Hunter

( 7 )

Overview

The fourth installment of the critically acclaimed Super Human series

The defeat of the near-invincible villain Krodin has left a void in the superhuman hierarchy, a void that two opposing factors are trying to fill. The powerful telepath Max Dalton believes that the human race must be controlled and shepherded to a safe future, while his rival Casey Duval believes that strength can only be achieved through conflict.

Caught in the middle is ...

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Hunter

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Overview

The fourth installment of the critically acclaimed Super Human series

The defeat of the near-invincible villain Krodin has left a void in the superhuman hierarchy, a void that two opposing factors are trying to fill. The powerful telepath Max Dalton believes that the human race must be controlled and shepherded to a safe future, while his rival Casey Duval believes that strength can only be achieved through conflict.

Caught in the middle is Lance McKendrick, a teenager with no special powers, only his wits and the tricks of a con artist. But Lance has a mission of his own: Krodin’s ally, the violent and unpredictable supervillain Slaughter, murdered Lance’s family, and he intends to make her pay.

For fans of Steelheart and The Avengers, Hunter is an action-packed superhero story that is hard to put down.

Praise for HUNTER

“No one writes superheroes as good as Michael Carroll. With Hunter, Michael takes his flawed, all-too-human superheroes to the next level. One of my favorite series.”—Michael Scott, author of The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series

“[HUNTER] is fast paced, exciting, and extremely difficult to put down . . . its unexpected, jaw-dropping ending guarantees anticipation for the next entry."—VOYA

"A flurry of odd jobs (including time in a carnival), a brief romantic fling, and an intriguing epilogue make this appealing to all sorts of readers, and as always, Carroll delivers a super story."—Booklist

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Editorial Reviews

Praise for Hunter

Praise for HUNTER

“No one writes superheroes as good as Michael Carroll. With Hunter, Michael takes his flawed, all-too-human superheroes to the next level. One of my favorite series.”—Michael Scott, author of The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series

“[Hunter] is fast paced, exciting, and extremely difficult to put down . . . its unexpected, jaw-dropping ending guarantees anticipation for the next entry."—VOYA

"A flurry of odd jobs (including time in a carnival), a brief romantic fling, and an intriguing epilogue make this appealing to all sorts of readers, and as always, Carroll delivers a super story."—Booklist
 

VOYA, June 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 2) - Lisa A. Hazlett
This fourth installment of the Super Human series opens with the astonishing defeat of the seemingly indestructible villain and leader, Krodin, through fourteen-year-old Lance’s brilliant plan. Unfortunately, Krodin’s ally, the vicious Slaughter, retaliated by killing his parents and brother. Now telepath Max Dalton, believing the human race must be controlled and guided to remain unharmed, and Casey Duvall, convinced that free-thinking and fighting provide necessary power to thrive, become rivals for Krodin’s position. Lance is not superhuman, but his intelligence and con-artist wiles make him formidable, with both Max and Casey seeking his allegiance. Although Lance seemingly sides with Max, he secretly abandons the superhuman community to begin a life-altering trek throughout the country pursuing his own goal: destroying Slaughter. The novel’s style primarily consists of dialogue rather than longer plot narratives, character development, or descriptions, but Lance, witty and captivating with his conversations and encounters, is consistently compelling while aging from fourteen to twenty-seven. Largely detailed are Lance’s years spent working anonymously for a carnival, carefully hiding from anything superhuman. Still, a few slips enable Max to locate him, and while Lance returns to his former world, his shrewdness and maturity now surpass both Max and Casey. This brings new dilemmas, especially regarding confronting Slaughter. This is fast paced, exciting, and extremely difficult to put down. Backstory is included and sufficient, but reading previous entries is recommended. While the book is apparently marketed to males, females will equally enjoy this series, and its unexpected, jaw-dropping ending guarantees anticipation for the next entry. Reviewer: Lisa A. Hazlett; Ages 11 to 15.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399163678
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 5/1/2014
  • Series: Super Human Series , #4
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 128,760
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Carroll (www.michaelowencarroll.com) is the author of numerous short stories, comic strips (including Judge Dredd), and over a dozen novels, including Super Human. Follow Michael Carroll on Twitter @quantumprophecy.

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Read an Excerpt

Prologue

It was a little after midnight when Lance McKendrick left his tiny bedroom in Max Dalton’s New Jersey base and padded barefoot through the corridors and out into the base’s large garage.

He stopped at the barred section and looked in at the man lying on a thin mattress on the floor.

“I’m awake,” the man said. “That’s what you’re wondering, isn’t it?” He turned his head to face Lance. “Crisis of conscience? Starting to wonder whether you’ve chosen the wrong allies?”

“Not really,” Lance said. “I just find it hard to sleep knowing that there’s a supervillain only a few feet away.”

Casey Duval rolled onto his side, then sat up, and Lance involuntarily took a step back.

“You think I’m a villain? Interesting. I suppose that depends on where you’re standing. On this side of the bars, I’m the victim of a kidnapping. Max and his crew broke into my base, overpowered me, and brought me here. I’ve never done anything to hurt them, so how does that make me the bad guy?”

“I know you better than you think,” Lance said.

“You’re a strange kid, McKendrick. Not like the others. You know that, right? You’re not superhuman.”

“I know. You already told me.” Lance shrugged. “Well, not you exactly. The other you.”

“The version of me you met in that alternate reality,” Duval said, nodding. “That must have been something. I envy you, Lance. To get to see and experience a world so similar to our own, but so vastly different at the same time.”

“It wasn’t so great,” Lance said. “I don’t get you at all, Casey. The other you was smart, manipulative and very dangerous. He could have ruled that world.”

“Different realities, different circumstances . . . What do you want, Lance? I know you don’t trust Max. Come to check out the competition? See if I’ve got anything better to offer? Because maybe you don’t get me, but I do get you. I understand you.”

“No you don’t.”

“Lancelot Aaron McKendrick. Fourteen years old. Recently orphaned. A habitual liar, a would-be con artist, smarter than you let on but still not as smart as you like to think you are, and seriously conflicted. All teenagers are conflicted, of course—that goes with the territory—but you’ve got it worse than most. You’re torn between your desire to keep everyone at a distance and your longing for friends. Can’t have it both ways, kid.”

Lance dragged a chair over and set it down in front of the bars. “Every adult forgets that they were a teenager too. They forget what it was like. So you’re trying to appeal to me by telling me that you understand. That’s how you work, isn’t it? Telling people what they want to hear. You get under their skin, have them twisted around so that they don’t know what to believe anymore.”

Casey smiled. “Isn’t that what you do?”

Lance rolled his eyes. “Yeah, yeah. You and I are a lot alike in so many ways, blah blah blah. That won’t work on me.”

“Because you’re too smart for me?”

“Because I can see the strings as you’re pulling them.”

“A little advice for you, Lance: Never assume you’re smarter than someone else. That kind of cocksure attitude is nothing more than arrogance borrowed from the future. Eventually you’re going to have to pay it back, usually with interest. And, yes, I do claim to be smarter than you, but that’s not an assumption. That’s knowledge. You understand the difference?”

“Sure.”

“Good. So let me tell you what I know about you. Couple of weeks back you stumbled across a keycard that gave you access . . . No, let’s be honest here. You stole a keycard that gave you access to one of The Helotry’s warehouses. You broke in, probably hoping to find something you could sell. Instead, you found a whole mess of trouble that resulted in you being saved by our armored friend Paragon. And that put you into the company of Roz, Thunder and Abby. And, later, Brawn. Together you scuppered The Helotry’s plan to snatch Krodin out of the distant past and establish him as the rightful ruler of the human race. It ended up with Krodin being whipped back through time. And everyone was saved. How am I doing?”

“Not bad so far,” Lance said, wondering whether the man was meandering toward a point, or just showing off. “It’s a neat way of letting me know that you’ve been investigating me.”

“And because of your part in this, The Helotry’s vicious little watchdog Slaughter murdered your mother, your father and your brother.”

“If you’re trying to make me feel guilty about that, don’t bother. I already do.”

“Because if you hadn’t been involved, they’d still be alive? No, don’t go thinking like that, Lance. Slaughter doesn’t operate on the same rules as the rest of us. She’s borderline insane. She was furious that you kids ruined her plans, so she lashed out. It’s just unfortunate that you were the only one whose real name she knew. To her, your parents and brother were the most logical target. I described her as a ‘watchdog,’ and that’s how you have to think of her, as a wild animal.”

Lance said, “Sometimes, for the good of everyone else, a wild animal has to be put down.”

Casey Duval paused for a moment as he looked at Lance. “Or tamed.”

“Sure, you can sometimes tame a wild animal, but you can never be certain that it won’t turn on you.”

“Interesting. . . . If you honestly believe that you can find and confront Slaughter and come out of it alive, then you’re riding on the crest of supreme idiocy. She is immeasurably stronger and faster than you are. Not one of the world’s self-appointed superheroes has ever been able to find her when she didn’t want to be found, and those who have found her have almost always come off the worst for it. Tell me, Lance, what makes you think you can do better than, say, Titan?”

“I have an advantage.”

“A desire for revenge is not an advantage. Quite the opposite, in fact.”

Lance smiled. “It’s more than that. I know her real name.”

“What? How could you . . . ?” Casey frowned at Lance in silence for a moment. “Ah, right. You met her counterpart in the alternate reality.”

“How much do you know about that?” Lance asked.

“Probably a lot more than Max realizes. Krodin was sent back in time, but not all the way. Only a few years, but enough for him to change the world, to create an alternate reality that had him as the absolute ruler of the United States.” Casey smiled. “But you and your friends ruined that for him too, didn’t you? You were dragged from this reality into his. And you—fourteen-year-old Lance McKendrick with no superhuman abilities and precious few other attributes aside from a relatively quick brain and a big mouth—thought of a way to completely destroy that alternate reality and get rid of Krodin forever.” Casey bowed his head for a moment. “That was impressive. Even more so when one considers the sacrifice you made.”

Lance watched him silently, thinking, Please don’t go there.

“See, it occurs to me that in the alternate reality Slaughter never killed your family. So when you were over there, they were still alive. Right? You got them back. But to carry out your plan to set the world right meant you would have to lose them again. You knew that, and you did it anyway.”

Lance stood up. “I think we’re done here.”

“That took courage, Lance. Not many people could have done that. Do you think that Max would have had the fortitude to make such a decision? No, of course not. He’s a self-serving egotist with delusions of grandeur.” Casey smiled. “So am I, I’ll admit, but I have the skills and the tenacity to turn my delusions into reality. Now, the way I see it, you’re approaching a crossroads. You can choose to stick with Max, or side with me. Max wants to save the world by hiding the truth and tricking everyone into thinking that his way is the only way. That’s where he and I differ most. So what’s it to be? The crossroads is coming up fast, Lance, and once you make your decision, that’s it. There’s no going back—not this time.”

Lance took a step closer to the bars. “What you’re describing isn’t a crossroads. It’s a T-junction. A crossroads has three possible paths.”

Casey shrugged. “Semantics. There are only two options here.”

“No. There’s a third, and if you can’t see it, then you’re not as smart as you think you are.”

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 18, 2014

    4.5 stars The characters are very 3D, even the secondary aren't

    4.5 stars

    The characters are very 3D, even the secondary aren't even flat. All the characters have a very distinct personality.  I like how the author moves the time line, speeding up Lances life so he doesn't stay fourteen, but ages and grows more mature.  As always the action sequences are superb, very clear and easy to read.  Fun read, couldn't put it down. 

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2014

    Hero-tastic

    It just keeps getting better. I've read all the other books and now its all starting to really fit together

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2014

    I want Collin and Danny !

    This is coming from a true hearted fan i loved this book and i enjoyed every minute of it. I enjoyed every minute of all your superhuman books. But in the next book you have to tie in Collin and Danny along with Razor together with thunder and lance and the important peopl with this series! I can promise you that im not the only one who wants this so not only am i talking for myself i am talking for all your other fans so please do not dissapoint us and i will be waiting ! But overall great job and you quite the superhuman yourself Michael Carroll!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2014

    Hunter

    Hunter

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  • Posted June 6, 2014

    Good, but not as good as the rest of the series.

    I have enjoyed all of the other SUPERHUMAN CLASH novels better than this one, but the ending left it open to converge with the Quantum Prophecy series. I am still looking forward to what comes next because I like this world.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2014

    Awezome Awesome

    I love this book. It is one of my top favorites. I would absolutly die if you incorperated Colin and Danny and such in your next book! Cant wait:)

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2014

    Amazing!

    This book ties all the oter books together! Between the Quantum Prophicy series and this one, everthing ties together. Hunter is on Lance's point of view, attemting to find Slaughter, while Max and Casey battle for power. Michael has done a supurb job writing this book, and I can't wait to see what he writes next.

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