Published on May 16, 2017
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No one’s afterlife is as dispiriting as Audrey’s―at least that’s what she believes after waking up dead without her memories and being promptly assigned to hunt demons for the rest of eternity. She’s convinced God’s made a cosmic mistake; after all, she’d rather discuss the color of her nails than break them on angelic weapons.
It doesn’t help that her trainer, Logan, is as infuriating as he is attractive. And just when Audrey and Logan appear close to developing an amicable relationship, a decision made under duress pushes their hearts in a direction neither of them saw coming.
Despite her sub-par fighting abilities, an ancient weapon of unparalleled power chooses Audrey as its wielder, attracting the cautious gazes of her fellow hunters and the attention of Satan himself. With Satan’s eyes now fixed on Audrey, a battle for the safety of the living looms in the shadows.
Huntress is one of those unexpected, adventurous books that make for ideal weekend or poolside reading. Audrey is a fun character—sometimes clumsy, both physically and in her words—and yet she’s clearly a strong force to be reckoned with and a creative strategist. Her mentor, Logan, has that dark, unapproachable, aloof and handsome thing going on, which makes the perfect foil for Audrey’s big emotions. The other characters in the book are just as colorful, too—from Alrik, the Viking, to the more reserved Romona, who knows Audrey better than she’ll admit.
My biggest struggle with the book was in the plot. For most of the story, Audrey has no idea what’s going on or what her purpose or goal is. She remains a passive character until the last fifty pages or so, when she finally finds something to fight for. At that moment, I really invested in the book. I’m not sorry to have read it, but I wish I’d seen that side of Audrey much earlier in Huntress.
While the story itself is off the map in terms of Christian understanding of Heaven and the afterlife, it’s pretty solidly framed within an Evangelical understanding of scripture. Demons attack humans and whisper lies in an attempt to destroy them, but humans make the choices themselves. God sends angels (and in this case, Hunters) to intervene, but their response and power depend on God’s will and the faith of the people under attack.
I’ve heard the book compared to Frank Peretti’s This Present Darkness, and in the sense that it has angel and demon characters, yes, it does have a connection there. Whereas Peretti’s book focuses on the human characters and uncovering a huge, focused plot against humans on earth, Huntress is more about Audrey and her role in the Hunter team as well as her angsty relationship with her mentor, Logan. It reminded me a bit of I Woke Up Dead at the Mall by Judy Sheehan because it has some of the same lighthearted voice and connection with family.
Characters are white.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
No profanity. Audrey uses faux swears like “shoot” and “gosh.”
Kissing between boy and girl. Later Audrey learns that kissing in Heaven is more significant than it is on earth in that it creates a bond between two parties and is meant to lead to marriage.
Most of the story takes place in Heaven. Audrey briefly meets Jesus (though she doesn’t recognize him and he calls himself Joe) and angels. It’s based in Christian doctrine, but there are some big departures. For instance, Audrey and others are assigned to a strict physical training regimen for service on a team called Hunters. These Hunters go to earth to battle demons.
When Audrey wakes up in Heaven, she knows she’s dead, but has no memories of her life or her relationship with God. She rediscovers God’s existence and begins to learn about him through experiences with other characters and a face-to-face encounter.
There’s some discussion about how demons prey on the minds of humans, feeding them ideas or leading them away from truths about God. At one point, Audrey and her team intervene in a high school where one student has a gun.
Audrey spars with a training partner and battles demons using a sword. Some of the descriptions are graphic in terms of fighting and injuries/gore. One sequence of scenes shows Audrey and her team intervening in a school shooting situation. The story doesn’t show students being injured, but does show a student with a gun firing shots.