Author: Marion Zimmer Bradley
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: 1973, DAW
Series: The Hunters, Book 1
Synopsis: For the Hunters, the Hunt was a religion. The Sacred Prey, sentient beings collected from all over the galaxy, were literally given a fighting chance--they were allowed to choose weapons from an armory with every imaginable weapon and given time to train. Then they were taken to the place of the Hunt, where death awaited them. Those who survived until the eclipse of the red moon, however, were honored by the Hunters and rewarded with all the wealth they could desire. The trick, of course, was surviving.
Review: The story idea is quite good. Dane, kidnapped from Earth, is taken to an alien planet to be hunted. His group is part of the Sacred Prey. It reminds me a little bit of The Hunger Games meets 'Aliens', except not as good as either one.
His group consists of a fierce, cat-like creature, Cliff-Climber, a huge reptilian philosopher, Aratak, and two human females, a scientist named Rianna and an empath named Dallith, neither of whom are from Earth. Dane is basically a playboy who dabbles in martial arts. By far, the best character is Aratak. He is an enormous, intelligent reptile who is a philosopher and pacifist; he's pretty humorous.
This otherwise promising story, unfortunately, has weepy, weak and generally aggravating female characters. Both the main female characters are in love with Dane after about 15 minutes. I know that it is pretty common-place in Sci-Fi, especially in the era this particular book was written, but it just irks me. And, really, the whole story just was not all that great. Several times during the first half, I nearly gave up on it. The very last part, leading up to and including the final battle scene was exciting. Unfortunately that was only about 20 pages out of the whole book.
I've been reading Marion Zimmer Bradley books for some time now. This is not my favorite, not by a long shot. I couldn't even find a quote worth mentioning, so I left the quote section out. There's a second book in this series, but I think I'll pass on it.
Rating: 3 / 10