Lit Post: Hunter and The Alchemist

Sorry, y’all. Things have been crazy. So much so that I’m considering changing my posts to Lit Post and Thirsty Post instead of forcing myself to adhere to a schedule. It’s amazing how life gets in the way.

So, as far as my reading challenge goes, I can mark off another two books! I finished Hunter by Mercedes Lackey and The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.

Hunter. So. I really wasn’t sold on this when I started reading it, but I did wind up enjoying it. The main character, in the beginning, was there solely for info-dumps of the universe and to basically be the plot device. Her character started developing more and growing on me halfway through, but until that part, I was only sticking it out for the world itself.

In a dystopian world (set after the ruin of our modern one, of course) came a tear in the universe. With the tear, magic, spirits, and science collided. There are the people called Hunters who can control Hounds, spirits that bind themselves to one person for the purpose of protecting humanity from the greater spirit or magical world. These Hunters also have an affinity for magic and can cast their own spells. The main character, Joy, has been raised in a monastery for the last ten or so years (I think I understood that right) and has been trained as a Hunter in that time. The government regulates people who are Hunters as there are so few, but so many people to protect.

Joy’s uncle is the man in charge of the police precinct in the capital of what used to be the United States. He sent Joy to the monastery after her parents died and has called her back to be officially trained within government compliance so the rest of the monastery doesn’t have to abandon their area and go with her. She runs into some trouble with a Fae on the way there (and yes, that would be more like the Fae of Celtic/Irish mythology, who are tricksters and cruel and bloodthirsty when they feel like it, not gentle and kind and all that stuff) and sorts it out, but catches the attention of the media right away.

In this world, Hunters are essentially stars. They are the movie stars, the action stars, the rock stars. They can’t go anywhere without being filmed, as part of the government’s diversion to keep the citizens under the illusion of being safe. As the story picks  up, Joy has to start investigating why her uncle seems to be under fire from different factions and why someone seems to want to kill her.

Now that I’m finished with the book, I’d like to continue the series. And considering how big fans Michelle and I are of Mercedes Lackey, I’m sure we will go pick up the second one at some point.

Now, The Alchemist. This was a much deeper, more allegorical read than I thought it would be. I remembered it was really popular a few years back or when it was first published and I can see why. It’s not exactly my cup of tea, but it is a book well worth reading, if only for the lessons it offers.

The way it’s written is much like a biblical story. It has that name tone of being in the Bible (but maybe a smidge easier to read than the King James version). I think it is supposed to, because the faith of the main character is prevalent throughout the narrative.

Santiago, a young shepherd in Spain, receives a dream that is exactly the same three nights in a row of a young child in front of the pyramids of Egypt, telling him there is treasure there. He seeks out a gypsy woman who tells him his dream is telling him to go to Egypt and claim the treasure as it is his destiny. Santiago decides there’s no point in going because he is in love with a baker’s daughter and desires to marry her. However, a man who calls himself a King stops him and tells Santiago not to let his Personal Legend pass him by. Personal Legends are those dreams you’ve always dreamed of or what you feel is your mission in life. The King warns Santiago that a lot of people allow the Personal Legends to pass them by and they live in regret for the rest of those days. The King appears to people who are on the crux of following their Legend or living in regret.

Santiago decides to go on the search for the treasure and his Personal Legend with the help from the King. I can’t really go into more detail than that (it’s not a long book, after all, which is why it’s my “can be read in a day” book from my challenge). It was good, if a bit dense reading. I really had to pay attention to it to pick up on the nuances and all that jazz. It’s a book people would especially enjoy if they’re very faith-driven.

So! Two more books down. I’m starting on the “self-published” book from the challenge now. I’m a few chapters in. Hopefully I can finish it quickly!

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