Book Review : Rough Justice

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review : Rough JusticeRough Justice (Cainsville #5.5) by Kelley Armstrong, Xavière Daumarie
Published by Subterranean on June 30th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 192
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Source: NetGalley

Mallt-y-Nos. Matilda of the Hunt. The lone woman who rides with the Wild Hunt, tasked with finding killers who've escaped justice and letting the hounds reap their souls. For Olivia Taylor-Jones, Matilda isn't just a legendary figure from Welsh lore. She is Olivia's past, and her future, one she's finally embraced.

Having accepted her role as Matilda, Olivia must now lead her first Hunt. Seems simple enough. But when she questions their target's guilt, the Hunt is halted, her mission failed. Still, it's just a matter of getting Gabriel's help and investigating the man's past to reassure herself that he's guilty. He must be. Otherwise, he wouldn't be a target. But the deeper she digs, the more problems she finds, until she must question everything she knows about the Hunt and the choice she's made.


I did not realize when I received this ARC that Rough Justice was book #5.5 out of the series. Personally, I do not ever like to read books out of order ever, but I did my best to make sense of the established cast of characters and their relationships. Thankfully, there was plenty to keep me entertained, with an interesting main character and a supernatural entity dealing out justice to wrongdoers in a brutal and murderous hunt with actual hell-hounds, and I would like to read the rest of the series *in order* sometime.


I loved everything having to do with the Wild Hunt. I did not really grasp the full details of the organization to the Hunt or how people became members, but I loved the description of the cloaks and especially the flashbacks to past hunts. Somehow these throwbacks to older time periods, when the hunt was notorious and widely feared made them seem that much more mysterious and sinister. My favorite was when the when the self-righteous lady wrongfully seeking Hunt justice got spooked by one of the hounds of the Hunt as a lesson; it made for a very powerful image.


But unfortunately, I did not really understand all the references in the book, especially to the relationship stuff between Liv, Ricky, and Gabe. It was clear it was really fleshed out and there was a lot of history there. Despite not understanding everything that was going on between them, I was able to really get a feel for the characters from the beginning and just jump into the middle of their relationship.


Liv by far was my favorite character. I loved that she was a private investigator, something that reminded me a lot of Veronica Mars, and enjoyed when she disguised herself as a spoiled rich girl in a platinum blonde wig to get answers to her case. I also enjoyed the mystery that was developing with private investigator Liv and did not unravel it before the characters did, which was nice. Though the book did not delve into her past too extensively, it is clear she has a complicated past, and one that I would like to discover more about. She seems like a very capable person and I especially loved her no-nonsense attitude in reference to Gabe’s mother, who is clearly a toxic hanger-on, though apparently there is some heavy supernatural crap surrounding her circumstances that makes everyone doubt that. Sadly, this was another situation that was beyond my comprehension.


Though I loved Liv’s role as a private investigator and practical girlfriend, I was not as big of a fan as her role as the Matilda of the Hunt. I was annoyed by her dedication to and obsession with justice, mainly because it did not seem that rough at all. I thought it was a little silly that she needed to investigate the Hunt’s latest victim because she was not sure exactly how he was guilty—only that he was, because the Hunt comes equipped with supernatural guilt detectors. Why go to all of that trouble if you know without a doubt that someone is guilty? Seemed like a waste of time to me and a trope for being considered about being explicitly right or wrong or just is one of which I have really had enough, to be honest.


Furthermore, I was completely confused by all the different roles of Olivia within the hunt. From what I gleamed, she is part of two different factions of the Hunt that decide the roles of the group, but I do not really understand how that comes into play or what tensions are occurring as part of her decision to remain in both groups, rather than simply and traditionally choosing one.  Again, my confusion is probably just because I stupidly jumped into the middle of the series simply because it reminded me of The Witcher 3, and through no fault of the author. Plus, I was on an airplane and having trouble remembering and concentrating on all the fancy Irish words, complete with five thousand accent marks, used to describe the roles of the Hunt—totally my fault, and not the author’s.


I am sure if you are a consistent follower of this series this was a great addition to it, especially if you are waiting for the release of next full-length novel. However, as someone jumping in completely blind into the series, I really do not feel it was meant as a standalone novel. There was simply too much back story too fully comprehend something as large as a Wild Hunt or as complicated as Olivia’s love life. I did, however, really enjoy the heroine’s characterization and career, as well as the existence of the Wild Hunt and would recommend reading this series from the beginning to truly appreciate it.   I hope to read the rest sometime in the future.



Book Review - Rough Justice - Blogging with Dragons

Posted May 2, 2018 in Book Reviews, Fantasy

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