Shiarra Waynest’s detective work was dangerous enough when her client base was strictly mortal. But ailing finances have forced her to accept a lucrative case that could save her firm if it doesn’t kill her first. Shiarra has signed on to work for a high-level mage to recover an ancient artifact owned by one of New York s most powerful vampires. As soon as Shiarra meets sexy, mesmerizing vamp Alec Royce, she knows her assignment is even more complicated than she thought. With a clandestine anti-Other group trying to recruit her, and magi being eliminated, Shiarra needs back-up and enlists her ex-boyfriend a werewolf whose non-furry form is disarmingly appealing and a nerdy mage with surprising talents. But it may not be enough. In a city where the undead roam, magic rules, and even the Others aren’t always what they seem, Shiarra has just become the secret weapon in a battle between good and evil whether she likes it or not…
*blurb from amazon.co.uk*
Shiarra “Shia” Waynest runs H&W investigations with her best friend, Sara. Due to financial difficulties she accepted an assignment to locate an ancient artifact called “the focus” for the powerful magic users (a.k.a. sparks) organisation called “The Circle” against her better judgement. Veronical Wright, her contact from “The Circle” leads her to a powerful vampire Alec Royce who wants to recruit Shia. On top of that the human anti-vampire organisation “White Hats” and Shia’s werewolf ex-boyfriend join in the foray.
I have never read Ms Haines’ books before and I thoroughly enjoyed the last 40% of the book. I find Hunted by The Others a bit of a slow starter. The first 60% of the book was descriptive and quite hectic but sadly lacked any real structure and plot development. I must admit that I didn’t like Shia much; she seemed both prejudice and selfish, for example, she emotionally blackmailed her best friend and business partner, Sara to forge a legal document and held no regard for the safety of her family and friends with the trouble she brings with her assignment.
I kept picking the book up and putting it down. However, the story and Shia’s personality really picked up in the latter half of the book and I found myself really enjoying reading it.
A strong positive for the book is how the author really brings Shia’s friendship with interesting characters like Sara and Arnold to life. This is somewhat offset by her weaker representation of romance. I will have to think hard to find a couple who lack more chemistry between them than werewolf Chaz and Shia. I wouldn’t say that missing someone holding doors, carrying bags or pulling out chairs for you is a sign of true love. Interestingly, she has a better chemistry with the vampire Alec.
I felt that Shia repeatedly didn’t have to work hard to solve her problems, with solutions just dropping into her lap e.g., a talking belt which gave the wearer an instant stamina and combat knowledge. As a result I personally held no real empathy for Shia until towards the end of the book where she was forced to work harder to resolve the challenges she faced. The writing also improves and he story gains pace with a developing subplot and unexpected twist. With a little more tweaking, I think H&W investigations could be a great series. I will definitely read books 2 and 3 (Taken by The Others and Deceived by The Others).
I give Hunted by The Others a B-, an encouraging start with great potential.