James: Witch-Hunter by K.S. Marsden

This book is a prequel to Marsden’s series called Witch-Hunters and was ever so kindly sent to me by the author. Thank you so much!

My review is not 100% without spoilers (though they are minor ones) so read further with caution!

James is the focus of this story. He’s a boy of meager means who has worked his way to Oxford. He’s joined the rugby team, made some new friends, everything is going great. Unfortunately James’ roommate Hunter is not great. He drinks too much, cuts class, and cheats on his girlfriend constantly. James becomes suspicious of his roommate’s strange ‘migraines’ that take him to deserted parts of town on Halloween night. What James finds will change his life forever.

This urban fantasy story was interesting and fun. It definitely made me curious about Marsden’s other works. However, it’s not a long book (only 200 pages) and I don’t feel that the execution of this story was the best.

I think with some extra time spent on character development and developing the relationship between James and Hunter specifically, the book would have been much more appealing. I felt that James and Hunter switched from the frigid early stages of their relationship to a good friendship too quickly.

The prose is clear and easy to read. It gets the point across without drawing out sentences too much.

The one thing stood out to me and made me feel uneasy was how James sleeps with Hunters girlfriend midway through the book. The act itself seems to be there to shock readers rather than create conflict between the new friends and didn’t sit well with me.

Overall I give James: Witch-Hunter 2/5 stars. It’s an interesting idea but the execution just isn’t there. However I am interested to see how Marsden develops her characters and world within the Witch-Hunters series, and have picked up the first book.

 

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