Hunter by Michael Carroll
Published in USA by Philomel, part of the Penguin group 1st May 2014
Hardback – 368 Pages
Available in bookstores in North America
or Worldwide through Amazon
Cover by Shawn Martinbrough
If you look you’ll find a lot of mentions of Michael Carroll on this blog. He is one of the current writers of Judge Dredd for 2000AD, even if you’ve never read this blog before you should be able to tell that I am a fan of Judge Dredd. Michael also does 3d modelling for fun and when I set up this blog I used a Judge Badge I made using his Badger! software as my header; the one now used in my header was made for me by Michael last year.
So, yes, there is a little bias here. But then, I only review what I like, this isn’t and it never will be somewhere to read a book, comic, film or any other piece of art denuded. So if you see me review something it is already an endorsement. (not always the case with one of my ‘Opinion’ or ‘News’ articles).
This is the fourth book in the Superhuman series, 7th in total in the Quantum Prophecy series, the first trilogy is the New Heroes series.
The main character of this book is Lance McKendrick, or Hunter Washington as he later styles himself.
Among a world separated between Super-powered and normal Humans Lance finds himself in the middle. He has no super powers but he is different to others. 14 year old Lance is a born conman and trickster. He has more than the gift of the gab.
He finds himself not only between Humans and Superhumans but between rival Superhumans. On one side is Max Dalton, mind reader and self appointed leader of the Superheroes. On the other side is Casey Duval, who is able to see what powers someone has and how they work.
Max has branded Casey a villain, though he hasn’t yet committed a crime. Casey insists that Max is manipulating the situation and everyone around him.
There is a very large cast of support characters in this book. Obviously some are more detailed than others. The setting is equally detailed and explained well in this volume. I haven’t read any of the others in this series, remiss of me, but I wasn’t left wondering what I was missing.
Lance is 14 at the start of the book and in his twenties by the end. Impressively the narrative style alters as he ages, his outlook at 14 is not the same as it is when he is 21. But as I say the narrative itself matures through the book which assists the reader in understanding the passage of time without having to labour the point.
Of course as there is something more to be said about the narration. As we are following Lance throughout the book but Max is able to alter people’s memories we can’t really be certain that the narrator is telling us everything. Quite a good twist on the unreliable narrator, giving us a reliable narrator who could be naive due to the unreliability of the memory. Excellent.
This really is a storytelling masterclass for Young Adult fiction. About a quarter of the books I read are YA, the rest being mostly Military Historical. You’ll find several mentions elsewhere on this blog of writers such as Alex Scarrow and his brother Simon. If you’ve read any of Alex’s TimeRiders and enjoyed them then I think this series from Michael is something you’ll enjoy. Or if you haven’t tried anything by the Scarrow brothers – take a look after reading Hunter.