Title: Hunted: A Jonathan Harker Novel
Author: Christopher Draven
Genre: Paranormal Thriller / Urban Fantasy
Missed the Thrills…
Jonathan Harker is a mage of indeterminate years, dedicated to eradicating mankind of the dark forces of evil most aren’t aware even exist.
Harker has spent lifetimes destroying demons all over the world, and when he awakens beaten, bloodied and bound to a chair, the human-born mage is incredulous. With no memory of how he fell to his situation, the reader follows Jonathan on the journey to find out how (and why) he was duped.
It’s revealed Jonathan’s transgressions against all things Dark and Supernatural have put him at the top of their hitlist and a contract has been made. He’s wanted by The Source (of all dark magic? Of all evil?)… alive.
Jonathan Harker is being hunted… but has he been caught?
When I first read the synopsis of Hunted, I quickly volunteered to read it as part of a blog tour and was excited to get started once I received the ARC. Unfortunately, by page 25, my excitement had cooled.
If Harker were real, he’d be the person at the dinner party everyone avoids because he never shuts up. He loves the sound of his own voice and explains… everything.
This is Jonathan’s story and of course, the backstory is necessary to understand him and his current plight.
My issue with Jonathan is almost every time he opened his mouth, it was an info dump. He couldn’t use or look at a weapon without explaining its history and/or uses. He couldn’t think of a spell without explaining where he learned it, who taught him, how it worked OR why it would or wouldn’t work in his current battle.
World-building is a necessity of any story and mandatory with dealing with the supernatural, but Jonathan’s inner monologue and storytelling became annoying because it took me out of the story.
In the midst of fighting with demons and demon-kin, Harker spent too much time telling instead of showing. The man is fighting for his life and about to deliver a fireball… but stops to explains fireballs. Battle scenes were laborious because too much time is spent in his head.
We meet several interesting characters in Hunted. Kitchen witch Momma Dee, Rroma Clover, and even Demon Prince Cresh. All interact with Jonathan, but HE tells us their backstory. Would have been more enjoyable for me to have their stories shared as dialogue.
With the nature of supernatural beings, there’s always subjects not spoken of, events glazed over, and information not shared… and Jonathan felt compelled to share quite a bit of it in his thoughts.
It’s understood most characters only matter as far as how they relate to the protagonist, especially if there will be more characters introduced in future books. However, this would have been a richer story for me had Jonathan shared the spotlight with his backup cast more—generating more dialogue and more showing, less telling—than yammering on for pages.
There is a good story here. It’s why I wanted to read Hunted, the blurb drew me in. But it is buried in Jonathan’s head and the way he shares it—for me—is exhausting.
Hunted takes place in a twenty-four-hour period. Twenty-four-hours for Harker to find them before they find him… again. Yet, I never felt a sense of urgency. I was never on the edge of my seat swiping the screen to find out what happened next. I know I’m in the minority, but I never felt the thrills of this thriller. I’m also confused as to why Hunted is considered ‘new adult’. It isn’t–well, at least I don’t feel it is. It’s not a genre I read often (or at all) and had those words been included in the info of the initial email I received, I would never have volunteered to read it. But, after reading it, I don’t get the title. Shrugs.
Would I read the next book? Honestly, I don’t know. The premise still interests me, I’m just over the man who needs to get over himself—Jonathan Harker.
Slinging Spells with Broken Ribs Isn’t Easy
Jonathan Harker, mage and life-long demon hunter, wakes to find himself tied to a chair and severely wounded. His captor, a demon in service to a summoner who wants Harker alive.
Armed with impossibly powerful magic and a gang of demon toughs, the summoner has snared Harker in a deadly trap. Nothing is ever easy, and being new in town has left Harker with few allies. However, with help from a Fortune-Teller named Clover and a self-described “Kitchen Witch” named Momma Dee, Harker fights back.
To prevail, Harker must walk unprepared into a pit of demons and black magic – and come out alive on the other side.
~ Author Bio ~
Christopher Draven has worked as an instructional designer, newspaper journalist, and ghost writer.
One soggy Monday morning, he committed to leaving behind the soul-stealing work of corporate puppetry and escaped to a meadow where he could concentrate on his passion. Since that fateful day, Christopher has focused on learning the craft of fiction.