I thinK "Shadow Hunt" is the best Scarlett Bernard book so far.
We've come a long way from "Dead Spots", the first Scarlett Bernard book. Scarlett has grown into someone who acts rather than reacts, she has figured out what to do with her rather peculiar negative superpower of nullifying magic, she's built some firm friendships and has a strong network.
In "Shadow Hunt" she needs all of these things when her circumstances change dramatically and an old enemy returns to take revenge. This is a book with Scarlett right at the centre. What happens to everyone else depends on the action she takes.
The way the story built on the events of "Blood Gamble" gave a sense of continuity to the series that strengthens it, Bringing Molly and Jesse back to centre stage but evolving their relationship with Scarlett also gave the series a more solid feel.
"Shadow Hunt" also acts as a bridge to bring together the Old World in LA, the focus of the five previous Scarlett Bernard books, and the Old World in Boulder, the focus of the three Boundary Magic books. The plot brings the two set of characters, some of whom have already collaborated and all of whom are known to each, together seamlessly in a way that moves the book forward and opens up game-changing opportunities for future books in the series.
The writing in "Shadow Hunt" is excellent: a tense pace, new plot twists, a focus of characters I care about, some genuinely scary villains, vivid action scenes, including a full-scale battle. This was Melissa Olson at her best and it was a pleasure throughout.
My pleasure was enhanced by Amy McFadden's narration. She's one of my favourite narrators and she did a great job here. Click on the SoundCloud link below to hear a sample of her work.
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