I already gushed about the first book in this series, Hunter, and the main character, Joyeaux Charmand. In this world there has been an event known as the Diseray, in which creatures from Otherside (imagine an alternate dimension, like the realm of faerie), have gained access to the human world. Civilization was almost wiped out. humans live in enclaves together for protection. Those in Apex city are more like we are in today's world with video channels and food network, etc. Those out in the countryside are in self-sufficient villages that work together to survive. And everywhere else are the creatures from Otherside - things like hellhounds and goblins and drakken and tommyknockers. Apex is the main city for the government and military that have reorganized and fortified the area following the cataclysmic breakthrough by magical beings and monsters into our world. Joy is a Hunter - she has "hounds" who are actually creatures from Otherside that help humans fight the creatures that like to eat people. She has been raised in a village in the Rockies, but is summoned to Apex by her uncle who is the chief of police. All of that was set up in the first book. If you haven't read it yet, stop now and do so.
For those who have finished Hunter and been eagerly waiting to see what happens next, continue on. The first book ended with Joy's qualification trials to enter the Elite squad of Hunters. The title of this book is a bit of a spoiler, but we know she made it. The second installment in the series picks up with Joy running missions as part of the Elite and trying to figure out who within Apex is plotting against her uncle, worrying over Ace (the Hunter who went renegade during her trials), and continuing to date Josh (her uncle's personal Psimon). When her uncle asks her to run patrols in the sewer tunnels beneath Apex, she finds something alarming (not TMNTs), dead bodies in Psimon uniforms. Now the head of the PsiCorp is watching Joy's every move, things with Josh are strained, and on top of all that it seems like all of Otherside is breaking loose and bent on leveling Apex City. What if all the Hunters in town are not enough to stop the invasion they are afraid is coming?
Joy continues to be a great protagonist. She may have magical powers and supernatural hounds, but she is completely human. She has friends, gets frustrated, has moments of homesickness, and continues to grow and evolve just like any other teenager. The other characters also are still developing. Some are focused on their own selfish desires to the point of endangering everyone else. Others are altruistic and dedicated to the survival of the human race. Even the creatures from Otherside have some surprises for us, so there is no way we can settle into complacency. And we are left wanting the third book to hurry up and arrive!
I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.