This is a barbed little sourcebook for Hunter : the Vigil designed as Hunter's answer to the Vampire supplement Damnation City, which instructs Storytellers how to flesh out an urban landscape so that it becomes like another character in your stories. Like Damnation City, Block by Bloody Block gives you sample neighborhoods suitable to drop into any real or fictitious city setting. It weighs in much lighter, though at about a tenth of Damnation City's 400+ page girth. There is a marked difference in tone, as monster hunters seize and hold territories in a much different fashion than vampires, and for vastly different reasons.
Each neighborhood is competently described, with sample locations and descriptions of the feel and tone of the setting and inhabitants. Also included is a "bad guy" who controls things either overtly or behind the scenes that can serve as an antagonist, foil or potential ally in your chronicle. A number of minor Non-Player Characters are included as well. The consequences, assets to be gained and consequences of holding the territory one of the books finest points. My favorite "neighborhood" is the subway system, controlled by a secretive motley of changelings. Astute Changeling : the Lost fans will recognize the group's leader, Nyx, from The Fearmaker's Promise. There are story ideas, political intrigues and plot hooks scattered all over the supplement, enough for quite a few fruitful game sessions.
Although Hunter is designed as a stand-alone line, needing only the World of Darkness core rulebook to play, fans of the other game lines will enjoy little Easter eggs sprinkled through the book. The changelings are clearly Winter Court; the mages of the contested financial district seek to gain control of five buildings they call "the Watchtowers" for some secret and possibly insidious purpose.
The only complaint I have is that there are too many other hunter groups already living in the various districts, if it was played as presented I imagine it would get a little crowded. However, it is clearly stated that the sections are modular and that you should take what you want and change what suits you. Block by Bloody Block works effectively on it's own or in conjunction with Damnation City to create an intricate and immersive urban fantasy chronicle.
[5 of 5 Stars!]