Dog Eat Dog
Review of Book 7 of Earths Final Chapter, The Hunter and His Hounds.
Review by Tom Pahlow
This was one I had been looking forward to since I read Avinon (Book 1). The Hunter, a terrifying figure that has since come up in other stories as a real-life bogeyman in Earths Final Chapter. I will warn any potential readers, though, this one is gruesome, and it comes out swinging with a gore covered fist and the blood of the innocent.
Now that you’ve been warned. Book 7 follows The Hunter as he goes about his profession as a bounty hunter. Trained dogs go everywhere with The Hunter, and they only add to his brutality. This Job is different, though, ill-omened from the beginning.
This is something akin to a horror story, told through the eyes of the predator instead of the prey. I would have liked to see a little more showing in this one than telling. It’s the perfect story to choke our senses with terror. The howling of those chasing you, the gnashing fangs and stench of a rapidly approaching death. Showing us the story through only The Hunter’s perspective instead of an omniscient narrator would have let us see the calculation and meticulous care taken in creating fear.
The Hunter is such an interesting protagonist because he is, unequivocally, an absolute monster. Our first encounter with him has him slowly dissecting a man while he is alive so that he can feed his Hounds. What he does afterwards is something no one with a proper conscience could have done, no matter the amount of money they are being paid.
Despite this, there is kindness in the man. He seems to have a genuine love for his family and his hounds. There are even small mercies that this butcher performs while on his duties. I found it such an interesting contradiction that reflects one of the darker sides of humanity. Our ability to care so much for the lives we know and so little for the ones we don’t.
Another example of stories crossing paths, The Hunter and His Hounds shows aspects from two of the earlier books. It introduces characters we’ve met before and even events we have seen but from a different perspective.
All of this complexity works to create a character who it seems will become an integral part of the changes to come. What will the monster known as the Hunter become? Is it his brutality or his
kindness that is required in the troubled times to come? You’ve done it again Fernandes. I need more!