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Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite
Veneration of the Hunter by Ren Behan is a coming of age prehistoric fiction novel that follows a young man who has been removed from his clan in order to complete the rite of passage. He is meant to hunt but struggles in accomplishing this despite multiple opportunities. He fumbles through the days and nights, thinking of "the Mother” (nature) and her ability to give as generously as she takes away. Soon, he becomes the hunted. Hunted by predators. Hunted by the elements. Hunted by death. As hunger and injury spiral into bouts of delirium, hallucinations, and nightmares, the success of the rite becomes less and less likely, and the young man's destiny—as well as his place in the clan, and the survival of the clan itself—is called into question.
Veneration of the Hunter by Ren Behan takes a moment to get into simply on account of it not being clear what the story is actually about. This is made clear after the first few pages as Ren Behan's writing is completely immersive in its descriptiveness to a literary level. With the exception of internal thoughts and pondering of the protagonist—who is named in a fantastic reveal at the book's climax—the format is entirely in the first-person narrative, which works under Behan's skilled hand. This story would be embraced wholeheartedly by readers who enjoy the work of William Golding, Jean M. Auel, and J.H. Rosny. This is a beautifully written novel and is easy to recommend.