• Mandy McHugh

Review: Jeremy Hepler's Cricket Hunters

Cricket Hunters has been high on my list since I saw wonderful reviews circulating on Twitter. From the blurb to the cover (which reminded me of an old-school Fear Street book, but for adults) I had a good feeling about this one.

And it did not disappoint. The first few pages gripped me and never let go. I finished this in three short sittings and could easily see myself re-reading this again.

One of the things I liked most was the dual timeline framing. Hepler's use of flashbacks to a significant childhood event that directly relate to Cel's conflict in the current plot is wonderfully executed, bringing depth and insight into character motivations. I was fascinated by the Cricket Hunters and their coming-of-age summer adventures--and the question of "is she or is she not a witch" was both refreshing and insightful. I could read about Cel's abuelita all day.

I also loved seeing an older sister/younger brother connection, an oftentimes unexplored relationship, that seemed so terribly real. I can't count the number of times I scolded my own little brothers to stay out of my friend group--and Abby and Jeff's interactions were wrought with bitter-sweet nostalgia with which I really connected.

I could've used a little more present-day with Parker because he felt more flat than the others, but the beautifully-developed tension building in each chapter was enough to keep me turning page after page.

Haunting and fun, complex and engrossing. At its core, Cricket Hunters is storytelling done well.