Author: Shelter Somerset
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (August 6th, 2012)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts
Blurb: For Alaska Wildlife Trooper Zanebono Fusca, it’s just another summer in Anchorage until a slew of inexplicable fatal bear attacks sets the city reeling. As far as Zane is concerned, the timing couldn’t be worse. He’s besieged with his own demons, coping with personal loss and an identity crisis that clutches him worse than a grizzly’s pickaxe-sized fangs. Ten years before, he hoped Alaska would bring him a sense of his manhood. Now the “last frontier” could put him in an early grave.
Zane’s role to protect Alaska’s teeming wildlife gets even more tangled when handsome twenty-five-year-old Joshua Gaffner arrives seeking the details of his uncle’s gruesome death. But Alaskan officials have few answers. Against his better judgment, Zane takes Joshua deep into Anchorage’s far-flung backcountry—populated with eccentric recluses and ego-driven ecologists—in search of the truth. As the bizarre attacks increase, Zane and Josh continue to push for clues to crack the mystery. Finally Zane unravels a shocking discovery that makes the pieces fall into place. The trouble is Josh stands in the perfect position to become the next victim.
Review: Alaska Hunt is a novel that grips you from page one and doesn’t let go. Definitely not light reading, yet the plot, the storyline, the agony and suspense make it really difficult for you to let the book down until it’s over. The intro is extremely rough. It starts with a crazy bear’s point of view and for a moment there, I was alarmed this might be a paranormal story after all. It’s not. The effect of having a bear’s point of view was unexpectedly strong and gruesome, and it is also a huge plot revelation.
I loved it. Zane is an amazing character, having his demons that hunt him day and night. Guilt eating away his soul and yet strong and determined to help anyone he can. One might think he suffers a bit from the Super Hero Syndrome, but it suits him; gives him even greater charm. Joshua is also a very agreeable character. Young, yet strong and smart, he inevitably entangles himself with Zane. It felt so natural for those two to hook up together, while they were in the search of answers for the inexplicable fatal bear attacks. They do not have the typical romance, that’s for sure. The way their relationship evolves is so manly and somehow easy-going that made me breath and relax into it. Yes, Zane has his thoughts about it, too many for my liking, but then again he has too many thoughts about everything. Comes with the job I suppose. Their lovemaking was also not the sensual or the explicit one, but it was definitely hot for my eyes. I loved everything about this pair.
Secondary characters were somehow odd. I understood Julie, the ex-wife, her obsession with being independent. After all, no one can live with a man who feels the guilt as strongly as Zane, especially if their relationship didn’t stand strong before the incident. But, Dana confused me. I still don’t get it, did she refused Zane for being an Alpha male..? And what was it with the in-laws? Nothing in this book churned my stomach more than them, not even when bears started eating human flesh. that I could handle, but in-laws not letting a father see his kid, that enraged me. I suppose the author achieved that very well.
The “who” and the “why” was almost too easy for me to see, as I said the intro was a huge plot reveal, but I enjoyed every bit of the book and the journey that led to the end. What really made an impression to me was the fact that the author seemed to have done a great amount of research. Everything felt so very real and as if it came straight from some university researching team. Invigorating! The description of the scenery and the Alaskan environment was also excellent. made me feel as if I was hiking along with the guys. Yes, I think this is what won me over more than anything. The book was so well written that it made me live it, not just read it. In the end this book was more than I expected.
Highly recommended for anyone who has the stomach to stand a bit of blood and gore 😉