Review: Hunter’s Moon by David Devereux (Gollancz)

huntersmoonHunter’s Moon by David Devereux
Published by Gollancz in Paperback 15 May 2008.
Ebook bought and reviewed.

Urban fantasy-style magician bloke with Army Special Forces training chasing Lesbian Terrorist Witches. And there is Hunter’s Moon in a nut shelf.

I’m a big fan of this brand of Urban Fantasy that includes Felix Castor by Mike Carey, Harry Dresden by Jim Butcher and Eddie Drood by Simon R. Green. Well Jack, he asks us to call him Jack at least, by David Devereux has just joined them.

I guess that if you put them on a scale of gentle to violent we’d have Felix Castor on one side and Jack way over the other. Not Felix Castor is soft and gentle but Jack brings a whole new level of Bastard into the mix.

Told in the first person Hunter’s Moon sees Jack being assigned the mission of finding what The Enlightened Sisterhood are up to and then if necessary closing them down, which is a bit of a euphemism for killing them all.

It’s all very cloak and dagger. With safe houses. White Vans. And above the law actions.
Being a bit of a gentle soul. I wasn’t quite prepared for the brutal and graphic nature of the sex and violence that is liberally sprinkled throughout. I guess if you’re going to carve your own place in a crowded niche market it’s certainly one way of doing it.

I am labouring the point not because it’s out of place in the story or that it’s offensive in anyway but it is unusual in stories of this nature so I’d just preparing you just in case it’s not your thing.

Anyway, back to the Lesbian Witches. As Jack isn’t a woman it’s hard for him to infiltrate the coven so he needs someone on the inside to liaise with and that’s Annie (again not her real name). Annie’s introduction means that the usual lone-wolf Jack has someone to babysit.
Now at this point something starts not feeling right with the hardness of Jack and the superman magician persona that we meet in opening chapter. Actually it goes back to first interaction with The Boss, the mission giving M if you like.

It’s partly down to Devereux’s dialogue which is almost comedic but not in a funny way. It seems unnatural for even Jack. There is a tinge of of unnaturalness to most of Jacks interactions – it’s not jarring but it is noticeable.

This is definitely a male book. I doubt the depiction of the acts performed by the Inner Circle of The Sisters of Enlightenment is going to endear Deveruex to many female readers.
One irritant is the levels of magicks performed – you have demons being called, souls being shredded as mind being read but nothing can seem to stop Jack repeatedly getting aroused or able to perform any magic tricks to get him out of the traps he’s in at the time for all his knowledge.

All that isn’t to say that I didn’t enjoy it. I did. It’s action packed and constantly on the go. But like Jack it’s very superficial. An entertaining read but nothing that’s going to get you thinking too much. And certainly something that’s going to give you the wrong impression of a Coven of Witches.

And here is the next one – I’m curious to see what he’s going to do next…

Eagle Rising was published in HB 22 January 2009

eaglerising Jack’s back! And this time he must face a terrifying supernatural threat from Europe’s recent past. Someone has been mad enough to revive the most terrifying evil of the last 60 years. And only one man is bad enough to stop them. Eagle Rising takes Jack to the rotten heart of big business and the dark secrets of a neo-nazi magical sect intent on giving the world back to a terror from the darkest days of the 1940s. Jack must infiltrate the closed corridors of big business and reach the core of a conspiracy amongst some of the most high-pwered city executives in the country. A cabal of business men with occult interests and an insane hunger for the return of an old and dark order. Described as a mix of Dennis Wheatley and Ian Fleming Devereux lives up to the billing with his new novel.

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