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Summary

Finalist for the 2017 Raven Award for best urban fantasy.

The only thing worse than being a hunter in the fae-ridden city of Harborsmouth, is hunting vampires in Bruges.

The medieval city of Bruges is quaint, but the local Hunters' Guild is understaffed, the canals are choked with dead bodies, and there's no shortage of supernatural predators as likely suspects.

On second thought, maybe Bruges isn't so bad after all.

With a desire to prove herself, protect the innocent, and advance within the ranks of the Hunters' Guild, Jenna Lehane hits the cobbled streets of Bruges with blades at the ready. Someone, or something, is murdering tourists and dumping their bodies in the city's scenic canals. With the help of a mysterious stranger, Jenna begins to piece together clues that are dotted throughout the city like blood spatter.

Determined to stop the killings, Jenna delves into a bloody local history that only raises more questions - but some secrets are best left buried. Jenna must put her combat training to the test as she struggles to unearth the truth about an ancient enemy.

"I quite enjoyed the tale." (Jana Oliver, award-winning author of The Demon Trappers series)

"Hunting in Bruges is a must read." (Book Lover's Life)

"I flat out loved it!" (Rabid Reads)

"[Hunting in Bruges] is a well-crafted and fun urban fantasy." (The Jeep Diva)

Hunting in Bruges is the first novel in the Hunters' Guild urban fantasy series set in the world of Ivy Granger. The world of Ivy Granger, including the Hunters' Guild series and the award-winning Ivy Granger Psychic Detective series, is filled with bloodsucking vampires, psychotic faeries, and snarky, kick-butt heroines.

©2014 E.J. Stevens (P)2018 E.J. Stevens

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  • Deedra
  • United States
  • 05-07-18

Bruges

LOVED this first of a two part book!Jenna has the world on her shoulders.She takes it very seriously.The whole team are likable.Well,except for Chad.Narration by Melanie A. Mason and Anthony Bowing was fantastic!Looking forward to part two!
I was given this book by the narrator,author or publisher free for an honest review.

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A great addition to urban fantasy

Note: This is a spin off from the Ivy Granger series and works perfectly fine as a stand a lone.

Hunting in Bruges is a worthy addition to the urban fantasy genre. I really enjoyed this book. So much fun and intensity! Jenna is an excellent character. She’s got her past and a core set of values, both of which serve her well as she’s tossed into a difficult situation. Bruges is not her first choice of where to serve the Guild. She finds thing in quite the state when she gets there. The resident witch Celeste is strung out and not in neat, tidy control of her powers. The second in command, Simon Chadwick, is a sexist pig who’s not above using his position to take advantage of people. The Guild coroner, Doc Martens, is lazy, drunk, and not dedicated to his job. Yes, indeed, looks like Jenna is on her own for solving a string of murders.

At least until Ash appears. He gives her info on the local Bruges scene and also makes her laugh. However, there is something odd about Ash. My one little quibble is that Jenna didn’t pick up on this until well into the story when it was so obvious to me as the reader. Still, she did have her hands full with the pile of bodies, the messed up Bruges Guild, and a child-killing water fae. Luckily she has a knowledgeable Guild archivist (Darryl Lambert) and a disabled munitions expert (Aleksey) on hand!

The story was well balanced with action, character growth, and setting. I’ve never been to Belgium but now I would like to! Of course, I would go after Jenna has cleared the major cities of paranormal nasties. As Jenna digs into the pile of bodies, it quickly becomes clear that vampires are involved. There’s two major vampire families in Bruges. They are ancient and well established. Jenna certainly has her hands full!

Jenna herself is someone I would want on my team. She’s not perfect but she’s loyal, stubborn, and handy with weapons. She and Ash make a good team even though Jenna doesn’t completely trust him. I really liked how she tried to clean up the Bruges Guild as best as she can without stepping on toes. That is until it becomes necessary to risk punishment by the Guild in order to save innocents. She had tough choices to make and she did it well.

The other characters round out the story. I really liked the archivist, Darryl. He used to be a good fighter out in the field but now his blindness keeps him behind a desk. He requested his current position and he serves it well. Aleksey came into the story pretty late and I look forward to seeing what Stevens does with his character in the future. Celeste brought that sexuality and a bit of playfulness to the tale. I do have to note that we had few female characters in this tale and I would have liked a few more to balance things. Celeste eventually rises to the occasion.

The story ramps up with a potential impending disaster for humanity. I was on the edge of my seat for the last 2 hours of this book. I didn’t want to put it down. The tale wraps up well, completing the story arc for this book. I greatly look forward to future additions to this series. 5/5 stars.

The Narration: Melanie A. Mason and Anthony Bowling narrated this book. Mason had the lion’s share making a great Jenna Lehane. Bowling’s voice was used for when male characters spoke. While Bowling did well, felt that it wasn’t really necessary to have 2 narrators for this book. I think I would have enjoyed the narration a touch more if it was just Mason. While the recording was well done, I always knew that Bowling wasn’t in the same room as Mason for his small parts. The volume was good and Bowling didn’t sound tinny, but there was still something that made his additions stand apart. Setting that aside, Mason did great with the various character voices. Celeste sounds like a drug-abusing under-sexed witch. Jenna has a variety of emotions and those were performed well for the entire book. There were also a variety of accents and those all came across well. 4.5/5 stars.

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Fabulous story

Tale about female supernatural hunter and her adventures. Main character felt really strong. Liked the variety of the monsters. Overall very enjoyful book. Narration was well done.

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Jenna the Vampire Slayer

I had never heard of this author before this book, but enjoyed my first introduction to her work with it being an enjoyable urban fantasy novel with a strong lead character and a good supporting cast. This book supposedly links to some of the author's previous work (including the main character of this one) but not having read them did not detract from my enjoyment of this one.

Jenna is a highly trained young hunter who finds herself assigned to investigate some deaths in Belgium and while the deaths are supernatural in origin, they are actually only part of a much larger plot taking place in that city.

Both narrators do a good job in this book, having a suitably distinctive range of voices for the main cast, but the jumping between the two of them was a little jarring at first since the usual variation from a single narrator tends to be a jump directly to a full cast rather than a duo, but once used to the changes it did work well for this book.

Overall, an enjoyable start to a series and one that encourages me to look into more works from this author in the future.

[Note - I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.]

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Really enjoyable.

I’m a fan of the Ivy Granger books and Jenna was one of my favourite characters I’ve been looking forward to this audiobook.
Love the new characters especially Ash.
I would have liked to hear what happened to Chad.
Both the voiceover artists did a wonderful job and I hope they do the next book.

I was given acolytes of this audiobook but any opinions are honest and my own.

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  • Adriana B
  • 14-04-18

Excellent Fast Paced Urban Fantasy

This is a fast paced Urban Fantasy with a strong heroine. Here you will find mystery, action, danger, violence, and a touch of romance. Jenna meets a handsome stranger on the train to Bruges that helps her navigate the city she is assigned to investigate. There are dead bodies being found all over the city and Jenna is there to find out what is going on.

Narration is excellent and brings the story to life. Melanie and Anthony do an amazing job with the narration.

There is a good amount of character development so we can understand what drives Jenna and why she has decided to join the Hunter's Guild. Ivy Granger is mentioned a few times as being a trusted friend of Jenna. Perhaps she will make an appearance in future books. This is a great start to a new series.

I'm looking forward to book 2 in this new fast paced Urban Fantasy series.

"I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review."

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Lynnz
  • 14-04-18

Awesome story & narration

I received this audiobook free for an honest review. So glad I asked for this audiobook. It was fast paced, informative and thrilling. I love stories of strong women and Jenna fits the mold perfectly. The history being used as background builds the foundation for an excellent story. The narrators were awesome. Their telling the story was as if it was on the big screen. Overall, the story was great and the narrators were wonderful. Very enjoyable. Funny and intriguing.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Jan
  • 13-04-18

Brilliant !

vampire-slayers, action-adventure, teamwork, urban-fantasy ----
Excellent read! Jenna had a hard enough life before she joined the guild of hunters, and that's what gave her the strength of purpose and determination to stick with a job that makes the USMC look easy. She is sent from the US (Milwaukee! Chicago! ) to the EU where it's all in flux and little is what it seems. Great characters and storyline with fast pacing and lots of surprises.
I have the audio, and it's excellent. Female characters are interpreted by Melanie Mason, and gents by Anthony Bowling, and the result is spectacular!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Darrell Grizzle
  • 11-05-18

Likable Characters, Action-Packed Story

Hunting in Bruges is the first novel in the Hunters' Guild series, set in the world of E.J. Stevens' psychic detective, Ivy Granger. This novel follows Ivy's fellow Guild member Jenna Lehane as she travels to Bruges to battle vampires and other supernatural threats. She also faces threats from within the Guild itself. Along the way she meets Ash, a companion who turns out to be more than he seems and who is just as likable a character as Jenna herself. The character interaction is what sets this apart from other urban fantasy novels and what has me looking forward to the next book in this series. The narrators of the Audible version, Melanie A. Mason and Anthony Bowling, do an excellent job of bringing the characters to life and setting the tone for this exciting, action-packed story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • TU
  • 08-05-18

Really good Urban Fantasy

I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

This was a fun and entertaining urban fantasy story. I loved how the author handled the world building and character development. The narration was good as well. All in all, a REALLY good book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Lidia Chymkowska
  • 06-05-18

Bruges turns out to be more than she expected...

"Hunting in Bruges" introduces us to the "Hunters' Guild" series, with Jenna Lehane as the main protagonist and a bunch of other memorable characters as her sidekicks:)

It starts rather innocently - Jenna is sent to Bruges to solve the mystery of an overflow of dead bodies found in the town's canals. The task seems easy enough but very soon she discovers she has to deal with much more than just one or two rogue vampires... Unfortunately, the local Hunters' Guild is of almost no help, as they are heavily understaffed, and the few members still present there are not the best you could be looking for. Still, Jenna's job must be done, so she has to settle with what's at hand...

That's the starting point for the book that turns out to be a gripping, engaging and really entertaining urban fantasy. The story starts quite slow but soon gathers speed and doesn't slow to the end. Events that at first seem to have no plausible explanation soon start to connect and finally find their logical place in the big picture. And although it's a part of a series, the book has a satisfactory conclusion, at the same time leaving us ready to go on another adventure with Jenna.

As the main protagonist, Jenna takes the front seat among the cast of characters, but all of them have their 5 minutes in the story. Jenna is not this perfect, always-know-everything-never-miss-a-clue unrealistic character I met in other books, on the contrary, she feels very real and very human; she can be unobservant at times, she is not always right and the wrong decisions she makes have consequences she then has to deal with. She is strong when it's needed, but she also has a sensitive side she doesn't even try to hide... And her sidekicks? A witch addicted to mandrake, a blind archivist, an art student with secrets of his own... You really can't ask for a more colourful, unpredictable bunch of vampire hunters...:)

The interpretation of the book by Ms Mason and Mr Bowling, who respectively read female and male parts, is very good. It's fast-paced but clear, with very good differentation of the voices of individual characters and quite a bit of good acting added into the mix.

Generally, it's a really entertaining story in a very good interpretation. I listened to it in one sitting and will definitely look for the next part.

DISCLAIMER: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Harry
  • 02-05-18

Wow, It's great.

I loved it. The way the two narrators worked together to tell the story was fantastic. It was almost like an old radio play. If the next one is this good, I can barely wait.

I was given a free review copy audiobook at my request by the author and have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Christy D
  • 02-05-18

Hunting in Bruges

Jenna is sent in to investigate a series of murders in Bruges. Upon her arrival she meets a handsome yet quirky young man. He begins to grow on Jenna. I love the subtle hints about him throughout the story! The guild master needs to do some revamping of is guild. He should be the one in trouble for letting things get this out of hand and leaving one so incompetent in charge and not enough members to defend the city. The story is fast paced and super easy to listen to. The narration is very nice!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Diana in SC
  • 01-05-18

As cool as whole season of “Buffy the Vampire Slay

Now I am hooked on this series! This is a high quality, action-packed urban fantasy with a likeable heroine and loveable sidekick. It is the first book of “The Hunters' Guild” series, which is a spin-off of “The Ivy Granger” series. It is not necessary to read the Ivy series before you read this one. I have never read an E.J. Stevens book before, and I was impressed with the writing quality. I was very entertained; there was not a dull moment. The story was a little bit dark, but not too much. Of course, there is violence with all of the vampire killing, but the author struck the right balance of exciting action without things getting too disgusting. I think that it is suitable for teens and adults because the minimal sex that occurs is not described at all (aka, “behind closed doors”). Trigger warning: there is an attempted sexual assault, but it was thankfully stopped before much happened.
This audiobook is told in the first person past perspective from the heroine’s perspective. Jenna Lehane is a 20-yr-old American woman who grew up in the foster care system. She was recruited into the Hunters’ Guild, a secret society who fights rogue paranormal people. In this book's alternate version of the modern world, vampires, witches, werewolves, ghosts, and various species of Fey exist. It seems like the vampires and some of the Fey cause the most problems, whereas werewolves and witches can be friendly. Jenna is highly skilled with her sword and other weapons. Her one special ability is that she can see ghosts. She gets sent on a vague mission to Bruges, Belgium, where unknown paranormals have been killing dozens of humans. I really like Jenna’s practical approach to life and her dedication to saving humans from dangerous paranormals.
The pair of narrators were fantastic. The female narrator, Melanie A. Moon, does most of the narration. Her clear, Midwestern accent is wonderful. I love her pacing and her tone of voice. She does a perfect job. The male narrator, Anthony Bowling, only chimes in on the dialogue of every male character. His English accent and jovial delivery of Ash's dialogue is superb, and he is versatile with other accents and tones. They both did a fantastic job together.
I adore the setting in the ancient, evocative city of Bruges. I can tell that the author must have visited Bruges personally because she really conveys the flavor of the city and beautiful details of its geography and culture. I feel like I was actually there when I was listening to the audiobook.
The one minor flaw in the writing is that it is a tad bit stupid. I figured out something immediately that took Jenna a long time to figure out. It was sort of interesting to see how long she could have figurative blinders on. Still, it is not any stupider than a season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I was debating whether to give “Hunting in Bruges” 4 or 5 stars because of this. However, the wonderful Gothic atmosphere, the great action scenes, loveable characters, and fast-paced plot made it 5 stars for me. I am eagerly awaiting Book 2!
I requested and received a free copy of the audiobook from the author, and I voluntarily wrote this honest review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • ldybkpr
  • 22-04-18

Great fantasy story

This book is about a hunter from the guild named Jenna. She is called to Bruges to investigate the deaths and their bodies left in the streets. The group she works with is a ragtag group of a witch, a one handed demolitions expert, and a blind guy. The story has a lot of action but a fun story. The narrators did a very good job. Enjoyed the fact that there was two narrators. They were very good ad giving each character their recognizable voices. I will be glad when the next in the series is ready to be read/listened to. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful