Author: Meagan Spooner
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: March 2017
Genre: Young Adult Fiction/Fantasy, Retelling
Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Synopsis can be found here.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This is a harder book review to write for me. I am not a huge fan of Beauty & The Beast stories, but I like them enough to be curious. There are so many nowadays, that when I’ve read one I really like, I’m more open to reading another one. And as I’m a fan of Meagan Spooner’s work, I was really excited to read Hunted. Perhaps I had too high expectations.
Hunted begins with Yeva and her sisters and father in a large house. After her father looses his fortune, they migrate to their original childhood home at the edge of an enchanted forest where beasts and other things roam. One day while her father is out hunting, his dog comes back alone and Yeva sets out to find him and bring him back. There, she encounters a Beast who captures her to force her into breaking the curse he has over his head. Though he can’t tell her exactly what it is, she must use her hunting skills to solve the mystery behind his curse, and believing him to be the thing that killer her father, eventually act out revenge and kill him.
I really liked the setting. Spooner does a wonderful job describing the cold snowy woods, the trapping of animals and clothing of furs, the cold stone home and bitter chill. I liked how all of her characters were so interesting, even Yeva’s two sisters were sweet and charming and lovely, lively with personality and love. I really liked that Yeva’s love interest in town was good hearted and kind and supportive, a hunter himself. I feel like it’s easy to villianize certain characters in these stories, but Spooner did a refreshing take on all of these characters. Even the Beast was more interesting, giving him small chapters of POV where we could sense his confusion, frustration as the animal in him took over and the man disappeared.
The problem I have with the book is the pacing. It was slow slow slow and honestly, not that much happened. I know where the story is going, and what she probably has to do to get there. I think the author tried really hard to make their attraction grow naturally, but instead it came out slow and boring. I was halfway through the book and thought – nothing is really happening and a few times, I lost interest and started skimming.
That said, I think a lot of people who love Beauty & The Beast stories will enjoy Hunted. It’s a new take on the classic and the world building is fun enough to be interesting.