Review: Hunted by Meagan Spooner

Hunted
by Meagan Spooner
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: March 14, 2017
Genre: Fantasy Young Adult
Rating:

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?

 

 

Hunted is an interesting retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Yeva has always longed for more. She doesn’t want to be a lady, she wants to hunt. She wants to find the firebird, the rarest of magical creatures. She wants adventure and freedom. So, when her father loses everything in a business venture, Yeva and her family give up their estate in town and travel to her father’s hunting cabin in the woods. Yeva couldn’t be happier to be away from all the stuffy parties, sewing by the fire, and all the other boring stuff young ladies are supposed to do. However, her father goes a little crazy, blithering on about a creature that hunts him in the woods, and doesn’t return from a day of hunting. When Yeva goes out into the woods to find her father, she is captured and imprisoned by the Beast.

I liked the idea that the Beast was this massive wolf-like creature. It didn’t (from my understanding) walk around on two legs or behave like a human in any way. Yeva has no idea that the Beast is anything other than a creature of death until she realizes that she’s been kidnapped in the hopes of freeing him from some curse. The fact that the wolf part of him was sort of taking over the human aspect of him and the two were sort of battling it out inside, was a fascinating concept. It was almost like reading about a werewolf without them actually being able to shift to human.

While I enjoyed this story, I found that there was a lot that bothered me. For instance, Yeva wants to hunt. She wants to be in the woods. She doesn’t want to be a baroness. So, when a prospective husband comes along, who says he doesn’t want her to be like everyone else, he wants her to go hunting with him, she refuses. I suppose it’s because her sister has a crush on him, but still. I just felt like for that time and era she should have accepted. Which brings me to my next issue… when and where was this story taking place? I honestly have no idea. Also, I didn’t quite understand the romantic relationship between the Beast and Yeva. Is it Stockholm syndrome? He imprisoned her, chained her up in the dungeon, threatened her, threatened her family, told her he killed her father, and yet she still developed a bond with him? Unlike Disney’s story, Yeva didn’t have talking tea cups and or a candelabra assuring her that the Beast was really a good guy. No, all she had was a cold and dark room, a growling oversized wolf hovering over her all the time, and the uncertainty of not only her own life, but her sisters future as well.

Even though I had issues, I loved that the author didn’t give us a story about a girl in a castle with a beast. Instead, we learn that the Beast needs a hunter. He needs someone to be able to track something for him in the magical woods. So, he starts training Yeva to be a better hunter. Then he takes her into his woods where she comes across a talking fox that will answer three questions, a dragon shifter, and a siren. There’s other things that Yeva comes across while in the magical woods that really added another element to an already over-told story. I really liked the magical aspect and the fact that there was so much that Yeva didn’t know about the Beast’s world.

Hunted was an interesting re-telling of a story that seems to be everywhere. I enjoyed the magical aspect the author incorporated, but had some difficulty with the characters and their relationships. The ending left me wanting more because we’d built up to this moment for so long that I just felt like there had to be more to it than that. While Hunted was an interesting re-telling, it isn’t one of my favorites.

 

Favorite quote…

“Her last thought, strangely rational as their bodies sailed through the air, was: This is no Beast, to lay such a trap for me. This is a hunter.”

 

 

14 Thoughts on “Review: Hunted by Meagan Spooner

  1. sorry it wasn’t all good. I remember really enjoying this one

  2. Ack, the wanting more from an ending

  3. That is a very interesting concept for Beauty and the Beast. However, I can understand why those things annoyed you… They would have annoyed me, too. Sorry to hear the characters and relationships didn’t quite work for you.

  4. Sorry to hear you didn’t like it more.

  5. Oh boo I wanted to get this back when it was released but forgot all about it

  6. Yikes! This started sounding pretty good, but the mention of being chained up in a dungeon, and her dad killed sort of made it go downhill for me Kristin. Thanks a bunch for the review! hugs…RO

  7. bookwormbrandee on 22 January, 2018 at 7:55 pm said:

    It does sound pretty fascinating. It’s too bad it didn’t tick all your boxes though. I might see if my library carries it… Nice review, Kristin!

  8. Hrms. I think those issues would bother me as well. But it does sound like an interesting retelling and that cover is amazing.

  9. Even with all the issues you encountered, I’m glad that you we’re still able to enjoy it Kristin. And my! I’m digging the cover <3

  10. Re-tellings fascinate me and I was actually waiting for some fellow bloggers to review this one. I admit it got me curious from the moment I saw it and read the blurb, so it’s too bad to hear about the issues you had with it 🙁 The magical aspect sounds interesting, though, I’m glad the author delivered that well.

  11. I actually watched a really interesting post about Stockholm Syndrome and Beauty and the Beast called: Is Beauty and the Beast About Stockholm Syndrome? by Lindsey Ellis on youtube.
    I can understand Yeva not wanting to be tied down. I think she figures she can hunt for a living so she doesn’t need anyone.

  12. Lovely review! I really like Beauty and The Beast, so that book has been on my TBR for a little while. I’m sorry to hear that this book wasn’t as great as you expected it to be :/ It always is a bit frustrating when the characters don’t manage to be as unforgettable as we expect them to be. I’m glad the magical aspect and how the Beast was were still good elements in the book, though 🙂

  13. I’m planning to read Hunted this year for a backlist challenge I’m participating in. I’ll be curious to see if I have the same issues with it that you did. It does sound like a pretty solid read overall though, so that’s good. Thanks for your honest review!

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