“This wasn’t a job you picked, it’s a job that picks you.”
Lost a star in the last fifty pages. Great setup. Great storytelling. Good world building, wonderful voice and emerging character for the narrator, then shifted focus to an artificial “test” and a fake ending, obviously expecting readers to rush to buy the next volume. Note to writers: you have to deliver the goods–at least some goods–in the first book or no one will buy the rest.
“Guilt and self-loathing tend to make you cranky.”
The premise: what if all the evil spirits of all world traditions were real. And what if some natural catastrophe broke the barrier to the Otherside, so they come harass us here? But, what if hope (in the form of combative magical powers and Hounds) came out, too?
“Had to fight the feeling like any second someone was going to spot me for a phony.”
Of course, she’s precocious. (Consider Harry Potter, Katniss Everdeen, et al.)
“People who aren’t human … who caused the Diseray in the first place.”
With Christians the only politically correct people to discriminate against, of course our teen narrator has all the appropriate prejudices. “There was a nuke set off by the Christers.” “… a home for every kind of religious folks but not Christers.” (though no mention of Moslems or Jews) “… set off some sort of nuke in what used to be Israel.” But then she meets a fellow Hunter who is a Christian.
“That was a Christian–I mean, compassionate thing you did.” “And likely it will be cut from the vids.”
The improbable mix of mythologies is dealt with directly. “I just roll with it.” Mix of Buddhisms which seems plausible.
“Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a lightning bolt.” Sun Tzu