So Night Huntress is a bit of a departure for me, as it’s the first book that I have received direct from the publisher since starting on TBRindr. Intrigued, I took a look at the publisher’s WordPress to see what they specialised in. I wasn’t expecting fantasy and science-fiction erotica, that’s for sure. It was a niche that I wasn’t aware was filled much outside of fan-fiction, especially when the focus was queer relationships. Colour me interested.
Night Huntress follows a talented airship pilot, Ailrun, whose ambitions to pilot a vessel of her own are stymied by her place of birth, despite living and working within the Free Cities almost her entire life. Persuaded to take on a contraband run, she soon discovers that there are some unusual aspects to this particular run. First is the highly advanced engine that powers the boat she’ll be piloting. Second is Fia, an escaped Asura slave, bred specifically to maintain these kinds of engine. On their run, a faction from the Free City of Pollenza and an elven warrior-queen both aim to bring Fia and the engine under their influence.
As this is an erotica book, the first that I’ve reviewed on this blog, I feel that I should start with that. I was really expecting more of a build-up to the sex scenes, but then along comes chapter 2 and there’s a woman wrist-deep in someone else’s vagina. To say that it was a shock may be a mild understatement. I think the issue is mostly due to my previous experience of sex scenes, which was through romance novels. In that genre, the build-up is paramount, so sex doesn’t tend to show up until at least the half-way point. Evidently not so here. After the initial shock though, I found myself appreciating the sex scenes more than I would in a romance book. In romance, it’s almost always an affirmation of a couple’s love and can’t just be a thing by itself. In Night Huntress, there are a multitude of reasons to have sex, from just being in the right mood, to a religious ceremony, to sealing a diplomatic treaty. And there isn’t much of the toxic possessiveness that you see so often in romance. Here the characters change partners frequently and the number of participants change from scene to scene, which makes for a refreshing change. I guess that it’s nice to see characters who aren’t insecure about their partner’s affections and to see sex that isn’t inextricably bound with romantic love by necessity.
As for the plot, it’s a decent set-up for what looks to be an unexpectedly political series. There’s intrigue set up about the ancient technology that is so coveted, but as yet unmatched. The treatment of the elves is unusual, as they’re seen to be little more than savages by most of the human Free Cities. And while there isn’t much concrete said about either human or elven societies in this regard, there is a definite matriarchal trend from what has been shown thus far. I’d definitely like to see more of this world, so if another book is announced in this world then I would be more than happy to pick it up.
The plot is an interesting introduction to a political and backstabbing world. I’d love to see more of the weird magical engines and find out more about them. The sex is well-written and varied, although there is less build-up than I was expecting. 4.5/5
Next review: K-ON! Volume 4 by kakifly