Tomes of Shadowstalking

Welcome to the land of shadows, where evil is the greatest power, where nightfall marks the birth of terror, where your very soul is at risk. Join me as I investigate worlds filled with black magic and dark souls and encounter the monsters rule these wicked places.

W A R N I N G !

This review does not represent the opinions of the general public. It reflects my personal thoughts and opinions on the book.

That said, on to the review!

Title: Night World: Huntress
Author: L.J. Smith
Publisher: Archway Paperbacks
Format: Paperback
Copyright Date: 1997

For sixteen years Jez Redfern grew up as a vampire, stalking humans and drinking their blood. Then long-suppressed memories arose, and she discovered the truth about herself: she was only half vampire, and the other half of her was human. Unable to cope, she leaves behind the vampire gang she once led and moves in with her mother's human relatives. But the Night World isn't about to leave her entirely alone. She seeks out Circle Daybreak, the renegade witch's circle, and becomes a vampire hunter. Then she's sent to collect one of the four Wild Powers that ancient prophecies predict could save the human world from plunging into blood and darkness. But to do so, she must first confront forces she never thought to face again. Like her former second-in-command in her gang, Morgead Blackthorn. But there's something different between them now, something that looks suspiciously like a silver cord that ties their souls together. But Morgead hates humans, so what can he possibly feel for her, who is a human?

Huntress is an excellent work, with a problem at its center that is more convincing than even Gillian's (in Dark Angel) situation as a lost witch or Rashel's (in The Chosen) as a vampire hunter in love with a vampire. Here we have a person who by rights shouldn't even exist who, if she drank blood regularly, would have all the attributes of one of the lamia, yet who can't quite be poisoned to death by a wooden stake in her chest...though it might bring her very close to death. And of course, everything she learned while her vampire side was dominant--how to fight, how to react to threats, etc.--makes her an excellent vampire hunter as well, right?

This book starts us off on a new thread that links this book with following texts. It's an interesting idea and terribly appropriate given that the end of the millennium is drawing near. And the way the author introduces the first of the Wild Powers is very convincing and the confusion that surrounds it is entirely plausible. I just wish that more had been done with the connection to the Redferns than just simply tossing their names around. This would really have been a good chance to discuss more about the Redfern line.

While a YA novel--like all of L.J. Smith's other books--Night World: Huntres is a compelling story that takes the problem of being of two worlds a step further, making it harder for Jez to truly fit into either one. But it's a terrific read, with a lot of suspense and red herrings. So I caution you: read carefully!

Rating: Thumbs up! What do you do when you're part of two worlds but belong to neither?

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