Manhunt by Gretchen Felker-Martin

Review by Brennan LaFaro

It’s always a little dicey to take a book you read in January and make the bold claim that it’ll be up near the top of the list when the credits roll on 2022. That said, I feel alright about making that claim about Manhunt.

Felker-Martin’s post-apocalyptic novel is the first horror release from a major publisher written by a trans woman, and is it ever a memorable one. While the splattery nature will inevitably draw a lot of intrigued readers to the doorstep, it’s the characterization that makes Manhunt such an unforgettable addition to the genre, inviting you to make yourself at home. The characters we follow are flawed. Their relationships, friendships or otherwise, are not always the picture of perfection, but this is what makes them authentic and unforgettable. Though, make no mistake, messy as our main characters might be, they spend a fair bit of time staring down the gullet of true evil.

It’s borderline sneaky, too. While the world crumbles, arrows and bullets fly, blood spills, and testicles, well… find new homes. All the while the reader grows more and more attached to the women and men on the page. Fran, Beth, Robbie, and Indi will live in my heart for a long time to come. Felker-Martin’s masterful setup makes for a final one hundred pages that are tension-filled, and at times, devastating.

Manhunt drags the reader through the mud, and doesn’t let you leave until you’ve experienced every emotion on the table. The first legitimate contender for book of the year, this tome is a truly special piece of work. Mark down this author’s name because she’s not going anywhere.

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