Deborah | 2/11/2014
" Really enjoyed this story. It was a satisfying ending where the good guys overcome the bad guys. I like that the teenagers are able to accomplish great things in Flanagan's stories, because I think all teens have huge potential to accomplish great things and sometimes just don't have or take the opportunity. Easy, fun read...loved it! "
Shaeley Santiago | 2/7/2014
" Hal and the crew of the Heron finally catch up with Zavac and the Raven. "
Natalya | 2/1/2014
" John Flanagan has done it again! This is another excellent read full of adventure,humor,and daring. I loved the characters and plot. This was a great way to finish the first story arc of the series. "
Susan | 1/28/2014
" This book ties all up all the threads of the previous two books, leaving a few threads to follow in continuing books. I really enjoyed this book and look forward to new stories. "
Maree | 1/27/2014
" This was a good adventure, although I think that sometimes the author gets overly technical with details and it slows the story down. "
Darin | 1/26/2014
" Great book. Nice ending to the trilogy. "
Daniel Shellenbarger | 1/22/2014
" The Hunters (third in Flanagan's Brotherband Chronicles, essentially a spinoff of his previous Ranger's Apprentice books following a clever half-Araluen (aka English) boy named Hal as he tries to make a place for himself in the rough Skandian (aka Norse) society of Flanagan's Medieval Europe-esque world) picks up directly after The Invaders. Hal and the Herons (incidentally, that would be a great band name) have saved the town of Limmat and are now ready to continue their pursuit of their pirate nemesis Zavac to recover the sacred Andomal (a big amber sphere), which leads them inland down a river through greedy and hostile port towns to the pirate lair of Raguza. As with the previous two books, Flanagan seems to have hit his stride stylistically, and I easily tore through the Hunters at 100 pages per hour. The story was amusing and its focus on river trade and piracy was a good shift for the series as it forced the Herons into a novel scenario (and one you don't see all that often in fiction).
On the other hand, although I thought it was a great read, I can't say I enjoyed the Hunters as much as the Invaders or the Outcasts. The main reason is simple: Hal. Whereas in the first two books, Hal was the major active factor pushing the band forward with his indomitable will and introducing new ideas on the fly to help them succeed, in the Hunters he is almost passive, his ingenuity is hardly called upon (the only "new" thing the Herons try out are Edvin's woolen hats), and in the action scenes the majority of the fighting falls to Thorn, Stig (who, otherwise, has almost nothing to do in this book), and Lydia.
Speaking of Lydia (easily the most dynamic character in book 3, with Thorn coming second), her character shifts significantly from book 2 to book 3. In book 2 she was a tentative romantic interest for both Stig and Hal and was equal parts damsel in distress and amazon warrior. In book 3, the romantic tension vanishes into thin air (indeed, Hal seems strangely and utterly disinterested for most of the book) and Flanagan makes a concerted effort to make her "one of the guys" with her laser-like focus on killing Zavac for his murder of her grandfather. I wouldn't mind the shift so much if it didn't feel like Flanagan had decided to put off the romantic tension so he could bring it out in a later book.
While I do look forward to Hal's hunt for the Great Sea Snake (unlikely, since Flanagan seems to have made a conscious decision to ditch all the fantasy elements from his universe) or the Heron's discovery of Flanagan's version of North America (frankly, Hal doing the whole Leif Ericsson thing sounds like a great idea for a second trilogy, but that's just me spit-balling), I had this feeling reading book 3 that whereas in books 1 and 2 Flanagan knew how and where he wanted things to go, in book 3 he decided to cut his anchor chain and drifted on a couple subplots to preserve some material for later books that he hadn't initially planned. It's Flanagan's story, he can do what he likes, but I really liked the pacing and character development of the first two books and the more open-ended feel of book 3 made several of the characters come off rather flat.
Finally, although I won't state specifics, the story seems front-loaded dramatically. You'd think that the clash with Zavac at the end would be the emotional height of the story, but the final battle plays out (mostly) like a foregone conclusion and the greatest tension in the story comes much earlier while the Herons are trying to make their way through corrupt port towns and dangerous rapids.
All that said, in spite of putting several characters into emotional cryo-stasis, the Hunters does an effective (and more importantly, entertaining) job of bringing the first Brotherband trilogy to a close and I, for one, will be happy to check out Flanagan's next offering ASAP. "
Alexander | 1/21/2014
" This latest book in the series continues the story with unexpected events, great jokes, and an epic plot. My favorite of the series. "
Heather | 1/16/2014
" Goodness, I finished this a long time ago and forgot to write a review. I love this series a lot. Well, I've liked everything I've written by John Flanagan. The characters are fantastic and have good morals. It subtly teaches about leadership, friendship, teamwork and all sorts of other things. It's a series I encourage my boys to read and so far they've enjoyed it. "
Angela | 1/10/2014
" I don't know if it was the fast pace, the satisfaction of a goal being reached, or the awesome saga at the end, but I just really enjoyed this book and read it a lot quicker than the last one. 4 1/2 stars! "
Diego Garcia | 1/10/2014
" My favorite character is Thorn, for how brave he is. An example of this is that he went on a sinking ship to help Hal out, and nearly sank with it trying to keep Zavac from escaping and surviving! "
Dansoa | 12/31/2013
" I wish there were more books in the series :( "
Emily S. | 12/24/2013
" A good and satisfying ending to a solid series. "
Ellie (a.k.a. QE3) | 12/19/2013
" AAH!!!!!!! So great!!! I hope there's another series. "
Stephanie | 12/12/2013
" A good ending to the trilogy. A series of smaller adventures culminating in a big sea battle. The plot faded/was slow in between but it was still good. "
Derrick Bjorklund | 11/3/2013
" A wonderful conclusion to a sadly short series. hopefully John will write another series set in this fictional world he created. the story is about how the heron group finally finds and battles the raven and obtains the item they were seaching for. "
Katie | 9/26/2013
" I am totally in love with this series! I enjoy John Flanagan's writing very much, for me to like a book involving sailing is saying a lot about the writing. He makes it very exciting and just fun to read. I can't wait for the next book "
Roderick | 7/17/2013
" With the long explanations during the build up, the resolution was too quick. "
Elias | 2/11/2013
" I have to agree with my buddy James.Iit's even better than rangers apprentice it makes me so emotional when I am reading. I hate turgsurd. "
TheOneAndOnlySam | 11/28/2012
" i loved the end. jam packed of humour. the rest of the book was a bit meh. but it was good over all. :P 4 stars "
Chesky_division | 10/30/2012
" I am never happier then when I am reading one of John Flanagan's books... I so look forward to more. "
Tyler | 7/17/2012
" A GREAT BOOK FOR ANY JOHN FLANAGAN FANS. MUST BE ONE OF HIS BEST YET. THE STORYLINE IS GREAT AND PICKS UP RIGHT WERE BOOK 2 ENDS. "
Shauna | 7/15/2012
" Such a good book! A great ending to this saga. I really like the fact that none of the young people were responsible for Zavocs death. "
Sarena | 6/28/2012
" While I enjoyed Flanagan's writing and sense of humor, as usual, the book was oddly paced--some parts seemed to drag on, while others happened far too quickly. All in all, though, The Hunters was a decent read. "
Hoover Public Library Kids and Teens | 6/19/2012
" Concludes the first story arc in the series. And it is every good thing that you would expect from John Flanagan. We love that Aussie. "
Jeffrey | 6/13/2012
" I do really like these books. This was a very enjoyable conclusion to the trilogy, and look forward to the next ones. "
Anne | 9/20/2011
" Book 3 in the Brotherband Chronicles does not disappoint as Hal and his crew continue to chase down pirate Zavac in order to retrieve the Andomal. Great characters, fun to read. This and Ranger's Apprentice continue to be some of my all-time favorite series. "
Tammy | 4/11/2011
" Okay, I really enjoyed listening to this book. There were some issues with likability with the h early on, however, the ending really redeemed her. There was a ton of sex (and I love sex in a book,) yet I felt it was a tad overdone and repetitious. Overall though, a good, exciting read!