Following the events of Hunter (2015), now that she’s become an Elite, Joy knows she’s in for more high-stakes danger and will be facing more dangerous Othersiders than before.
Backed by her pack of 11 Hounds, more than any other Hunter, she feels certain she’s ready for the job. However, it soon becomes clear that she and the rest of Apex City’s leaders and protectors—including the PsiCorps—are not as prepared for what is beyond the Barriers as they thought. Within them, rising political and power tensions between the Hunters and the PsiCorps make for additional issues. Then Joy, on special assignment, comes to discover dead Psimons in the city sewers she’s been tasked with patrolling. With each newly discovered body, Joy becomes more likely to take the fall for their deaths. When Ace, the Hunter who tried to murder Joy at her Elite trials, escapes and defects to the Othersiders, the city’s guardians realize that they may be unable to protect the city. Lackey efficiently brings readers up to speed, quickly laying out the rules of this multicultural post-apocalyptic future that blends technology and magic before plunging into this middle volume’s plot. Such details as a rare feast of pizza hammers home Joy’s reality.
Avoiding second-volume sag with plenty of charisma, this outing proves to be a satisfying read that takes the baton neatly from the first and leaves readers ready for more. (Science fiction/fantasy. 12 & up)