I received this book for free from IFB Blog Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Uninvited Black Cat on September 6th, 2013
Genres: Paranormal, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Source: IFB Blog Tours
Buy the Book • Goodreads
What do you do when your magic makes you a target? Run. Fight. Die.14-year-old Kai Koson had nothing to do with the apocalypse, thank you very much. He was just a baby the day a coven of blood witches ripped a hole in the universe and the demons fell screaming from the sky. Earth and its magic perished. Witchkind was hunted and annihilated.Now, because he was born a witch, Kai must spend his life running and fighting for survival. Even his own uncle seems determined to abandon him.With nothing left to lose, Kai runs away and joins a team of galactic bounty hunters. But instead of providing an escape, it sets Kai on a path that will destroy everything he believes about himself and the apocalypse, transforming him into the most wanted teenager in the galaxy.Written with humour, imagination and darkness, Bounty Hunter and its protagonist Kai Koson stand confidently beside Percy Jackson, Artemis Fowl, Alex Rider, Young Bond, Mortal Engines and Harry Potter.ABOUT THE AUTHOR:S.J. Hollis is a writer. Torturer of fictional teenagers. Author of Bounty Hunter, a YA apocalyptic fantasy with ... erm, funny bits.Short, unreliable, slightly odd thirty-seven-year-old. Pizza fiend. Suspicious of the human race. Watches the crime channel instead of the morning news. Fan of Percy Bysshe Shelley and Batman. Morning person. Lover of Game of Thrones and Hollyoaks. Skyrim player. Shakespeare admirer. Forty quid a month comics habit. Thinks frost giants are cuddly and Loki needs a hug. Feels sick at the thought of sharing the remote control. Is learning to cook (can fry bacon like the devil fries souls, but spaghetti more of a challenge). Currently obsessed with fish finger sandwiches. Very short attention sp...S J Hollis lives in Surrey, England with her two houseplants and a cuddly seagull. Bounty Hunter is her debut novel and she is currently working on the next book in the series.
While this one starts off slightly confusing, it all comes together in the end. Why is it confusing, you ask? Because the entire story is from Kai’s point of view. He doesn’t know what is going on half the time, so as the reader neither do we. Like why he’s just a magnet for the demons, how they can see so quickly that he is a magic user, and why his uncle is so damn strange.
Of course, when Kai finds out just what is going on, it doesn’t make his life any easier. Just the opposite, in fact. If poor Kai was on the run before, it’s nothing like it is now.
This is a book for the young adult reader, possibly a slightly younger audience than that. Kai is only fourteen, and there isn’t a lot of violence. I’m pretty sure Harry Potter has mo violence than is book. On the other hand, this book is full of an imaginative alternate universe and slightly (extremely slightly, blink and you miss it) touches on the idea of a multi-verse.
In many ways this book makes me think of steampunk. Not because there is any steam. Actually, the world is powered by magilectricity. A mash-up of magic and electricity. Witches are hated and hunted because fourteen years ago they summoned the demons and since then the world and universe has gone to pieces. But they are still needed in many ways to supply power, mirrors that work like phones and communication devices, the television, etc. But if you’re a witch And get caught then you can be sent to prison. Like I said, an interesting world for sure!
Kai is one of my favourite characters here. He is snarky and witty and has a come back for pretty much anything. He’s being strangled to death and he still has the time and guts to snap off some one-liners at e alien who is strangling him. But he isn’t just snark and sit. He’s compassionate and for the most part a driven young man. Cassius is my second favourite. He’s just as snarky, but younger than Kai and for all that he is so snarky he seems lonely. Possibly because he is so much younger than the rest of the crew, maybe because of his own secrets, but either way, he seems lonely. I’m glad that Kai and Cassius eventually become… Friend-like.
While this is the first in a series, apparently, it reads really well as a stand-alone. No pesky cliffhangers here! If you’re looking for something with magic, aliens, space ships, snarky kids, and some action then this is the book for you!
And if my review isn’t enough to convince you, how about a short excerpt?
The demon howled.
Kai ducked away from its flailing arms. The demon swiped wildly at nothing and took a chunk out of the bar. It spun around, pained and panicked, and fell against the wall. The dead mirror crashed to the floor, and the demon followed, blackened glass cracking beneath its knees.
Now it was beyond livid. Now it was about more than instinctive hatred.
The demon grabbed at the broom handle and with a furious screech tore it from its eye and flung it across the room. Dirty brown blood seeped from its eye socket.
Kai was still nowhere near the exit. He’d cornered himself. He had no weapon, no way out, and he was going to die. The demon climbed to its feet. Its muscles twitched and flexed, and its remaining eye turned from white to black.
‘Now I kill you slow.’
Kai scrunched his eyes shut. This was how it was going to end. Torn to a thousand Kai-shaped pieces, fit only to be used as swill for the local pigs, all eyeballs and kidneys, every bone in his body snapped and crunched into a brand new and exciting demon breakfast cereal and his big toes used for decoration. He was definitely going to die. Cut down in his not-quite-prime. Not just dead-ish, but deader than dead. Totally dead. Any. Second. Now.
Now for the giveaway part, this one is open internationally, so all of you can enter!