Hunted Book Review

Hunted by Meagan Spooner

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Publisher: HarperTeen

Stars: ★★★★☆ (actually 4.5/5)

Synopsis: When Yeva’s father loses his fortune and their family is forced to move to his hunting cabin, Yeva hopes she will be able to return to her hunting roots. Instead, her father goes missing in the Beast’s forest, one she has known since childhood, and Yeva decides to search for him. Along the way begins the search for revenge, and what she truly wants.

Happy 2018 everyone! I’m trying to start the year off strong by getting my book reviews done as soon as possible and really dedicating myself to the blog. I had a crappy blog year in 2017 so I’m really going to work at this year. I can also say I started off 2018 with a fantastic book I thoroughly enjoyed. Hunted was one of my most anticipated reads of 2017, so I finally got around to reading it, and I loved it. With endearing characters and an interesting, creative world, it was a great book to bring me into 2018.

Writing: I really enjoyed Spooner’s writing throughout the novel. It flowed well and never felt choppy, which is something I really look for in books. The pace of the writing and plot stayed together well, which kept it the story well rounded. I did find that the description was a bit lacking in places, especially with the Beast in the first half of the novel. The description did get a bit lost in aspects as Yeva only described the Beast as massive, hulking, etc. at first. Spooner did reign it in later and provided a fair amount of description so I was able to create a picture of the Beast. For me, there is such a thing as too little description, as it can be easy to lose a reader if nothing is described since they have no idea on what to imagine, so I was pleased Spooner provided in the end. The only other issue I had was at the beginning; the setting seemed to be like a medieval Russia, but it wasn’t fully clear until about halfway through until the Russian stories were introduced. Overall I really enjoyed Spooner’s writing, and since this was the first novel by her I’ve read, I’m going to search out her other works.

Plot: I was really hooked on the plot of this book, oh my. I love the Disney version of Beauty and the Beast, and I have heard of different versions of the tale, but this is the first retelling I’ve actually read, and Spooner did an awesome job of it. I really enjoyed the element of intertwining the Russian tales with the Beast’s story (I won’t spoil anything). It also didn’t feel like a regurgitated telling of the fable since Spooner made it her own unique version by adding the Russian element so flawlessly. I thought it was a great way to introduce readers to Russian folktales while keeping them relevant to the plot. I’m not at all familiar with Russian tales, so that was really interesting for me to learn about them. It was also a nice touch that it was Yeva who was the hunter of the Beast, and not the townsfolk, along with the Gaston figure in the story (Solmir) being a genuine guy. If you love Beauty & the Beast, you should definitely pick up this book.

Characters: I fell in love with all the characters in Hunted. Yeva is a badass hunter, who is also aware of her flaws which I think is what I loved most about her. She’s so honest about how she doesn’t fit in with the aristocratic society, and how she doesn’t know what she wants. It made her personable and real so I connected with her. I also think her sisters were interesting characters, even though we didn’t really get to know Lena as much as Asenka. The Beast was very intriguing, and I think it was a smart aspect to show his perspective between every chapter, so we got that glimpse into the antagonist’s mind. It also showed his feelings and descent, which I found kept me hooked and allowed me to develop more empathy for his character, which may have been Spooner’s intention, I’m not sure. I will say that because he uses “we” to identify himself at the beginning of the novel, I thought there was more than one mind in the Beast. It becomes clear later so I won’t spoil anything. Overall the characters really kept me engaged in the novel, and help round all the other successful elements out to have a well-crafted book.

If you’ve read Hunted let me know your thoughts in the comments or on twitter! I loved the book overall, apart from a few dips in the description as I mentioned, but it was a fantastic book to start off my 2018 year, so I can’t wait to see what else it brings me. See you soon!

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