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Fantasy Friday: Hunter’s Blessing by A. J. Barber

Ever since her brother murdered four of his closest friends, Alicia Omura has been trying to start over. She changed her name, got a new job, did everything she could to make sure no one ever pegged her as Devon Blaine’s sister.

Now she’s a Hunter for the Caelish Order, protecting Seattle from rogue summoners like her brother, and from their Elaiyu servants. But when Devon himself turns up in the middle of her first big case, he turns everything she thought she knew on its head. His story is outlandish–traitors within the Order, corruption at the highest levels. If he’s telling the truth, Alicia has more to worry about than rookie jitters and an inconvenient crush on her partner, Jordan Morrow.

To make matters worse, Jordan doesn’t believe Devon. She’s gone up against rogue summoners before and has a personal vendetta against them all–Devon included. But when the Order deems them all threats that are better off buried at the bottom of the Puget Sound, it becomes a race against the clock to uncover the traitor and their plot before all of Seattle suffers the consequences.

Amazon Link: Hunter’s Blessing (The Caelish Order #1)
Author: A. J. Barber
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating: 4/5 stars

The standard demon hunter story gets a twist with a conspiracy in their organization. Alicia became a Hunter after her brother, a summoner, was accused of murder. Now her brother Devon comes back with his own side of the story. Does she trust him or turn him in?

The pacing was off at first because it tries to start in the middle of the action while also adding too much exposition, but it got better as things smoothed out.

I liked Alicia and her nonbinary friend Reyes. Jordan was a more difficult character because she has so many secrets and made some questionable decisions, and I don’t see why Alicia has such a crush on her. I hope that she gets more character development in later books. Devon is a rich character but I’m not sure if it’s a little too stereotypical to have him be autistic and aro/ace. But Karenna, one of the Elaiyu/demons, was also a lot of fun to read about. The setting, Seattle, isn’t used a lot, and the extra details added to the story.

LGBT representation: Alicia is a lesbian, Devon is asexual/aromantic, and one of their friends who makes a cameo is nonbinary. All of these characters are well-developed and their queerness is treated with respect. There is a hint of possible queer romance to come.

I recommend this book to fans of the Dresden Files, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Helen Harper’s Firebrand series. If you like (mostly) human protagonists who take on supernatural monsters and want a story with a diverse cast, this is a fun, action-packed read.

Hunter’s Blessing in my reading journal


I'm an author, a blogger, and a nerd. I read and write fantasy.