Publication Date: November 1, 2012
In Rogue Hunter: Inquest by Kevis Hendrickson, Zyra Zanr is a bounty hunter on the trail of Boris Skringler. Her pursuit takes her into the middle of an intergalactic conflict brewing. Zyra soon discovers that her task may be more complex and shattering for her people than she originally thought. She’s lived a life of her own rules. Will she make an exception and save a planet?
Rogue Hunter: Inquest is the first book in the Rogue Hunter series.
The author, Kevis Hendrickson, gave me a copy of this novel in exchange for my review.
Rogue Hunter: Inquest is part science fiction and part intergalactic political thriller.
The Queen of New Venus is charged with staying one step ahead of the people trying to use her small world as a pawn in a fractious situation. Queen Karah Taresh is determined, strong and possibly the most interesting character in Rogue Hunter: Inquest. We may not get much of Queen Karah’s motivations, but we get glimpses of how hard-won her position was and the subjugation her world experienced as a younger person as well as her determination to never be in that position again. In her very literal battle for life and for her people and the way she conducts herself, this character’s backstory would make a science fiction masterpiece on its own.
Zyra is quite the conflicting character. Readers know that the Zyra we meet is at her lowest point. She is literally naked when we step into her life — beaten, drugged and unable to stand. This is a strong woman brought low. Profit and history have brought her into the search for Boris and she will not compromise in achieving her goal. She will use everyone at her disposal, no matter how intimate their relationship, to play her end game. When things change, the author cleverly changes Zyra with them. Readers who are sensitive to sexuality or object to same-sex couplings may have a bit of a problem with Zyra’s character. Hendrickson is very careful to remain tasteful though some of the imagery is perhaps a bit vivid. The sexuality is not only gratuitous but contributes to the story line to humanize Zyra. It also shows the reader that Zyra has few lines she will cross when she later deceives the woman she clearly very much loves.
Boris serves as a good counterpoint to Zyra. He reads as being lecherous and a bit of a jerk at first but in the fullness of the story he develops into a character so evil that the fiercest of space captains cowers a bit in his presence. There’s a scene in the novel where he attempts to torture Zyra after casually mentioning all of the people he’d killed. The most points of weakness in Zyra’s character in Rogue Hunter: Inquest are those moments caused by Boris or are those to his benefit. It is no mistake that he is the center focus of the story and of ultimate importance to all other characters. If Boris could be called a baddie, he’s the best of them because his moral lines are invisible.
I do have a bit of an issue with the novel and it is a personal one for me. Boris and Zyra have a history prior to the book beginning that is perhaps quite adult. Boris is able to force his sexual attention upon Zyra and she is weak; she is distracted; she cannot ignore the heat in her loins. As a woman, I can say that there’s a thin line between love and hate. As a reader, those moments caused me to roll my eyes. Really? Okay, clearly she wants the attention but the heat in her loins causes her to melt into him? Way to be weak, sister. Those of us who read a lot, know that this is quite a common device for romance novels which is why this device has its place. Here it just made me think that perhaps as a reader, I was being misled about the strength and mental fortitude of Zyra. At the end of the novel, these moments didn’t matter at all to the story line but they certainly bugged this reader. Let’s confuse this poor, weak woman with hormones!
Once we get to know the players, Hendrickson’s tale is action-packed. Rogue Hunter: Inquest contains big themes in a setting as big as space. New Venus engages in a political game of chess with fellow planets and the question is simply who will strike first. The author sacrifices some clarity in the name of keeping rapid-fire dialogue but the conversations and characters are reasonably easy to follow. Zyra and Boris read as a bit of a distraction from the big stake’s game of which ship to blow up first. Hendrickson’s story, as it develops, is quite engaging and while further development would have been nice, Rogue Hunter: Inquest is the first novel in a planned series.[easyazon-link asin=”B009ZWLMNS” locale=”us”]Inquest[/easyazon-link] is an engaging character-driven tale perfect for fans of science fiction. At 199 pages, the novel is short for its genre but an exceptionally fast read that will have readers following this series for as long as the author wishes to write it.
If you are looking for a space adventure series, try out Rogue Hunter: Inquest by Kevis Hendrickson. Read an excerpt and buy on