Hunted: {Review}

Publication date: March 14th, 2017
Publisher: Harper Teen
Series: None
Format: Hardcover, 352 pages
Source: Purchased

Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them. 

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance. 

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?

As far as Beauty and the Beast retellings go, this one was just ok for me. I had seen rave reviews from multiple people and that got me really excited to read it, but when I did, it just wasn't what I was expecting.

Yeva, her two older sisters, and her father are very well off thanks to her father's merchant business. But when he loses everything in an attack, they are forced to sell off everything they have and move to his remote cabin in the woods. It suits Yeva because she is a hunter like her father. But her father slowly becomes mad over time trying to find the mysterious Beast that he spoke about in childhood stories. When he goes missing, Yeva leaves her sisters with a family friend to find him, but instead she finds the Beast from her father's tales.

Her time with him starts off very differently than the original tale. Yeva wakes up to find that she is a prisoner in a dark room. Her only friend is a mysterious silent shadow that brings her medicine, food, and other things she might need. Eventually she is moved to a warm room where she begins to tell her "friend" stories from her childhood. But then she discovers that her friend is not a friend after all. He is the Beast, and he is her jailer.

Yeva struggles to find a way to escape the Beast, even though she comes to know that he is not what he seems. He trains her as a hunter so that she will be able to hunt something for him, something that will break the spell that he is under.

I found that their romance was extremely non-existent. They hardly spent any time at all together, and they really barely spoke. But towards the end Yeva admits that she loves him. It was just really awkward to think that they could have fallen in love when they could barely even stand to speak to one another. At least the original, it was obvious that there was a natural progression of them falling in love based on what happened.

As this was a Beauty and the Beast retelling, you would think that there would be more elements from the original, such as the servants who also got cursed, and a mean Gaston. But those were not incorporated into the story. It was only Beauty and the Beast in the lonely castle, and the Gaston in Hunted was actually quite kind. So really all that was left was the curse, and don't get me wrong, it was an interesting curse, but the story was lacking without some of the original elements that we came to love.

The Russian Folklore elements were very cool. I enjoyed reading about the Firebird, Rusalkas, and other elements from the folklore.

Yeva also had a strong relationship with her father and sisters, which was a nice change of pace from other YA stories where the MC is hated by one or more of her family members.

Spooner's writing was quite beautiful, and I enjoyed the incorporation of the Beast's POV page before each chapter. The ending, however, lacked much of the magic that the original had, and that I was hoping for. Everything felt rushed and wrapped up rather quickly. Everyone got their happily ever after, I just wish there had been more magic.

Regardless of my issues with this book, I think if you enjoy fairy tell retellings, you should check this one out just in case that it is your cup of tea.


1 comment:

  1. I have this one from the library and I have been eagerly waiting to read it. It's either really awesome or meh according to the person who reads it. So at least it isn't horrible!


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