Jen Pretty’s latest book ‘fast-paced, action-packed and funny’

Gargoyle Huntress – Harlow’s Demons Book One


A column by Amanda and Patrick Burger

Now, This is My Kind of Read!

Sorry it has taken so long for my second column, but I have been terribly ill with double pneumonia. The good side of sickness is you can read for long periods of time between bouts of fever and that is just what I did. As part of ART-Tickle we want to review local authors’ works and have started with Jen Pretty’s first book in the Gargoyle Huntress series.

Jen Pretty lives in South Dundas, is a farrier, heritage turkey farmer, mother of three, friend to a white husky named Salt, wife of one and author of 20 novels.  She writes fantasy-horror and according to Goodreads, “is a well- known and prolific writer of smart urban fantasies. Her novels are character driven, witty, often violent, and with a liberal sprinkling of coarse language.”

All of this is true, and yet definitely not enough of a description of her work based on my first experience. In Gargoyle Huntress – Harlow’s Demons Book One, we meet the main character, Harlow, a young 20-year-old who works in a pizzeria; basically, she only ever eats pizza and hunts Gargoyles.

Now, my book reviews will not reveal plot; that is for the book to do. I will concentrate on style, and this book has style!

It is fast-paced, action-packed, funny and concentrates on the sensory experience. This book is fun, scary, erotic and tactile. The Harlow character is written with emphasis on the bodily experience. The character is built on the palpable: sound, sight, smell and taste. Harlow is animalistic in her needs for food, her clothing is leather and she never has time to wash them as she runs from one Gargoyle excursion to the next, hunting with half-demons. Her attraction to her hunting companion is so realistic, with the desire increased by the dangers of demon love. Her fighting technique is fast and sharp. Her language is defensive and her heart is hurt. Harlow is a real woman, flung into a dangerous career by one misguided action. Her friends are stone cutters and half-demons, her enemies are made of rock. The action doesn’t stop in this book; you will not find
paragraph after paragraph of descriptions of landscape, or the colour of the sky (both things that drive me crazy). I want character-driven prose with quick scene changes, exciting action sequences and lust: a lust for life, for food, for feeling your body at work, for the thrill and the exhaustion.

I want quick dialogue and snappy identifying word choices. This book should be a TV show: It should be the next Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I read it quickly and intensely and would recommend this series to any reader like myself. In truth the Gargoyle Huntress epigraph sums it all up “Sometimes I wrestle with my Demons. Sometimes we just snuggle.”

Available in paper back or Kindle edition.

Download is $2.99 on Amazon.

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