Frank, Jacquelyn. Hunting Julian. (New York: Zebra, 2009). ISBN – 9781420104257.
Related Works: This is the first book in Jacquelyn Frank’s new series The Gatherers. Books in the series include the following:
- Hunting Julian – story of Julian Sawyer and Asia Callahan
- Stealing Kathryn – story of Kathryn and Adrian
Description from the Book:
As a Gatherer for his colony, Julian Sawyer travels to Earth to bring back the Chosen – women who possess energy potent enough to help revitalize his people. the stunning, silver-clad beauty who strides into his club one night radiates a sensual magnetism unlike any he’s encountered, and Julian realizes that Asia Callahan is not just Chosen, she is his kindra: his one true mate.
For months, Asia has traced the beautiful and mysterious Julian across the country, convinced that he’s behind the disappearance of her sister and a dozen other women. She believes he’s a ruthless killer, but she discovers that the truth is far more shocking. Taken to a strange, hazardous realm she never knew existed, Asia will face the ultimate choice – between abandoning the life she’s always known, and forsaking a passion as dangerous as it is powerful.
Honestly, I’m not entirely sure what my reaction is to Hunting Julian. I have been a big fan of Frank, since I first read one of her Nightwalker stories. Since then, I have absolutely loved everything Frank has written. I picked up this book with heavy expectations. I was certainly caught up in the story early on. However, once Julian and Asia left Earth for Beneath, I started to have difficulties with the book. I think that my reaction is because I couldn’t really connect with Julian’s world. Beneath is another dimension that exists far beneath Earth. The colony is built on the sides of some massive cliff with no visible ground. There are a bizarre system of nets strung between the cliffs to catch children that might fall off the walkways that go from level to level. These walkways have no railings because of many types of predators that exist.
The people of Beneath live on energy – this is what they feed on. They are currently starving because of a reoccurring plague that has killed off the majority of their women. Gatherers from various colonies travel to Earth and take Chosen women back to Beneath so that they can server as breeders (the women are given a choice). Julian is a Gatherer. While on Earth, he meets Asia and quickly realized she is his mate – his kindra. Kin relationships are quite rare – and are something that have the ability to put out enough energy to save their entire colonies.
This was something else that seemed very odd to me. After Julian and Asia have sex for the first time, they give off enough positive energy to feed Julian’s whole world. All of the infirm children were well; the ghostly Ampliphi (ruling body) were all corporeal; no one was starving; and everyone knew the source of the healing energy. While the concept of energy from lovemaking as healing energy is totally cool, this made for a bizarre situation where Julian’s people began to suffer again when he and Asia did not make love again for a while. This made Julian and Asia’s relationship less about them and more about saving his people – a somewhat unromantic concept for me.
Also, Asia got on my nerves a bit. She was an extremely strong and independent women who was unwilling to open herself up to the idea of love. Given her standoff nature, the fact that Julian kidnapped her was something she found it very difficult to overcome. I understood her position, I really did, but got tired of her repeated refrain of “I can’t be what you need.”
Now, I don’t mean to be harsh. I think that Frank has an incredible imagination and comes up with some incredibly different worlds. I believe that with subsequent stories, I will get used to the world of Beneath (I’m pretty sure that I was put off by the Shadowdwellers world at first). I am looking forward to the next book in the series, Stealing Kathryn. Adrian has already captured my interest.
Read first on January 1, 2010