Monday, December 17, 2012

The Writer's View: Huntress

From Goodreads: Nature is out of balance in the human world. The sun hasn't shone in years, and crops are failing. Worse yet, strange and hostile creatures have begun to appear. The people's survival hangs in the balance.

To solve the crisis, the oracle stones are cast, and Kaede and Taisin, two seventeen-year-old girls, are picked to go on a dangerous and unheard-of journey to Tanlili, the city of the Fairy Queen. Taisin is a sage, thrumming with magic, and Kaede is of the earth, without a speck of the otherworldly. And yet the two girls' destinies are drawn together during the mission. As members of their party succumb to unearthly attacks and fairy tricks, the two come to rely on each other and even begin to fall in love. But the Kingdom needs only one huntress to save it, and what it takes could tear Kaede and Taisin apart forever.

The exciting adventure prequel to Malinda Lo's highly acclaimed novel Ash is overflowing with lush Chinese influences and details inspired by the I Ching, and is filled with action and romance.

The Writer's View:

Based on the cover and the book description, I expected this book to have a lot more Asian influence than it did. I was hoping for Asian-inspired fairies, Asian creatures, etc, but what I got was a world that felt very western in its mythology, complete with unicorns and blond-haired fairies. There was a great short story at the end of the novel that did feature a shifter from Chinese myth, which I enjoyed reading very much.

My disappointment aside, the story was a fun adventure/quest.


This book was written from multiple view points, many of which often occur in the same chapter without any scene break. I definitely would not label this book as having an omniscent POV -- that is, an outside narrator who tells the story. There was no sense of an outside narrator with his/her own take on the world.

As a reader, head-hopping is not my favorite technique. It prevented me from really getting into the head of any one character. And since I never knew from one paragraph to the next when a POVshift would occur, I felt like I had to be "on my toes" while I was reading. I was never able to totally immerse myself in the story or the characters.

What do you guys think of head-hopping? Yay or nay?


  1. Sorry Huntress isn't what you hoped for. It does look like it would have been a great book. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Well, there are many things about The Huntress that sound intriguing and the cover is pretty awesome:)

    One of the things that I love about your books, Camille, is the asian influence and I really enjoy books that introduce elements from other cultures. It is interesting to blend east with west as it sounds like this one did. I do think Raggedy Chan is brilliant in the way you brought together an american/western icon, Raggedy Ann, with your Chinese princess. I think that is really hard to do and you did it REALLY well.

    Head-hopping...i was told by an editor--years ago, ahem--that my first final draft:) of the first book in QotRoF was a head-hopper. The only person who does head-hopping that works for me is Alice Hoffman. And I think that is one of the reasons she intrigues how does she do it?????

    But it is really hard to pull off, I don't think I would attempt it. And I think there is a difference between head-hopping as a novice writer and head-hopping with intention:)

  3. Hm. This might not be the one for me. I'm not a fan of multiple POVs either. I might have to pass on this one. Hopefully you'll have better luck on the next novel :)

  4. I despise head hopping. I don't like alternating POV's let alone having to deal with the viewpoint changing in the one scene. The last time I remember it happening was when I read Girl in the Steel Corset and I downgraded the book a whole star because I hated it so much. I just think it adds a really confusing dimension to a book and like you said it makes it really hard work to read.

  5. Really? Western? I would have thought Asian too! I'm not big on fantasy so I'm not sure this would be for me. I actually do like multiple POVs, though. I love getting in the heads of more than one character but sometimes it IS too much, depending how the author does it. Glad that it wasn't a complete let down.