Review of ‘Hunter’s descent’ (Five Moons Rising #2) by Lise MacTague
This was a good solid read but I didn’t love it like I was hoping. I have been patiently (sort of) waiting for this book for about the last two years. The fact that Halloween is right around the corner, I could not wait to get my hands on a good and gritty lesbian paranormal / urban fantasy book. What this book suffered from is what most second books in trilogies have in common. The second book can’t quite hold up to the magic of the first, but it has important parts and leaves you wanting to get your hands on the not yet released the third book.
MacTague is a really good writer with an imagination I would kill for. She writes the kind of books I love to read. Her writing here was top notch as always, I just personally wasn’t in love with some of her story choices this time around. Before I get more into that I want to point out that since this is a book 2, I would highly recommend reading the excellent ‘Five Moons Rising’ first. However, if you really can’t, MacTague does give away enough information about what happened that I think a new reader would be okay. You might be confused about a few characters, but the most important things are rehashed. It had been more than two years since I read Five Moons so I appreciated MacTague reminding me of the important things.
This story is about a human named Malice or Mary Alice, who was genetically enhanced by the government to kill misbehaving supernaturals so humans don’t find out about them. Malice is a complicated killing machine but it doesn’t stop her werewolf (wolven) girlfriend Ruri from loving her anyway. Malice is told by her government contact to find out why students at a reform school are mysteriously dying. Is there anything supernatural behind the deaths and will Malice and Ruri make it back home alive?
What I was very happy with is that Ruri and Malice’s relationship really progressed in this book. Since their relationship was a bit of enemies-to-lovers storyline, it felt like it was missing a bit of that stronger connection that wasn’t just paranormal based. The way their relationship grew, the trust and opening up of such difficult topics by Malice, made the relationship feel real and deep. While I was always a fan of these two together, they make a stronger couple now.
I also like how this book started with a bit of a mystery. I love paranormal-crime type books and I was hoping this would have that feel. Unfortunately, that soon changed as the book went on. This book had a lot to do with the Fae. You soon find yourself in the land of Fairy and in my opinion too much of the book took place there. This book is a good length, it’s impossible to tell on my Kindle but I’m guessing at least 400 pages. I just felt there were too many of those pages spent in Fairy and a few parts of the story started to drag for me. There is plenty of excitement don’t get me wrong, but I wanted to check in on other characters from the first book but we couldn’t because the book was still in Fairy.
One of the reasons I loved ‘Five Moons Rising’ was the characters. Malice is a total badass. She is one of those morally grey characters that you can’t help but love. What I was also impressed with was how great Ruri’s character was too. She’s one of my favorite werewolf characters ever, and while she is more what you would consider a “good” character compared to the complicated Malice, but “good” Ruri is a badass too. The problem in this book is that being in Fairy messed with Malice. She didn’t feel like half as much of a badass as she normally is. And because of the situation they were in her character even felt passive at times, which I hate. Luckily, it’s not the whole book but I just kept reading wanting my old Malice back. I’m all for personal growth and I did see some I liked, I just don’t want Malice to completely lose her shades of grey which makes her character so damn interesting.
MacTague ended this book in a way where there should be at least one more book. While these books don’t end on cliffhangers so you can pick the series up now, MacTague always leaves a thread or two open which gets you excited about the next book. Personally, I am very excited about book three and the possibilities that are there. While this book had some bumps from me I was still absolutely entertained. I would recommend reading ‘Five Moons Rising’ before this one though. I love Malice and Ruri and can’t wait to see them again in book 3.
An ARC was given to me for an honest review.