Actions have consequences—a lesson Scarlett Bernard is learning the hard way. As a “null,” Scarlett has always been able to negate the powers of the supernatural beings that surround her. But now her reckless decision to permanently change Eli from a werewolf to a human has left the Los Angeles werewolf pack in shambles, and upset the balance of power among the city’s supernatural factions. To make matters worse, Scarlett’s employers discover that a newly changed werewolf is running amok in the city. To catch the rogue werewolf, Scarlett will need help from both Eli and Detective Jesse Cruz of the LAPD…a situation that will force her to finally choose between them.
However, Scarlett and her friends aren’t the only ones on the hunt—someone else is chasing the wolf. Someone with no reservations about collateral damage. Now Scarlett and her allies must stop both the rogue wolf and the deadly hunter before the full moon rises and all hell breaks loose.
Filled with the same suspense and wit readers loved in Dead Spots and Trail of Dead, this may be Scarlett Bernard’s most harrowing adventure yet…
Melissa Olson was born and raised in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, and studied film and literature at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. After graduation, and a brief stint bouncing around the Hollywood studio system, Melissa landed in Madison, WI, where she eventually acquired a master's degree from UW-Milwaukee, a husband, a mortgage, a teaching gig, two kids, and two comically oversized dogs, not at all in that order. She loves Madison, but still dreams of the food in LA. Literally. There are dreams. Learn more about Melissa, her work, and her dog at www.MelissaFOlson.com.
Hunter's Trail by Melissa F Olson and narrated by Amy McFadden is book three in the series. This book has lots of suspense, a crazy were, lots of creepy magic, and a big ugly dog/wolf/magic breed made for killing. I am glad I found this series! I have really enjoyed it! Weres, vampires, magic, witches, and Scarlet is a Null. That is someone rare that counteracts everyone's magic! Vampires are human around her, weres can't shift in wolves. I also have enjoyed the wonderful narrator! Great job!
This series never invested me fully – I think there is something loose about the paranormal worldbuilding, I didn’t like the head vamp honcho, and the main character’s stubbornness to see morals rubbed me the wrong way in the first book. That said, these aren’t bad books – they’re just not going to be favorites for me and I don’t have enough interest to continue the other series they spawned.
The ending half was better than the rest of the book, almost bumping it to four starts. We’ll go with 3.5 since I’m indecisive. Loved the “dog” and that ending, some of the characters…
Scarlett’s ability is she is a null, so basically whenever she’s around all the paranormals zap to normal. It’s unique and interesting, but there’s only so much that can be done with it to keep my interest. Her job as a cleaner is to remove the crime scenes and bodies before the human police find out – makes sense for the paranormal community, but for the humans who lost loved ones and have no idea what happened to them, not so much.
Scarlett is more likable now that she’s opening her eyes thanks to Jesse’s influence, and I was happy to see more of Will finally since he hasn’t gotten as much page time as the vampires. Jesse is just okay – to me a bit dull – but most of the characters sort of fade out. The storyline was interesting because there’s a big bad team that’s coming to annihilate the local weres. Blending the witches in was fun since they ended up my favorite of the series.
I was surprised at the twist ending on who she ended up with, too. I’m happy with the outcome. There was another surprise with the friend Molly though :/
The book did a good job of tying up loose ends, Scarlett becoming more comfortable with her own position and power, standing up for herself, and how the characters seemed to reach a new sort of understanding. The story was kept fresh with some new introductions but the author took care to keep the regulars the main focus.
This one was my the one I enjoyed the most out of the first three.
Okay, this one was definitely much better than the previous installment. There was much less angst (at least coming from Scarlett - there was plenty of angst from Jesse's side, but I never really like him, so who cares).
The first installment of this series dealt with the vampires, second one with the witches, so it makes sense that the last one focused on werewolves. Scarlett and others have wild werewolf that keeps killing women on their hands. And even though it was gruesome, I loved every second of the investigation part of the story.
There was a lot of things I liked about this book - Scarlett got amazing pet sidekick (I would have seriously cried if they killed Shadow!), she started thinking for herself and she made some decisions I liked.
One thing that really pissed me off in this book was Jesse. He was so annoying. One day he yells at Scarlett, because she is obviously a terrible human being and the next day he is acting like he wants to spend the rest of his life with her. Uhm, no, buddy, that's not how relationships work. Thank goodness for Eli. Although he didn't get nearly as much space in this book as I would have liked.
I liked the ending of Hunter's Trail, but I know there is spin-off series, so I'm really scared that the love triangle will come back into picture. I really hope it wouldn't, but Olson obviously likes it for some reason.
Cover: Fitting Rating: PG-13 Thumbs Up: 4 Overall: It was an entertaining read Characters: Well Written Plot: Wanting out of a bad situation only to make it worse Page Turner: Yes Series Cont.? Yes Recommend: Yes Book Boyfriend: Eli
SUMMARY (50 words or less) I can’t say I was blown away by this book, but I can say I was entertain and have no regrets reading. I admit I was annoyed about Jesse whom I like, but not as much as Eli. I predicted much but only some can true. Nice to be wrong.
For a full review and yummy pic, see my blog post at:
Audio Review Amy McFadden did a decent job with narration and accents. My only thing was she didn’t have enough differences in her voice for the wide cast, that when some characters were speaking, I wasn’t sure who was until the dialogue tag.
When someone starts leaving bodies on the front porch of the Alpha Werewolf in town, it's pretty clear that someone is sending a message. Scarlett and Jesse determine that someone created a new werewolf but abandoned him/her without a pack. This kind of werewolf, called a Nova Wolf, is extremely dangerous. They must track down the Nova wolf before he kills again, but there are other problems to distract them - the wolf pack is unstable because Scarlett cured Eli of his werewolf magic and some of the pack members want her to provide the cure to others; also someone called in some nasty witches from France to hunt down the Nova Wolf but they are killing other werewolves too.
Finally! I got to read about the Nova case. It is mentioned a bunch in Scarlett's next series and I was happy to finally get the full story. I also got the answers to the questions I've had about
Hunter’s Trail is the end of the trilogy of what Melissa F. Olson said might be the first arc of Scarlett Bernard series. There might be more Scarlett Bernard books in the future, but for now, the story arc started from the first book, Dead Spots.
As a small recap, Scarlett is a null who has ability to make all supernaturals lose their power when they are in her radius. Her job is a ‘cleaner’ who helps removing evidence of any supernatural-related crime. Meanwhile, Detective Jesse Cruz is a homicide detective who sometimes works together with Scarlett after being ‘roped’ into one of the supernatural crimes in book 1. There is a very big development in book 2, which ends up in creating a power vacuum in the Los Angeles werewolf pack. Some of the pack members are demanding Scarlet’s help. Someone is leaving dead female bodies on Will’s (the werewolf Alpha) doorstep. And oh, there is another hunter who also murders pack members.
Now I am going to try to separate my feelings into two elements of the story: the mystery/urban fantasy and the (slight) romance.
The mystery/urban fantasy …
This story definitely ties up loose ends, especially related to Scarlet’s power and the consequences of what she did in book #2. I thought the conflict was really good; I enjoyed reading about the pack dynamics, including the magic that kept the pack together. I also enjoyed the mystery and the new myth introduced regarding the villain that killed the female humans. In addition, Ms. Bernard also introduced a group of werewolf hunters and a new supernatural being — the latter was a character that I would truly loved to read more about in the future books.
Without spoiling too much, I must say that there were some downfalls … we had pack members killed, we also had sort of a ‘break-up’ in friendship between Scarlett and a female character (one that I truly felt sad about), but at the same time, we also had Scarlett finally living up to her power and making demands on the vampire and werewolf leaders. I thought that was really cool of her! You go, Scarlett!! The conclusion about the power vacuum was something that I didn’t really see coming, but at the same time, I couldn’t see any other way as well. So it was pretty satisfying.
The (slight) romance …
This series has two point-of-views: one from Scarlett (using 1st person), and the second from Jesse (using 3rd person). It was due to this format, as in the first book, I thought that Jesse would be a love interest for Scarlett, because clearly he was important enough to get his own chapters. However, to be perfectly honest, I never really felt that Jesse was right for Scarlett. Oh, he would be good as her partner, as a sounding board when they were both dealing with the crime, but Jesse was too … ‘morally’ rigid when it came to the Old World and its justice system. I was quite annoyed with his point of views and the way it felt like he wanted Scarlett to change.
Then there was Eli … a werewolf who also used to be Scarlett’s fuck-buddy. As a supernatural being, he clearly understands Scarlett better. UNFORTUNATELY, he doesn’t have enough scenes in this book to create a stronger bond with readers to support him (which was totally unfair for Eli).
Scarlett did make a decision though … and one I fully supported, because it was what felt right for the time being. I would probably be pissed if it went the other way, because it wouldn’t feel natural.
So overall, I thought Hunter’s Trail as a very good conclusion and definitely my favorite of the series. I would love to read more about Scarlett, of course, to get updates about her and her apprentice. But even if it doesn’t happen any time soon, I’m quite happy about where the arc ends at this point.
Good.. but that ending was kind of disappointing for me.
Have you ever had a ship that you shipped so freaking hard.. only to have this series end with them not together? I can't be okay with friendship. I can't accept Scarlett with someone else. I don't care that they "love" each other - love sucks. I'm mad. #TeamJessie.
Hunter's Trail is the final book of the Scarlett Bernard series. There was a bit of betrayal and some mystery in this book. It kind of kept me on my toes but I was a little bored with this book. Scarlett's hurt for most of it. Yet, she still has to do her job which kind of sucks. She still funny every now and then.. but I'm still salty AF that she didn't end up with Jessie. Eli's cool and all but ugh, I loved Jessie.
Other than that, I'm glad that I finally finished this series.. even if I finished the spin-off first (oops?) I enjoyed them both and I will definitely look forward to another book/series by this author.
Reread: DNF @40% because I am completely sick of Jesse Cruz. Worse still, I have found out that in the following three books she goes back to Jesse. Read my snarling disgust face in the one star.
The best story so far. I would like to see Scarlett become more ruthless but she is becoming more powerful and that will do for now.
I appreciate that at the end of the book she chooses between Jesse and Eli because, while casually dating two guys is no big deal, having two guys loving, whining, and judging you is not. This book had less guilt strewn dialogue to skip through which is a major plus.
I hope the author continues to develop the Scarlett character and not just end the series because the romance storyline sorted itself out. I mean, if JD Robb can write forty plus adventures featuring a monogamous couple why can't Melissa Olson dish out a few more?
I feel good about the ending. I think if the choice would have ended differently my inner feminist might have exploded. without giving anything away, one of the characters was a big brat and u are left wanting to choke your kindle. the banter is still good, witty, fun. this gal is not a carbon copy of misc paranormal tough chicks. she is original, even when u want her to snap out of it, the character stays on target. I liked it.
I have really enjoyed this series and considering that I did not read it back to back or even within the same year that says a lot. I read the first book several years ago and the second book at least a year after the first. Here I am completing it years later and it was just as good for me as the first read. I started this and was pulled right back into their world. The characters were just as well written and had my full attention as they went about their business. I was pulled in fully and completely.
Scarlett Bernard is a null, which means she negates magic when it comes within her radius. Scarlett works for the main supernaturals who run Los Angeles and keep it safe. Actions have consequences and Scarlet is learning that lesson the hard way. While she can negate the powers of supernatural beings she really does not understand what her power can do in the long term, until she makes the mistake of making Eli human, permanently. Her recklessness causes the pack to become shambolic and upsets the balance of power.
But to make things even worse a rogue wolf is running around killing in the city. Scarlett and Detective Jesse Cruz are assigned to hunt down the problem and eliminate it. This is going to involve bringing in everyone to help and it might not be enough.
This is a really good series that has serious elements as well as light-hearted ones. I would have been very happy to see this continue but sadly it is the end, but they go out with a bang.
A much more solid plot that the previous book. And lots of Shadow! I wonderef how Scarlett came to have the barghest. Teally enjoyed this one. Only slight reservation was once agajn how easy it was for the MC to substitute one love for another. It's not that I don't think you can love more yhan one person at the same time but it'spushing against a previous body of accepted social conduct and it wasn't well explored. To be fair if it had been, this would not be an urban fantasy novel so perhaos my point it moot. Olson's writing is assured and competant by the end of this trilogy and the world is interesting. Very much enjoyed.
This is book 3 in the “Scarlett Bernard” series, and unfortunately I didn’t think it was as great as book 2, “Trail of Dead.” First off I have to say that I love Scarlett. No matter what she goes thru or what’s thrown her way, she always stays strong staying true to herself.
The story picks up one week after Scarlett’s confrontation with her former mentor, Olivia, which left her with a twisted knee and torn ligament. I felt really bad for Scarlett. She’s in so much physical pain and needs to be resting, but it was like no one cared or that they forgot she’s a null, a person who doesn’t heal quickly like that of a werewolf or vampire. There were times I was expecting Scarlett to break down, because if anyone has the right to have a meltdown it’s Scarlett.
The two main head honchos are Will (werewolf) and Dash (vampire) and they’ve made their appearances sporadically throughout the series. I find it surprising that the author doesn’t utilize them more as they’re both crucial to the story. They have such a hold on Scarlett. When summoned, she drops whatever she’s doing and goes to them. Hell, whenever she’s in Dash’s presence she’s shaking in her boots. She basically works for them. I say giving them a bigger role would most definitely add more appeal and drama to the series.
I found “Hunter’s Trail” to move at a slow pace. I thought it was bogged down with a lot of mumbo jumbo about werewolves, vampires, and witches, etc. C’est la vie.
So far I have no plans to stop reading the series. I just hope the next one is a better read.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
How does one deal with only bad choices to choose from? That seems a big theme in this series. Scarlett is pretty banged up after everything that happened in the last book. On top of that her use of her null ability to cure magic has made her life even more difficult. Also there is a lunatic wolf on the rampage. Her and Jesse are still fighting about how she lives her life and Eli is having to be hidden away. There was a lot of tough parts and I had a hard time finishing this story. It's a good ending but I just don't know.
I am intrigued by the "null" aspect of these books. I enjoy them, but the style changed from the first book to now. I am not happy about Molly, and never felt that she played a big enough part in the books. I am glad Scarlett has Shadow, and that will be a nice layer added to the story. Her on again/off again deal with Eli has me a little bit impatient. I think that Jesse is annoyingly insistent about his moral obligation. Really, dude? You would have this much problem covering up the Old World? All this being said, I will keep reading about Scarlett as long as possible.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Hunter's Trail by Olson is the final installment in the Scarlett Bernard series. Scarlett is trying to recover from a seizure that out her in a coma after changing Eli from werewolf back to human. Despite her knee injury and vertigo, she is still in call when a female body is left on the doorstep of the local alpha. After the appearance of the second body, Scarlett again teams up with Detective Jessie Cruz to hunt the werewolf responsible. The investigation gets even more complicated when a werewolf hunter turns up and kills two pack members.
A satisfying ending to an interesting series. 4 stars
I loved it! Great urban fantasy world. Poor Scarlett kept getting knocked down time after time. Everything has changed in her life but there were a few positives at the end of the book that I hope to see make things better for her in the next book.
Satisfying end to this bit of the series, although I can tell I'm getting old when even 24 year old protagonists have me eye-rolling at their "grown up" life choices :I On the other hand, I'm definitely adding the barghest to my list of fictional dogs I'd like to own (already not a short list).
This is a fun series, anyway, and am happy to at last find an urban fantasy that has a female protagonist who isn't ridiculously oversexed and overpowered. It isn't quite as good as the Dresden Files but it's nae bad either.
Ha enfin, après deux tomes en demi teinte j'ai enfin apprécié celui ci. Bon ce n'est toujours pas un coup de cœur mais une lecture agréable, j'ai passé un bon moment. Du coup je suis bien plus motivée maintenant à lire a suite.
La troisième et donc finale enquête de Scarlett dans cette série commence donc directement après les événements du tome précédent. Ce qui c'est passé a totalement déstabilisé la balance des pouvoirs dans la meute de la ville. Will n'arrive plus à maintenir la meute et elle semble partir dans tous les sens, plus personne ne faisant confiance et des groupes se formant à l'intérieur. C'est dans cette atmosphère de suspicion et de colère que Scarlett est appelée car un corps de femme a été déposé devant la porte de Will. Avec l'aide de Jesse elle va donc devoir trouver le coupable en espérant qu'il ne fasse pas parti de la meute car cela signifierait une guerre que personne ne souhaite voir arriver ...
On a vraiment une évolution du personnage de Scarlett ici. Dans les tomes précédents elle n'était jamais sure d'elle, toujours à se cacher et à tout faire pour ne pas se faire remarquer. Mais cette époque est enfin terminé et maintenant qu'elle sait ce dont elle est capable elle est bien plus au devant de la scène. Je pense que c'est ce changement la qui m'a permis de vraiment apprécier ce tome. Les deux précédents n'étaient pas vraiment dans mes tops mais je persévérais parce que j'avais déjà lu un tome après que j'avais adoré. Jesse aussi évolue un peu, heureusement, parce que j'avoue qu'il m'énervait un peu dans les tomes précédent à toujours se la jouer monsieur parfait, la il montre enfin ses failles, il montre qu'il peut comprendre et sortir un peu de sa vision ultra limitée. Du coup j'ai mieux apprécié son personnage et ça a pu aussi jouer dans mon avis global.
L'enquête en elle même n'est pas vraiment au centre de l'histoire, et elle est plus sur la façon dont ils vont résoudre le problème que vraiment de découvrir qui est coupable. Mais ça ne l’empêche pas d'être très sympa et bien menée au niveau du rythme. J'ai beaucoup aimé le coté déstabilisation dans la meute. Pour une fois tout ne semble pas aller toujours dans le bon sens, et le résultat est très humain, on le comprends. C'est bien la première fois que je vois une meute dans un livre d'urban fantasy réagir de cette façon et j'avoue que j'ai beaucoup apprécié.
Au final un tome que j'ai bien préféré et qui clôture cette série de façon très satisfaisante, les personnages ont bien évolué et l'intrigue tiens la route, une réussite !
"Hunter's Trail", is the final book (for now) in the Scarlett Bernard series that started with "Dead Spots" and went on to "Trail of Dead" .
"Hunter's Trail" is written with the confidence of an author who knows the world she's created and has developed the characters who live in it. The plot deals with the consequences of Scarlett's actions after the killings in The Hair Of The Dog in "Trail of Dead."
I liked to the fact that what seemed such a good and kind thing to do in "Trail of Dead" has some very bad, impossible to foresee, consequences in "Hunter's Trail" a few weeks later.
I also like that Scarlett spent the entire book walking with a stick because of the injuries she received in "Trail of Dead". It made the whole thing more convincing and provided a good reason for her having to have help whether she liked it or not.
In "Hunter's Trail" I felt I was finally starting to get a clear picture of how the cultures of the Vampires, Wolves and Witches are. For me the Wolves, haunted as they are, come out of it best. I admire their constant struggle for control and their willingness to help each other. The Vampires are much more alien and frightening than the "Twilight" versions: amoral, immortal, apex predators who ALWAYS put their own needs first and the Witches who have they have the same failings as the rest of us but have far more power to make mistakes with.
The insight into the supernatural communities comes partly from the nature of the new threats in "Hunter's Trail" - a Nova werewolf killing innocents and a European witch sect exterminating werewolves both highlight what the LA "Old World" communities have struggled not to be.
Scarlett started to take control of her life in "Trail of Dead" in "Hunter's Trail" she finally realizes her own worth makes herself a player in the "Old World". This, together with her FINALLY choosing between the two males in her life (and she chose the right one - I was surprised to find I cared about that) , rounded off the "trilogy" nicely, while leaving the door open for Scarlett to return.
Melissa Olsen has started a new series, set in the same world but with a different main character - get ready to smile - Lex Luther - no not a bald guy from Smallville but a former US Army Sergeant named Allison "Lex" Luther. It comes out on audible on May 1st and is currently on sale for $5.24 here - and no, I don't get paid for saying that.
HUNTER'S TRAIL is by far the best book in the Scarlett Bernard series. By far. I had trouble sleeping after I finished because I couldn't stop thinking about it. It was just that good.
In this final book of the series, the Los Angeles werewolf pack is in disarray after Eli disappears due to the events that transpired at the end of TRAIL OF DEAD. I will avoid going into specifics due to spoilers. To make it worse, someone is killing women and dumping them at Will's house. Once again, Jesse and Scarlett team up to catch the bad guy.
Scarlett does some serious soul searching and experiences a tremendous amount of personal growth during the course of this novel. I was cheering her on all the way! In the previous novels, Scarlett always seemed to feel guilty or ashamed of who she was. This time around, Scarlett finds the strength to say no to the negative people in her life.
I was really nervous about the romance portion of the series. I picked sides and was unsure if Scarlett would end up with the "right" guy. Ms. Olson kept me on the edge of my seat! She kept her cards close to her chest right up to the very end. Kudos to her. (Scarlett ended up with the right guy, BTW.)
HUNTER'S TRAIL is a very strong ending to a great urban fantasy series. I'm looking forward to starting the Boundary Magic series next, which is Ms. Olson's newest series. It's set in the same world as the Scarlett Bernard books. (Yay!)
Yay, I am finished with this series. I originally read Boundary Magic series first, without knowing that the two series were connected. So, I read the Scarlett Bernard ones in order to familiarize myself with it as I was greatly confused by the things that happened in Malediction and Boundary Lines.
I thought the story was fine, but I wanted to roll my eyes whenever Jesse would get mad at Scarlett for her job and would "take a walk." I really don't understand Jesse's love for Scarlett since she's basically anathema for everything that he represents and his own morals. Scarlett also finally made a choice between Eli and Jesse, which I don't really get either.
It had great world building and good pacing. I didn't want to put it down. Scarlett finally decided to stand up for herself, which needed to happen. The mystery was entertaining. The only downside was the HEA. The romance is subplot and not a focal point so it's not a big deal. Still it's irritating.