Hunting in Bruges by E. J. Stevens is set in the old Belgium city of Bruges and features Jenna, a young lady who takes herself and her job very seriously. She is a Hunter, one of a guild that protects us normal folks from nasty predators like vampires, ghouls, grindylow.
Lots of authors use the fantasy niche of protectors protecting humanity from supernatural predators; some, like Jim Butcher, successfully merge fantasy with human emotions and characters, fast plots, compelling narratives, funny and on-tune dialogue to create excellent novels. Others leave me flat.
I wanted to like this book. The author was a finalist for a fantasy award and the book had flashes of a real story with interesting characters, enough that I kept reading, hoping the story would improve. Main character Jenna was obnoxious, arrogant and bossy, dedicated to getting rid of supernatural creepy crawlies, unlikeable. Dialogue, plot and secondary characters also left me glad to finish and put the book aside.
The author did a nice job describing Bruges and the 1299 wars between Guy of Dampierre, count of Flanders and Phillip Capet of France that were caused the problems Jenna faces in the story. E. J. Stevens got me interested enough to look up the history, which makes me wonder why the story and characters in Hunting in Bruges are so dull.
Overall 2 Stars