by Katie MacAlister
Publication Date: August 28, 2018
I received an advance review copy of this book from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.My rating:
Dragon Hunter Wanted:
Sword supplied. No experience necessary.
One moment, I was a normal (if somewhat germaphobic) math teacher getting ready for summer vacation. Then my sister died in a pile of black ash, leaving me with a sword... and her destiny as dragon hunter. It turns out there's a whole other world out there filled with demons, dragons, and spirits. Now my job is to protect mortals - and I haven't got a clue what I'm doing. Then there's tattooed hotness Ian Iskander. Part dragon hunter and part demon, Ian's got some seriously creepy business associates and keeps trying to steal my sword. So why do we keep getting lost in hungry, crazy-hot kisses? Ian is the only person who can help me figure out who - and what - I am. But trusting a half-demon is dangerous... because when you play with dragon fire, someone always gets burned.
I’d read several books from Katie MacAlister’s Dark Ones series quite a while back and thought they were hilarious, and since I was in the mood for a quirky paranormal, I figured I’d pick up the first book in a new series by her. Either my memory is faulty or my sense of humor has changed drastically, because there wasn’t much about this book that I liked.
“I am a dragon hunter,” I told her with great dignity. “We are not woo-woo.”
Much of the plot was a confusing mess. One item, for example – dragon hunters don’t actually hunt dragons, but demons, and they’re called that because they’re actually part demon and part dragon, with the dragon bit keeping the dark-leaning demon side in check. Why or how they’re this way, I don’t know. It didn’t help that the book switched from Ronnie’s first-person POV to Ian’s third person POV frequently. Ronnie has OCD, which I thought was well done for, oh, the first two chapters, and then was promptly forgotten unless it was dragged back out for comic relief or as an example of how Ian’s mere presence “fixed” her. There’s also an annoying running gag about her writing a book about her experiences and whether her creative writing teacher would approve of various chapter titles, dialogue, the believability of various plot points… it just felt like it was trying much too hard to be funny. This is the kind of book that has a wrath demon named Falafel, which sounds delightfully quirky on the surface but just got a bit old when they were trying to have serious conversations about, you know, the fate of the world and all that. It felt, at times, like it was trying very hard to balance between being off the walls quirky and “oh no the world is doomed” and it just didn’t do either well.
“[W]hat’s the good in being a dragon hunter if you can’t cover people in dragon fire and roast them alive?”
While I enjoyed the first few chapters, the book started falling apart once Ronnie met Ian, and the instalust and subsequent instalove really turned me off. I didn’t particularly like or sympathize with either character, and I found their relationship ridiculously unbelievable and unsexy. I forced myself to read the last 25% in the hopes of clearing up the confusing plot points, but while some things became clearer, it didn’t really help the story as a whole. Overall, this was just not my cup of tea at all.