This week was the launch of indie author Lindsay Schopfer’s steampunk fantasy, The Beast Hunter. I was intrigued, as I had read his first book, a sci fi novel, Lost Under Two Moons, and really enjoyed it.
Beast hunter and local hero Keltin Moore joins a desperate campaign to save faraway Krendaria, a nation on the verge of revolution. A swarm of beasts threatens to destroy the country’s desperately needed crops, and an unprecedented team of hunters is assembled to cleanse the infested farmlands. But the grand adventure quickly becomes a desperate fight for survival as the horde of beasts seems endless and distrust among the hunters eats away at the campaign from within. In desperation, Keltin and his new friends embark on a dangerous mission into the heart of the deadly swarm, prepared to make a final stand against the oncoming beasts to try and save all of Krendaria from starvation.
This novel is well-structured, with creative environments, good tension, and deep characters.
The Beast Hunter is complex tale. The technology is all what would be available in any late 19th century steampunk tale, but there the similarity ends. Keltin is a beast hunter, and the beasts he hunts are not your average Edwardian creatures. They are some of the most horrific beasts I have seen outside of an RPG. Even the beneficial creatures are fun and dangerous.
Keltin Moore is an awesome hero, slightly flawed, and intriguing. He has family troubles and has trouble getting along with certain members of his own species. There are many different species living in Krendaria, and a great deal of prejudice and political intrigue stemming from that diversity. One of my favorite characters is Bor’ve’tai, a member of a species called the Loopi.
As a bounty hunter, Keltin usually works alone. Acting on a tip, he signs on to hunt beasts for Duke Gregson, and ends up a part of a militia under the command of Baron Rumsfeld. The wide, wild world is much more dangerous than he’d ever thought, and the people are even more so.
Lindsay Schopfer’s knack for showing a good story really shines, as the action driven plot, unique multicultural society, and solid, well-drawn characters of many different species make this novel impossible to put down. I highly recommend it as an action adventure.