Who doesn’t love heists? From THE ITALIAN JOB to the OCEANS franchise to THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR, heist stories often offer glamour, high stakes, and danger. The reader or viewer is seduced by the lengths the thieves will go to score their bounty. RUN WITH THE HUNTED involves the theft of gemstones including an enormous and exotic blue diamond. The fashionista of a protagonist favors fabulous couture that also serves as armor.
Title: Run with the Hunted | Author: Jennifer R. Donohue | Publisher: Self| Pub. Date: Oct 31, 2018 | Pages: 138| ISBN: 978-1-945548-03-1 | Genre: Heist Thriller | Language: English | Starred Review: No | Source: Review Copy from Author
Run with the Hunted Review
Bristol is the mastermind and the inside woman, who has the soft skills to both dazzle and manage the human aspects of a job. Bits has technology covered. Dolly handles the weapons and the muscle. However, the diamond heist Bristol engineers has unexpected consequences, when the jewels turn out to be more than simply pretty.
RUN WITH THE HUNTED is a futuristic Oceans Eight, but with a much smaller, less developed cast of characters on a simpler, less conflict-laden mission. Tons of things about the novella make it an entertaining read, including the cool world building, the female criminals, and the inclusion of a mysterious non-binary ally in Marquis, who had the potential to be a standout secondary character. However, their involvement and peril did little to bother Bristol, which made the protagonist less likeable. Overall, I wanted the characters to have more layers, stronger stakes, and gripping motivation.
In regard to motivation and stakes, not much would change for the protagonist if she did not go through with the heist. Once things go to hell, the reader isn’t quite clear on the consequences if the thieves are captured. Will they be Imprisoned? Killed? Tortured? At one point the Bristol expresses a desire to be caught so she can return to her casual life. She seems more bored with being on the run than genuinely in fear for her life. Talk about deflating stakes.
While the short chapters work well for thrillers, the chapters in RUN WITH THE HUNTED do not always end on a hook that entices the reader to keep going. Ending a chapter with the point of view character off to dreamland is never scintillating, and can quickly turn the novel itself into a sleeper. The pacing could be improved by eliminating scenes that fail to significantly move the story forward or reveal character. Even scenes that serve as set up should contain tension and conflict.
Of course, it’s easier to pick at the writing craft of someone else’s work than it is to write fiction that displays a mastery of those elements while also infusing the story with the kind of imaginative detail that makes RUN WITH THE HUNTED fun. I absolutely adored the robot hotel, the fortune telling vending machines, and the wicked cool technology. I would definitely consider checking out the author’s other works including the sequel RUN WITH THE HUNTED 2: CTRL ALT DELETE, which is told from the point of view of technology savvy Bits.
This book may be available through various outlets; however, in the interest of promoting financial literacy, we recommend trying to purchase it from Better World Books if it is available there.
Lilyn G is the founder of Sci-Fi & Scary, and leader of the Coolthulhu Crew. She does book and film reviews for both genres the site focuses on. Her tastes run towards creature features, hard science fiction, and lots and lots of action. She also has a soft spot for middle-grade fiction that rears its head frequently.
Though no longer involved with Ladies of Horror Fiction due to other responsibilities and a too-full plate, she was one of the original 4 co-founders.
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