Review: Hunting in Bruges by E.J. Stevens

Posted October 11, 2014 by Lorna in Lorna, Reviews, Urban Fantasy / 28 Comments

Review: Hunting in Bruges by E.J. Stevens
Hunting in Bruges by E. J. Stevens
Series: Hunter's Guild #1
Published by Sacred Oaks Press
Published on: November 11, 2014
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 274
Format: eARC
Source: Author
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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.

For those of you that read, the Ivy Granger Psychic Detective books, this could be your next must read book. This was my first book by this author, and as soon as I finished, I bought the first book in the Ivy Granger series, Shadow Sight. Why? Because I could not put this book down. I flat out loved it!

When a book(uncorrected copy) starts with the sentence “I’ve been seeing ghosts for as long as I can remember”, I am so in for the read. Jenna Lehane is an American Hunter for the supernatural Hunter’s Guild, and has been since she was thirteen. She is sent to Bruges in Belgium to help out the Guild there when bodies start being found in the canals. The Guild there is operating on a skeletal staff due to most of the hunters being away. Pretty much the only ones left are the misfits of the Guild, not good when tourists are getting killed by unknown supernaturals. She meets a man on the train that becomes her friend. Ash is very eccentric, funny, good looking, and actually pretty perfect.

This read was character driven as much as it was story driven. Jenna is the ultimate hunter, but she has self confidence issues, and wonders if she was sent to Belgium as punishment. There’s a story there, I promise. She has never made time for herself, and is pretty much all about the work-24/7. Ash is like a breath of fresh air to her. He makes her take the time to see the city of Bruges, and it comes alive for the reader. I knew nothing about Bruges before this, and now I can absolutely picture this ancient city. Once she starts hunting, it’s not long before she realizes that vampires are the culprits she is looking for. Seems there’s an ancient vampire turf war going on, and it involves hundreds of vampires. It’s up to Jenna to flush the vampires out, and try to rid the city of them. And that brings me back to the misfits. There’s a sex crazed, drugged out, but beautiful, witch, a drunk doctor, a blind, male librarian/archivist, and a explosive happy, one armed man. A pretty rag-tagged group, that super courageous Jenna, now has to lead against the vamps.

Hunting in Bruges, is told from Jenna’s point of view, and I loved her thoughts, as well as her actual dialogue, which I thought was very well written, as was this entire book. I found the characters to be very fully realized by the author, and enjoyed getting to know most all of them. There are at least two villains in this story, and I am not talking about vampires. They too, were fully fleshed out as heinous individuals.

I’ve read a lot of books about female supernatural hunters(as I am sure many of you have), but when one is so different, as this one was for me, then it quickly became one of my favorites, of all books with that very common premise. I am all about books that aren’t the same old, same old, for sure. This book is full of action, deaths, supernatural creatures, and is perfect for the adult urban fantasy fan, and I for one, can’t wait for the next installment.

On another note, I am not a fan of the cover, and hopefully it won’t stop people from reading this fascinating book.

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I’m Lorna and I live in Maryland. Since retiring, I spend my time mostly reading and reviewing books. My favorite reads are Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, and Young Adult. I read a lot of indie books in addition to traditionally published books. Favorite paranormal creature? Vampires, but I am really liking werewolves more everyday.


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28 responses to “Review: Hunting in Bruges by E.J. Stevens

  1. I’ve read quite a few reviews for this one now. People either love or hate that cover and while I like it because I think it kinda really tells us where the story takes place, it is a bit cartoonish at the same time. But hey, at least there’s an entire face and not just a torso and no head like some covers do. Sounds like an interesting premise for a story. Thanks for the review.
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  2. Ooh sounds great! I’m glad that Jenna worked well for you as a protagonist and that the plot was brilliant too. I’m not a fan of the cover either–but goes to show that you can never judge a book by its cover. 😛

    Lovely review, Lorna! <33

  3. Wow, Lorna! I’m going to have to read Hunting in Bruges sooner rather than later. I love character-driven stories and it sounds like this delivers. But well developed characters, a good story, and writing that puts you right into a place you’ve never been? Yeah, it does sound like a book not to be put down. I’m glad you loved this! Fabulous review!
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