Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Renegade Hunter (Argeneau #12) by Lynsay Sands

Josephine, who is attending her sister Sam's party decides to step outside to get some air after deciding that the environment feels weird.  It's a walk that will change her life.  Once outside, she is attacked by a rogue vampire only to be saved by Nicholas an ex hunter and rogue himself.  Before Josephine knows it, she on the run for her life and involved in a fifty year old murder mystery.  She cannot believe her hero is actually guilty of what he is accused and no matter what, decides that she is going to get to the bottom of things.  When Jo falls in love with Nicholas it makes everything that much more urgent.  Can she prove Nicholas' innocence before the vampire council sentences to stake and bake?

Josephine was a bit of fresh air after her sister Sam in The Immortal Hunter.  Unlike her sister, Josephine doesn't suffer from self esteem issues and certainly doesn't spend the book wondering how or why it is Nicholas finds her attractive and loves her.  It made her infinitely more likable in my book.  Sands worked hard to give Jo some sassy and intelligence however the later was achieved by making everyone dumb as a stump.  Nicholas spent fifty years believing that he has murdered a pregnant woman and never once stopped to think about the gaps in his memory and what that could mean?  I'm supposed to think that this man is capable when he missed something this important?  Then there is the issue that three of his father's immortal wives died inexplicably and no one that this was something to be concerned about until Jo brought it up?  I know that Sands is a romance writer and focuses on love and the HEA but this just pulled me out of the story.

The Renegade Hunter was also extremely repetitive.  How many times did we have to have Jo explain why it is she felt that Nicholas is innocent.  By the time she got around to explaining it to Lucian I was beyond bored.  Then there is the issue that the book is overly descriptive.  Just a trip to walk the dog, visit the ATM and buy a couple of pops went on forever.  It didn't require all of the explanation and seemed to exist only to drag out the story.

The Renegade Hunter ended on a cliff hanger for the purposes I suppose of building up anticipation for the next book in the series.  I have never been one for cliffhangers even when I know that I immediately have access to the next book in the series. To make matters worse, the ending is absolutely abrupt and feels rushed. It just announced that Nicholas is not guilty a fact which was evident from the beginning because there was never any chance that Sands was not going to give Jo and Nicholas their happy ending.  What we did not learn is how he came to be proven innocent.

One of the few redeeming elements of this series is that Sands attempts to include some humor into her stories.  Unfortunately what passed as humor in  The Renegade Hunter was absolutely boring.  Was I really supposed to laugh at Nicholas feeling cowed by Jo's assertiveness?  Was I really supposed to giggle that Jo was telling off the powerful Lucien because Nicholas was in danger and she had no idea the importance of Lucien relative to the immortal world? Thanks but no.  I didn't even so much as crack a smile never mind laugh.

As with all other novels in the Argeneau series, The Renegade Hunter is incredibly erased.  Sands once again makes the offensive choice of referencing marginalized people but not including them. Sands actually has Jo worry that she is being racist by calling a Russian a Black reference, a play on the drink by the same name.  Jo of course then says that she should have said Caucasian.  So essentially, we have a white lady worried that she being racist to another white person and all this happens in a series were there is yet to be a POC.

When it comes to LGBT people, they are only referenced when a female character tries to explain way some random man isn't attracted to her.  Female characters are constantly wondering if the reason the man in question is able to resist their charm is because he is gay. In the case of Nicholas, he of course proves his straightness by having sex with Jo.  So, not only are LGBT people erased they are used for cheap plot points.  Thanks for the Lynsay Sands.  At this point, I would prefer her to stop making references to LGBT people altogether because it is more than clear after 12 books that Sands does not intend to create an inclusive story.

I suppose that Sands is building up to something with this series, the problem is that at this point, I just don't care.  If I cannot have at least the humour to get through the predictable plot lines, I really don't see the point in reading.  I don't expect a lot of this series because it's paranormal romance but at this point, I cannot say that there is much redeemable about it.