Top positive review
Quite possibly one of the best Mercedes Lackey series
Reviewed in the United States on September 5, 2017
I'm not ashamed to say that, leading up to the release of this, I reread Hunter and Elite, and then I spent a few hours checking to see if it was out yet (it downloaded at about 1am EST), and the second it was I inhaled it.
First I'll make a quick note of the bad; there's some weird little grammar things in the kindle issue, mostly commas instead of periods, but it's not a lot by any means; and the romance is still fairly "meh." I called Josh "background boyfriend" as much as by name. There were also some details Lackey seemed to forget, like one of Joy's Hounds being bigger than the one that's treated as biggest in this book, but nothing major.
Onto the gushing.
I'm a big Lackey fan. I've at least dipped my toes into most if not all of her universes, including collabs, so I'm well used to her one great weakness; she has patterns, and part of those means the middle book or books of a series are usually boring and lose you completely.
Not so, of the Hunter trilogy. These books are fun in a way her "grown-up" books aren't always. It's something she embraces in her Five Hundred Kingdoms series as well, but this trilogy really found a quite possibly perfect balance.
These books are packed with action, magic, mythos, humor, awesome women, great characters, a decent dose of queer positivity, and did I mention magic? It's heart-warming, it's sad, it makes you want to crawl into the pages and yell at people. And with Apex in particular: it is intensely satisfying. It's like watching an action flick and cheering when the good guys win.
I won't get more detailed than that, because it'd be spoilers, and redundant.
I absolutely think everyone should read this series, but it's very worth noting that they're very much written to be read together. Elite and Apex give only the smallest recap, and not only can you not really understand the book without the others, you'll probably be a bit lost if you haven't read them recently. But heck, they're worth it.
Apex doesn't tie everything up with a bow, but not in an unsatisfying way. I hope we see more like this from Lackey; I think these books which are a little "simpler" and shorter than her usual fair let her have some fun, and taking her out of her usual "comfort zone" of medieval (in feel at least) fantasy into dystopian fantasy were a breath a fresh air. I'd love to read more about Joy of course, because she's a really fun character surrounded by fun characters, and the world of Hunter is awesome--but I'll be keeping an eye out (as I have been for years!) for Lackey branching into any genre. Whenever she tries something new, it never fails to entertain, thrill, and delight!
And yeah, this is a totally biased gushing review of Apex from a long time fan. No shame.