been one of my favourite characters. I am not that fond of angel or ghost stories and I never really found Eve as a character that likeable. Regardless whether I liked the character, I believe I shared a bit of Eve’s boredom and found the story a bit bland. All was forgiven with the prequel short story to 13. I love both Savannah and Jaime which the story focused on and there was a really good twist at the end involving Eve. I enjoyed the plot and it has made me really look forward to the next and final novel in the series.
BOOKS IN SERIES ORDER
3. Dime Store Magic
4. Industrial Magic
7. No Humans Involved
8. Personal Demon
9. Living with the Dead
10. Frostbitten (Carolyn’s Review | Laura’s Review)
11. Waking the Witch
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