on January 1st 1970
Joy wants nothing more than to live and Hunt in Apex City without a target on her back. But a dangerous new mission assigned by her uncle, the city's Prefect, may make that impossible.
In addition to her new duties as one of the Elite, Joy is covertly running patrols in the abandoned tunnels and storm sewers under Apex Central. With her large pack of magical hounds, she can fight the monsters breaking through the barriers with the strength of three hunters. Her new assignment takes a dark turn when she finds a body in the sewers: a Psimon with no apparent injury or cause of death.
Reporting the incident makes Joy the uncomfortable object of PsiCorp's scrutiny—the organization appears more interested in keeping her quiet than investigating. With her old enemy Ace still active in Hunts and the appearance of a Folk Mage who seems to have a particular interest in her, Joy realizes that the Apex conspiracy she uncovered before her Elite trials is anything but gone.
As the body count rises, she has no choice but to seek answers. Joy dives into the mysterious bowels of the city, uncovering secrets with far-reaching consequences for PsiCorp... and all of Apex City.
WARNING! SPOILERS FOR BOOK ONE
If I thought I loved Mercedes Lackey before I had no idea that her first real foray into mainstream YA would capture my imagination like it has. Had some of her Valdemar books been written today they would probably be considered YA so I wasn’t entirely surprised that I would love her latest books. Still, even the previous book, HUNTER, didn’t prepare me for the glee with which I would devour ELITE.
ELITE continues where HUNTER leaves off, and as the title suggests Joy has made her way up in the world. As an Elite Hunter, Joy has made herself necessary to Apex City as attacks from Othersiders increase. This is a war story, of man vs monster. Part post apocalyptic, part urban fantasy, Lackey mixes genres so tech and magic live together in a crazy world like I’ve never read before.
Josh, while I still love him, has a lot of explaining to do. He is a giant question mark for me in this series. I can’t tell whether I should be suspicious of the guy or not. At first glance Lackey seems like she may be taking a familiar storyline with this romance but I know her well enough to think she may be playing me. So in short I don’t know what to think, just that my gut loves him regardless.
Joy, well she’s a joy to read about. She’s such a likable character, as are most of the Elite. I was surprised to find them to be genuine people rather than stuffy and serious all the time. So Joy fits right in almost seamlessly and makes me feel like I could read 10 more adventures just about her and her Elite buddies.
Lackey writes war so well, she has escalated the conflict between these two books by epic proportions. The fight scenes are incredibly good and I love how she sprawls the combat in creatively bloody and sometimes disgusting ways. She has no problem showing exactly what a war like this can cost and breaking your heart while doing so.
I highly recommend reading this book but I also recommend listening to it. The audiobook narrator for this series is perfect, her tone always on point for the emotions she is trying to convey through her reading. It’s very difficult for me to even pause a HUNTER audiobook just like it would be to put down the actual book.
I recommend this book for fans of both fantasy and sci fi apocalypse novels, monster stories, slayers, and anything Lackey writes.
What is your favorite monster hunter book? Share in the comments.
From my shelf to yours,