Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Release Day Review & Giveaway: Hunting in Bruges (Hunter's Guild, Book 1) by E.J. Stevens

Today is the release of HUNTING IN BRUGES, the first novel in the Hunters' Guild urban fantasy series by E.J. Stevens.

On this post you find Sapphyria's 5 Star Review for Hunting in Bruges.

Scroll down for the review and to enter the giveaway!!

What Hunting in Bruges is All About:

The only thing worse than being a Hunter in the fae-ridden city of Harborsmouth, is hunting vamps in Bruges.

Being shipped off to Belgium sucks. The medieval city of Bruges is quaint, but the local Hunters' Guild is understaffed, the canals are choked with dead bodies, and there's no shortage of supernatural predators as likely suspects.

On second thought, maybe Bruges isn't so bad after all. 

With a desire to prove herself, protect the innocent, and advance within the ranks of the Hunters' Guild, Jenna Lehane hits the cobbled streets of Bruges with blades at the ready. Someone, or something, is murdering tourists and dumping their bodies in the city's scenic canals. With the help of a mysterious stranger, Jenna begins to piece together clues that are dotted throughout the city like blood spatter. 

Determined to stop the killings, Jenna delves into a bloody local history that only raises more questions--but some secrets are best left buried. Jenna must put her combat training to the test as she struggles to unearth the truth about an ancient enemy. 

Hunting in Bruges is the first novel in the Hunters' Guild urban fantasy series set in the world of Ivy Granger.

Sapphyria's Review:

Since Hunting in Bruges is set in the world of Ivy Granger, here is a listing of the links to my reviews of all books in that series:

Shadow Sight (Ivy Granger, Psychic Detective, Book #1)

Blood and Mistletoe (Ivy Granger, Psychic Detective, book #1.5)

Ghost Light (Ivy Granger, Psychic Detective, Book #2)

Club Nexus (Ivy Granger, Psychic Detective, Book #2.5)

Burning Bright (Ivy Granger, Psychic Detective, Book 3)

Jenna Lehane became a hunter at the age of 13 after the Hunters' Guild recruited her from her foster home.  She is able so see, hear, and communicate with ghosts of the departed.  Originally part of the Guild in Harborsmouth and lending the occasional aid to Ivy Granger, Jenna finds herself transferred to Europe.

Ivy and Jenna's friend Jinx was abused by a Hunter in one of the previous Ivy Granger installments.  Jenna takes the vow to never hurt humans very seriously so when the fellow Hunter took it upon himself to strike a human, who also just happened to be her friend, Jenna made him pay.  Jenna is under the assumption that the consequences of her actions lead to her reassignment to Belgium.

When she gets to Belgium she is then transferred to Bruges instead.  With the assistance of Alistair Ashborn, aka Ash, Jenna learns as much as she can about the city.  What she finds, however, is a convergence of two groups of ancient, nasty paranormal creatures leaving dead bodies as their calling cards.  It's now up to Jenna, Ash, and a select few others she meets, to figure out what exactly is going on and why.  Then they have to stop whatever/whomever it is causing the trouble.

I very much enjoyed the new branch on the tree of the Ivy Granger world.  Jenna is the main character in Hunting in Bruges, which is a big deal for her.  She's never played anything more than second fiddle in the other books,  She's a very likable, strong character.  I love how her loyalty to the Guild doesn't prevent her from shoving their rules in the toilet and doing what she knows is right.  She's to protect humans and, just like any group in the world, the Hunters' Guild has a bit too much red tape for Jenna's liking. 

Her new friends aren't perfect, some less perfect than others.  Ash is witty, knowledgeable, and not at all what Jenna thinks - a fact I figured out almost immediately but so didn't have the heart to tell her.  I knew she'd figure it out eventually - no need for me to point it out.  Celeste, the only other female Hunter in Bruges, is deep into the drug scene, a huge issue with Jenna.  She does eventually prove to be useful and her addiction explained.  The novel also includes a blind archivist and disabled munitions officer - excellent additions to the story.  The Guild doctor and temporary Guild Master were not even close to being favorites.  

The new world building that E.J. Stevens undertakes in Jenna's story is fresh and new.  The descriptions given for scenes, characters, and the various battles about the town are well done. Nothing overly descriptive to the point of boring or making the reader want to skip chunks of the page, yet nothing is left lacking in description. There's enough to tell the story and still allow you to imagine it in your head ~ your way.

This new storyline in the world of Ivy Granger is dynamic and engaging.  Everything about the Hunting in Bruges pulls the reader in and will keep him/her completely engrossed.  I highly recommend Hunting in Bruges for those who have enjoyed all of the Ivy Granger books.

Review copy courtesy of the author, at no cost, in exchange for an honest review.

Sapphyria's Rating:

Book Details:

Release Date: November 11, 2014

Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

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About the Hunters' Guild series:

The Hunters' Guild series is an urban fantasy series written by E.J. Stevens and set in the world of Ivy Granger. The series is told in the first-person point-of-view of Jenna Lehane, a Hunter with a troubled past, a proficiency with weapons, and an intolerance for monsters who target the innocent.

About the Author:

E.J. Stevens is the author of the Spirit Guide young adult series, the bestselling Ivy Granger urban fantasy series, and the Hunters' Guild urban fantasy series. When E.J. isn't at her writing desk she enjoys dancing along seaside cliffs, singing in graveyards, and sleeping in faerie circles. E.J. currently resides in a magical forest on the coast of Maine where she finds daily inspiration for her writing.

Connect with E.J. Stevens Online:

Hunting in Bruges Release Day Giveaway Details & Entry Form:

We are giving away a HUGE Hunting in Bruges prize pack. One winner will receive a Hunting in Bruges *signed* Trade Paperback, t-shirt, sticker, *signed* postcard, and poster!

To enter, please use the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL. Winner will be randomly drawn by Rafflecopter. Giveaway ends November 25, 2014.
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Thank you for partying with us and good luck with the giveaway!