Atia is a killer. She is also a lost girl, one who has had to deal with grief and loss. Alexandra Christo’s The Night Hunt is high on the scale of moral greyness we love here at Grimdark Magazine. Situating itself firmly within two of the biggest trends in SFF right now – romantasy and Greek mythology – Christo’s latest oeuvre is bound to appeal to broad audiences, both genre fans and those who don’t consider themselves genre readers.
The Night Hunt features a world full of Gods and monsters – and Atia is the last of her kind. Her survival is conditional to avoiding the Gods’ notice. Silas has been forced into carrying messages and ferrying the dead as a Herald by those same Gods. As fate brings them together, they realise that they may be able to help each other. They both desire nothing as much as revenge on the Gods that shaped them, and together they may just succeed – and fall in love on the way.
I loved how The Night Hunt picks up on many themes and motifs from Greek mythology while still being determinedly independent. It takes the familiarity of world building as window-dressing for a twenty-first century romantic fantasy. It feels fresh in many ways, drawing both on the comfort of known stories and the thrill of exploring new ones. It also consciously situates itself within romantasy, relying on traditional elements of romance and tropes. I do think this may be a hit or miss with the Grimdark Magazine audience – for me, the characters’ nuanced morality and the adverse circumstances ensured I was snared in. For others, romance may outweigh these elements.
Murder is a central theme, as is consideration of what is deemed to be right. Not what is lawful, but what Atia and Silas consider the best way forward, what fits into their moral compass. Tied together with a love story, this is dark … with sprinkles on top. The Night Hunt is fast-paced and exciting, a story that will draw you in completely if you give it the chance. It features a strong and humorous voice, fun characters and a story to devour. I thoroughly enjoyed this one.