March 16, 2011

Descend Into the Next YA Series with Jeremy Robinson’s 'The Last Hunter'

By Sherri Breitigan, Contributing Writer

With my review of Mockingjay a few months ago, I noted that there was no shortage of Young Adult novels, and that as soon as you felt deprived with the end of one series, another would be waiting to take its place. Jeremy Robinson has already made his mark as the author of best-selling thrillers, but The Last Hunter marks his first time with YA material, and is Book One of the Antarktos Saga.

The plot centers around thirteen-year old Solomon, who is trying to battle the awkward adolescence we have all knowingly repressed, all while grappling with the oddity of being the only human born on the continent of Antarctica. The book opens with him returning to his birth continent with his family on an expedition, and learning more of his seemingly supernatural powers. Antarctica is still the cold and unfriendly continent we currently know, but in this saga it is populated by explorers, scientists, the occasional tourist and an ancient godlike race that lurks in underground caverns with primeval monsters and seeks to enslave mankind. Yes, you read that last sentence correctly.

For the sake of keeping the integrity of the plot and twists, The Last Hunter serves as the set-up for the rest of the series. Here is where we can relate to Solomon’s awkwardness and desire to be something larger than he is, and root for him on his journey into a world that we cannot comprehend. It combines the personality of Harry Potter (as young teenager confronted with being born “different” and lined up for a greater purpose) and the grittier elements of The Hunger Games.

As typical of many YA novels, there is growth in character and for entertainment purposes, the main character is usually responsible for the fate of mankind in some form. Some argue that it’s a repeating storyline, but what Robinson presents here is a fresh take on the archetype and writes with clarity, style, and a sense of suspense that is characteristic in thriller writers. It’s difficult to stop reading, so you find yourself flying through, which is always a fun way to spend a rainy Sunday.

This particular book is currently an ebook exclusive, so you won’t be able to get a physical copy quite yet. However, the price is right, and I had no issue with reading it as a PDF on my computer (or for you fancier folk, you can download it to an eReader). Happy reading, and watch out for fissures in the ground, because who knows where you may end up...

The Last Hunter is recommended for:
-the YA or thriller junkie
-adolescent boys

Not recommended for:
-those with weak stomachs (if you are a wimp like me, I just flip through the parts I find squeamish)