I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review
The Headhunter's Race is a nonstop, action-packed ride that will keep you turning pages as fast as you can all the way to the end. Though, I'm not sure I'd call it an end so much as the opportunity to begin a new story. The novel is a dystopian adventure with a sprinkling of romance. In many ways it reminded me of The Hunger Games.
Main character Avene hasn't had an easy life. Her step-father, the governor of her town, is cruel and nasty. When her mother is murdered, Avene is blamed and thrown into prison for the crime. Life in the prison is beyond harsh. From the descriptions, it seemed as if 2/3 of the town was there, wallowing in filth and starving. The Headhunters Race is the chance for freedom. Travel dangerous terrain filled with bears, coyotes, and cannibals. Yes, you heard right, cannibals. Though it seems impossible to win, at least it provides some hope.
I was intrigued by romantic interest McCoy. He was odd, to say the least. It was difficult to determine whether he was genuinely a decent person or if it was all an act. We see him through Avene's eyes, and she stopped trusting anyone years ago. I really wanted to know more about McCoy. It seems like we barely scratch the surface of his personality and life story. In many ways I found him to be the most interesting character in the novel. His actions were so out of character for the average prisoner. Avene was constantly confused by him as well.
The imagery and descriptions are quite vivid, some not the least bit pleasant, in this raw, gritty story. The whole plot line regarding the cannibals is morbid. If you're a fan of dystopian, consider adding The Headhunters Race to your TBR list. I don't know if Ms. Afe has another book planned, but I would really like to know what happens to Avene and McCoy next.