Soul Hunt (Hunt #3) by Margaret Ronald

Released: December 13, 2010
Format: e-galley
ISBN-13: 978-0-061-66243-0

First up, some full disclosure: While I purchased the first two books in the series, my review is based on a free e-galley I received from HarperCollins via netGalley. I am in no way compensated for this post but would like to thank HarperCollins and netGalley for this copy.

Soul Hunt is Evie Scelan’s third adventure. As I mentioned in my post about the second book, I wasn’t as captivated by it as I was by Spiral Hunt, and so I approached Soul Hunt with a little trepidation. Fortunately, I liked this novel way more than the previous one, though not as much as the first book.

In Soul Hunt, Evie has to deal with the ramifications of a bad deal she made at the end of the last book. A really bad deal.  And that’s only the beginnings of her troubles, as you can see in the blurb from the back of the book:

The hunter has become the hunted . . .

Without even realizing what she was doing, Genevieve Scelan has made a bad bargain. The Red Sox fanatic and supernatural tracker known as “Hound” for her extraordinary power of scent wishes she could leave magic behind now that she’s eradicated the evil cabal that oppressed Boston’s undercurrent for centuries. But now her talent’s fading, the local adepts’ squabbles are turning ugly, and worse, she’s just discovered that she owes a very large debt to someone . . . or some thing. And in the undercurrent, debts are taken very seriously.

Evie has until midwinter to pay up . . . or else. So when she gets a job that might save her—even if she’s breaking all her own rules to take it—she can’t pass it up. Now, with danger at her back and uncertain allies beside her, she’ll trace the very bones of Boston itself to protect both the city and the people she loves.

As I said earlier, I found Soul Hunt much more satisfying than Wild Hunt. Evie’s adventures centre around her trying to get out of trouble, first from the bargain, then from a deal she makes at the start of this book, plus she has to deal with the job that might save her, as they call it in the blurb. She also has to deal with Nate’s curse and his desire to get rid of it, though this is a secondary plot point in the novel. (Side note: One of the possible solutions made me very uncomfortable. Brava, Margaret Ronald, for such visceral writing.) Because of all these major plot points, there’s a lot of action in Soul Hunt but not so much that it gets overwhelming. Margaret Ronald has a wonderful writing style and I really enjoyed seeing what was going to happen next, particularly in the last chapters where things got really exciting.

I also liked that she included more exposition about the different kinds of magic in her mythology, and more about the Wild Hunt and its cross-cultural origins. Rich world building always makes me happy and the information included in Soul Hunt was juicy and compelling. I also loved the characterization of the Hounds in the Hunt, and Evie’s interactions with them. Another great aspect of Soul Hunt is the fact that we get to learn more about Katie’s powers and get her perspective on magic. There are some great developments on this front and I look forward to seeing more in the next installment, assuming there is one. There is also nice progress in Evie and Rena’s relationship, and I think it’s written in a very genuine way.

While there’s no news online about a fourth Hunt book, I truly hope to see another novel some time at the end of this year. Fingers crossed!

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