What is worse than a Demon? Find out in Immortal Hunter by Kait Ballenger

18135043A demon that feeds on fear and pain and the deaths of infants. That last bit isn’t mentioned in the book blurb, but it comes out pretty early in the book, so I don’t feel too guilty mentioning. Besides, I really feel some of you will want to know this book focus on that theme. If you can’t read about harm to children, you might want to choose one of Kait Ballenger’s other books.

Immortal Hunter is a gut-wrenchingly dark drama, packed full of mystery and action and a testament to the power of selfless love and devotion. The hero and heroine of this novel aren’t perfect people. They’ve made mistakes. Lots of them. With tragic consequences. At the same time you know that no one, no matter how flawed, deserves the misery they face. These characters, perhaps, least of all.

David is a powerful and talented exorcist. A man who sends demons back to hell, freeing the innocents they’ve possessed. He is a good man. One who believes his gifts charge him with the duty of protecting humans from the demons that escape hell. He’s faithful and dedicated to the woman he lost years early even though he doesn’t really understand what went wrong with their relationship.

Allsún is a spirited and strong woman whose ability to fight demons came along with her half fey blood. She seemed to make a perfect partner for David and they fought side by side for years before things fell apart for them. The events of one single night tore them apart and put a wedge between them that has been too painful for her to even approach. From that night on, Allsún turned her back on demon hunting and set out to live a normal life. David joined the Execution Underground as their local expert on demon hunting. It is an attack on Allsún that brings them back together and sets them on a collision course with that great big wedge…oh yea, and two very bad demons.

Immortal Hunter is the third installment of The Execution Underground Series; which, so far, includes a novella and two novels. The next installment, Shadow Hunter, is due out in August. The author has created a great ‘band of brothers’ to center her stories around. The EU is an international organization of men that fight supernatural baddies, but so far the books center primarily around this one particular group. Each man has his specialty from ghosts, to witches, to shapeshifters. It is a refreshing change from the last decade trend of making the monsters the heroes (note: I still like monster-heroes more than I can say). These heroes are all very human and that gives the story a different flavor. Variety is the spice and all that….

What else can I tell you about this novel? The love scenes are very well done. The author has definitely kept the “love” in the love scene, but also made them steamy. The first half of the story felt a bit slow for me. The action does start from the beginning, or rather the story starts in the middle of the action, but this a reunited lovers story so there are lots of flash backs and introspection along the way (apologies for that ridiculously long sentence). It took me about 40% in to really connect with the characters. I think the past was revealed slowly to give a great moment of realization in the middle, but it was sometimes hard to understand the heroine’s attitudes without the full knowledge of her past. The novel is written in a crisp, smoothly modern style, making for a good solid read.

If you’re looking to go into dark places, this could be a powerful read for you. If you’ve already read this one, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Happy reading, always….

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publication Date: April 1, 2014

Print Length: 384 pages

Publisher: Harlequin HQN

Blush Quotient: Red

Note: This book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley for a fair review.


The blurb:

Hunters of the supernatural, the Execution Underground are an elite group tasked with protecting humanity…but at what price?

As an exorcist, David Aronowitz grew up the target of demonic assassins. Now he’s a member of the Execution Underground and hellspawn everywhere fear his name. But when a demon slips into the seductive body of the only woman he’s ever loved, David must confront the heartbreak of their past to save her.

The piece of her heart Allsún O’Hare gave to David so long ago left her trapped between two worlds: the Fae and the human. And when David comes to her rescue, fate reunites her with her greatest temptation–and her biggest mistake.

Now, as they’re swept together into a wicked game with the demon who controls her, David must decide if saving Allsún’s life is worth sacrificing his own–and the future of humanity itself.