Monday, September 29, 2014

Spear Hunter (Northland Chronicles #2) by Henry J. Olsen

Release Date: July 30, 2014
Publisher: Unbound Adventure Press
Series: Northland Chronicles, Book 2

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

More than a decade after the Desolation virus ravaged North America, John Osborne had more questions than answers about his current situation. Keen on finding information one way or another, he set out to Mallard Island in the Minnesota Territory alongside Nathan, a young man with questions of his own.

They soon found others along the trail who weren't so happy to see them. Members of a new militant power scouted the area for new recruits and old possible enemies as well as some unexpected surprises. John must know how he came to be more than human - even if it means facing a trap on the island  he only knew by rumor. With time running out and his health fading fast, will he find the answers waiting for him?

I was contacted by the author and asked if I would do an honest and fair review of his work. I have to admit that I hadn't heard of the Northland Chronicles before the release of this book, which is the second in the series. Because of that fact, I was a little apprehensive to read the books out of order. As I began to read, it became clear that the novel would do well as both part of the series and a stand-alone novel. There's enough background information throughout the novel that made me curious enough to check out the first book without dumping a huge amount on me all at once.

The central focus of the book appeared to be centered on John Osborne and his quest for answers about his arm. He wasn't alone in his quest as both friend and foe were interested. On the friend side of things, John enlisted the help of Nathan, a young man who had needed help finding loved ones in the previous tale and who was also pretty book smart. The complex network of villainous characters was also revealed as I turned the pages. The secret militant force and its general were determined to grab hold of as much of the world as it could now that no one was around to stop them. Each of the characters had their own distinct personalities and I was glad to see a variety of dialect, race and intelligence come together as well as it did.

There were a few surprises along the way that added more to the world the author shaped in the first book. Without giving any spoilers, you will have to read until the end of the book to see what happened to the various characters. Each of them has a sort of resolution to their journey in the book. The pacing of the story was steady from the beginning. Action scenes kept the story moving while the dialogue helped the movement without revealing too much of the plot. With well-fleshed out characters, intriguing history about the area and beautiful land descriptions, it was easy for me to keep turning the pages.

All in all, I enjoyed this book. It was a bit creepy to think that what happened in the book really wasn't too far removed from the realm of possibility. I think that's what made it so interesting for me. Without reading the first one, I was able to gleam some of the events without feeling overwhelmed or distracted from the current story. There was an ever-present feeling that something much larger was at play in the former state of Minnesota. Not only would it impact the remaining lives there, but the world. I'm now curious to know whether the answers will be found in the next book because of the unanswered questions left in this one. I'd definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves a bit of dystopia mixed with sci-fi and a dash of adventure.

Spear Hunter (Northland Chronicles #2) by Henry J. Olsen is currently available at many online retailers and can be purchased in digital formats including Kindle. Clicking the link below will take you to the book's Amazon page.
Spear Hunter (Northland Chronicles #2) by Henry J. Olsen

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