Jason, Daniel, and Richard Liu in Chinatown

Reviews of
Days of Destiny:

A Hunter & Holmes Mystery

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The Hunter & Holmes series progresses in maturity level, allowing the reader to grow along with Jason and Daniel.

Following the Hunter & Holmes beat, Days of Destiny tracks teen hobby detectives Jason and Daniel as they ring in the Chinese New Year alongside an unexpected new case. While attending a celebratory parade in Chinatown, the duo discovers young Chinese immigrant, Jian-heng, bound and caged by dangerous human traffickers.  Through Jian-heng’s rescue mission, the detective team “opened Pandora’s box,” and must scan strenuous details to solve the most intricate case yet, all while juggling girlfriends, sports, and music.  Jason and Daniel simultaneously apply their detective skills to the high school level by addressing the all-too-common teen situations of cyber bullying, threats, and attempted suicide.

The Hunter & Holmes series progresses in maturity level, allowing the reader to grow along with Jason and Daniel, book by book, both socially and professionally.  With Days of Destiny being the sixth installment, the cases have now advanced to provide insight into the more complicated and international issue of immigration and human trafficking.  Their detective work also moves upward into a detail-oriented surveillance technique that lends insight into real police work and generates a reality around the situation at hand. This educates the reader on modern day issues while persistently sparking an interest in the policing and justice system.

Despite the national gravity of the human trafficking scandal, the book equally represents social and teen life.  Starting with a Valentine’s Day highlight and continuing throughout, teen relationships are emphasized and developed (the good and the bad.)  The pressures of high school are liberally related to through Jason’s championship basketball games, especially when star player, Chauncey Jackson, struggles with anonymous threats. From the case of Jian-heng, to the high school problems in various friend groups, Jason and Daniel never let a predator’s threats stop them.  They never give up on a lead and learn to zealously “sweat the details.” 

Varying family, friendship, and relationship situations are presented, again with more intensity than early H&H books.  Serious implications of teen angst, jealousy, and bullying will challenge readers to evaluate their own decisions and attitude. Since many of the cases are at the high school level, readers can easily become the loyal heroes that Jason and Daniel exemplify, simply by working within their own school or friend group. Overall, the book contributes to the H&H theme that teens can overcome anything and anyone to live a valuable and happy life.

— Taylor Bathel

The lives of Jason Hunter and Daniel Holmes continue to be action packed and occupied by love.

Just when the Hunter & Holmes calendar is looking wide open, their days begin to fill up quickly with both personal and detective business. Chronicled in Days of Destiny, the sixth novel of the series, the lives of Jason Hunter and Daniel Holmes continue to be action packed and occupied by love, as well as the drive to rescue those plagued by horror and abuse. Facing a wide range of criminals and offenses, the Hunter & Holmes team must balance the constant influx of troubling new cases with their own busy schedules. Can they really save everyone in time?

For a unique guys night out, Jason and Daniel meet with their friend Richard Liu to celebrate the Chinese New Year in Chinatown. But as they approach the festivities, they stumble upon Jian-heng Chen, a young Chinese boy they find stashed in a utility closet. Having secretly followed his sisters from Hong Kong to America, Jian-heng fears that they have been forced into slavery. All three boys are determined to find them, but if they don’t act fast, the girls could already be long gone.

Love gives the boys a small detour from detective work as Valentine’s Day approaches. Both couples continue to pledge their love for one another and reach a deeper understanding in their relationships. But when Presidents’ Week rolls around, Jason and Daniel are back on the lookout for the human traffickers. Just when they’ve got the evildoers right where they want them, the plan takes an interesting turn and another victim is rescued instead! Although they are able to save this boy from a terrible fate, the criminals escape and the Hunter & Holmes team reaches another dead end. Or are they making more progress than they think?

The story then shifts to issues that many high school kids are likely to face. The Merriam High School basketball team is up for the championship game, and it seems that nothing can stop them from taking it all. But when two shady men approach Chauncey and request that he purposefully lose the game—or his mother and girlfriend will suffer—he must choose between his personal life and the fate of his team. Attention is also brought to the widespread problem of sexting and the importance of internet safety with the plight of Victoria Romano. Both Chauncey and Victoria are unsure of what to do, and with several lives at stake, it’s once again up to Jason and Daniel to analyze and remedy both situations before it’s too late.

With April on their heals, the facts begin to shower down onto the detective duo in the human trafficker case. Using clues inadvertently given to them by Jian-heng and a television report of another missing boy, they are finally able to surmise the location of the human traffickers. But will the men slip through their fingers a second time? With more action and higher stakes than ever before, Jason and Daniel learn the importance of a well-laid plan, and what it really means to sacrifice, compromise, and follow their hearts.

— Claire Fyvolent 

Days of Destiny is one of the most radiantly positive installments in the Hunter & Holmes Mystery Series.

Uplifting from beginning to end, Days of Destiny is one of the most radiantly positive installments in the Hunter & Holmes Mystery Series. The book opens with the boys Jason and Daniel traveling with their friend (and former client) Richard Liu to San Francisco, to enjoy the colorful festivities of the Chinese New Year. Walking down an alley in hopes of cutting through the masses quickly, the boys stumble upon an 8 year old Chinese boy who has been taken captive by human traffickers. After being unbound, the boy introduces himself as Jian-heng, and describes his incredible and disastrous journey from mainland China to the United States. After losing both of his parents in an industrial accident, Jian-heng stowed away on a ship that was smuggling both of his older sisters to the United States. Jian-heng proceeded to watch his sisters be kidnapped upon arrival in California, and once he was discovered, he met a similar fate. Jason and Daniel immediately jump into the fray, and vow to take down the human traffickers operation, and reunite the family that had been tragically torn apart on both sides of the world.

This sixth novel in the series is presented in a very strict chronological order, even going as far as providing calendar months at the beginning of each collection of related chapters. This organizational pattern makes the story extremely easy to follow, and should give readers easy milestones to reach while completing the novel. The mystery team can attribute most of their successes to their attention to detail, and this is evident throughout this chapter in the series.

Days of Destiny draws a huge amount of attention to the romantic relationships of all of the major characters in the series. Detailing the compromise and growth between each pair of teenage lovers, the author packs in tons of good advice for young adults who may feel they are ready to take romantic interests more seriously then they may previously. Completely opening up their minds and hearts, each couple decides that they must focus on the present, and cherish the opportunity to enjoy the special connections they all have with their significant others. Their parents all seem to chime in with their experience, and explain to the kids that getting caught up in what could happen down the line will not only cause them unnecessary stress, but could complicate he delicately balanced happy relationships they cherish every day. The couples show maturity past their years, and the bonds they have created will warm the hearts of readers of all ages.

Dedicated readers will be delighted to witness the successes of the protagonists in two consistently highlighted areas of life: music and sports. The novel includes an exciting and drama filled playoff run by Jason and the Merriam High varsity basketball team, as well as exciting progress by Daniel and his band of aspiring professional musicians. The boys have shown that through consistent hard work and dedication, anyone can improve upon their skills and reach heights that they may have never imagined before. It seems that the teenage detectives have nowhere to go but up in their respective activities, and their drive and perseverance will see them to victory every time. Such work ethic will surely help them succeed when it comes to mysteries.

— Louis Pratt

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