Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Hunted (Review)

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?
Meagan Spooner
Pub Date: 3/14/17
Genre: YA Fantasy
Amazon | B&N

I had not yet been inclined to read anything by Meagan Spooner, but I couldn't pass up the chance that Hunted was going to be an intriguing story of a strong heroine with an awesome ability.

Yeva, or Beauty, was definitely a strong heroine with a talent for hunting, but her story was less than stellar. The opening was a close resemblance to Feyre's circumstances in A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. Yeva is also the youngest sister who will be called upon to use her hunting skills to care for the family when their father loses their fortune. The family is dropped from high society and moved to a little cabin next to the wilderness. There are obviously some differences in the details, but they are minute. The story eventually makes a sharp right turn down a different plot path, but the similarities in the opening are glaring and too close for me to appreciate the differences that follow.

Hunted is a mix of folklore with a twist. Yes, it is different from any retelling I've read, but is it better? I honestly don't believe so. The overall finish felt more like the result of taking the best parts of multiple stories and melding them together to create a logical plot. I read and appreciate stories all the time that are inspired by something that came before, whether it be fairy tale or some other classic. I liked those stories because they rose above their inspiration and became something completely other and unique, with a little hat tip to the original source. A good example of that is The Wish Granter by C.J. Redwine, which is an original story that weaves in the familiar legend of Rumpelstiltskin.

I wasn't amazed by the story as a whole. I just think it could've been made into something more in terms of originality and uniqueness.
*ARC provided in exchange for an honest review*



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