Hunted

Hunted


Title: Hunted

Author: Meagan Spooner

Series: N/A

Publisher: HarperTeen

Release Date: March 14th 2017

Rating:

Four Stars

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?

– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com

My Thoughts On…

…The Plot

“The snow is a canvas, her father would say, upon which the beast paints his past, his home, his intentions, his future. Learn to see the picture and you will know him as you know yourself.”

Although Yeva lives a seemingly perfect life, one where her father has wealth and she mingles with the city’s aristocrats, she wants more. She grew up with fairytales, stories from her father of mystical creatures he hunted in the woods before settling down, and she wants that life for herself. When her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her two sisters to his old hunting cabin Yeva has that life, where she can hunt each day and no longer has to worry about societies expectations.

However as her father travels further into the heart of the woods Yeva watches as he slowly loses his mind chasing after a beast which outwits him at every turn. He stays out for longer, taking more dangerous risks than before, until one day his hound returns to the cabin without him.

“She moves like beauty, she whispers to us of wind and forest—and she tells us stories, such stories that we wake in the night, dreaming dreams of a life long past. she reminds us of what we used to be.
She reminds us of what we could be.”

Leaving with a promise to return shortly Yeva sets off after her father, but what she finds is the Beast, and when she falls into his trap she wakes in a dark dungeon. Yeva plans to kill the Beast for what he did to her father, her vengeance keeping her going when she thinks of her family left behind. However the Beast has other plans for Yeva and soon she is learning how to wield her father’s bow, how to hunt and track in the valley, and see a world of magic beyond her own sight.

Hunted was a really intricately written fairytale retelling, however the thing that let this book down for me was that it was so slow to start. There was a lot of build up to Yeva discovering the Beast and ending up his captive, and then a lot of build up to him training her. It was only in the last third of this book that it actually felt like the plot was moving forwards, that everything that had been built up and that we’d reached the climax of the story.

…The Characters

“She wept because she did not know what she wanted, and because she wanted everything.”

Yeva has never really belong in the city, too wild after hunting with her father in the woods. She is lonely among the aristocracy, and even after she and her sisters move into the woods she is lonely in the forest. Yeva took her father’s stories and lessons to heart and of her sisters she is the closest to him, the first person out of the door, heedless to the fact that she is the only person her sisters could rely on in the wild, when he goes missing.

It is Yeva’s desire for vengeance that keeps her going when she faces the Beast, and her belief that her sister’s are safe that keeps her from breaking. She is a strong character and her time learning from the Beast only makes her a stronger and more capable hunter.

“Yeva, you are my sister. I love you. I love you more than anything. You and Lena are the most important things in all the world.” She finally squeezed Yeva’s hand back, swallowing audibly.

One of my favourite parts of Hunted was the relationship Yeva had with her sisters. All three of them are different people but they love and accept those differences the way family should, without judgement or question. When Yeva is trapped with the Beast she thinks back to her sister’s, knows they are safe, and that is what keeps her going. Their relationship is one full of love and sacrifice that is built from that love, and it was such a wonderful thing to read.

“Wishing is for men. Wanting is what brought us here. Desire and greed are human traits.
We are the Beast.
And yet…I wish.”

The Beast is a complex character. It doesn’t fully understand humanity but at the same time it isn’t fully a monster either. At the beginning of each chapter we get small snippets that allow us into its mind; and it was very interesting to read the Beast’s perspective of Yeva, of her abilities as a hunter, and of the curse that settled over it long ago. It added another aspect to this creature we only otherwise saw through Yeva’s eyes.

…The Setting

“We always know before the change comes. When a storm approaches, we feel it in the thickness of the air, the tension in the earth awaiting the blanket of snow. We feel the moment the wind changes direction. We sense a shift of power when it is coming.
Tonight there is hunger in the air.”

Hunted was set in a world of fairytales, more than any other retelling I’ve read before this one seemed to really capture the essence of the original fairytales. Yeva found herself in a world of Firebirds and  Lamya and Borovoi; a world where the stories all had three princes on a quest, three riddles to solve, three questions to be asked., and the rules Yeva follows are the ones she learnt from the old fairytales her father once read to her. Meagan Spooner made it seem like there was magic on the very fringe of the normal world. The city Yeva grew up in was side by side to the magic of the valley where the Beast made its home, and while the people may have been unaware of the Beast and its curse for Yeva it was a harsh reality.


For me Hunted was a story filled with magic and wonder and a sense of belonging. It was a wonderful retelling of one of my favourite fairytales. The slow build up throughout the book worked well for the plot, it allowed plenty of time to develop Yeva’s character and her growing connection to the Beast, unfortunately it was just a little too slow to keep me interested all the time.

What did you think of Hunted? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.

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26 thoughts on “Hunted

    1. Thanks so much. Yeah this is a Beauty and the Beast retelling, and even if the blurb doesn’t give it away the story definitely has that ‘Beauty and the Beast retelling’ feel you know?
      It was a shame about the pacing but the characters made up for it, and so did the story when the pacing finally sped up as well. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Lovely review, Beth! I’m happy to hear you overall enjoyed this book – I recently added it to my TBR because, Beauty and The Beast, well…. I am too curious and too in love with this tale not to read it ahah. I’m sorryt o hear it was a bit slow at first though, but I’m glad you still enjoyed it. Cant wait to read it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Marie, and actually yeah the whole ‘Beauty and the Beast retelling’ part of this book was the main reason I added it to my to-read list as well. A bit slow to start but once you get into the story the slow start is more than worth it. I hope this ends up being one you enjoy as well Marie! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely review Beth! I too loved the quote “Wishing is for men. Wanting is what brought us here. Desire and greed are human traits.
    We are the Beast.
    And yet…I wish.”

    Loved how the author showed the Beast’s perspective & inner turmoil. i do agree that it started off slower than I would’ve liked. The sisterly bonds was one of my fave aspects of this book & overall I truly enjoyed Hunted. I’m glad that despite the pacing in the beginning you still enjoyed it overall 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Lilly, and when it came to this book I really felt that quote pretty much summed up the story and the Beast’s character as well. 🙂 It was great seeing through the Beast’s eyes in the small way we did and yeah the slow start was why I rated this four stars instead of five.
      I love seeing strong female relationships, especially in fantasy books, and Hunted had an amazing one between Yeva and her sisters.
      Yeah, same here, overall it was a good book! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I completely agree! and so glad that a childhood favorite was retold so well with its own twist. I’m def going to be checking out more of her work since this is only my 1st Meagan Spooner book but i enjoyed her writing well enough 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It makes retellings fresh to put your own spin on the story or the characters, especially considering they all have the same source material. Oh then I hope you enjoy her other books as well, I am a massive fan of the Starbound series she wrote with Amie Kaufman. 🙂

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  3. I’ve seen so many good reviews on this one! I get disinterested with slow plots as well, but as long as they’re worth the ending I don’t mind. I need to hurry up and get a copy!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The more reviews I read for this one the more I want to read it! I adore Beauty and the Beast retellings so much and the fact that this one felt so magical, it sounds like one I could love a lot. Especially with the way you describe the setting. I have to admit I was feeling a little hesitant about this one, however, because I saw a few mixed reviews a while back but most of the ones I’ve seen recently are positive. That sucks that it ended up being a bit too slow at times. When the plot in a book drags I know it can pull me out of the story but knowing it ahead of time can help. Either way, Yeva sounds like an incredible character I love how there was a strong sister dynamic in this. I feel like we don’t get enough of that in fantasy, you know? And I’m really intrigued by the Beast because the character seems a bit different from the original. It’s always great whenever a retelling can do that. Glad you enjoyed this one, Beth! Great review as always!! 😊♥

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In that case it’s a book I’d definitely recommend to you Melissa, and I think it’d be one you really enjoy as well. 🙂 I adore Beauty and the Beast retellings as well, and if you like magic you’ll love that part of this book as well. It was so well intricated into the plot it felt almost natural.
      Yeah I’ve seen some mixed reviews for it as well. I feel like the thing that put most people off was how slow it was to get to the action. It did take a while before the plot really felt like it begun, but if you can stick with it it’s more than worth it in the end. Hopefully that will help when/if you pick this one up. 🙂
      She’s a great character, and her relationship with her sisters was one of the best parts of this book as well. Theirs is one of the strong female relationships I always feel we need more of in fantasy books.
      He’s very different from the original, you’ll have to read it to find out how different though! 🙂
      Thanks so much Melissa! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s definitely going to be another one I’m going to have to try to get around to soon. I have a few Beauty and the Beast retellings on my list for this year. It feels like the year of Beauty and the Beast retellings, doesn’t it? I swear it’s because of the movie lol. Either that or I just wasn’t paying attention to the amount there were before now.
        Ah okay, I could see the fact that it’s more on the slow side being the cause for mixed reviews. Sometimes when a book takes too long to get to the action that can be a turn-off. But now that I know I’ll definitely stick with it whenever I do read it. 😊
        That’s good to hear! And I agree we always need more strong female relationships in fantasy.
        You have me even more intrigued about the Beast now lol.
        You’re welcome, Beth!! 😁♥

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Well if it’s on your to-read list then hopefully you’ll be able to get around to it at some point. I feel like of all the fairytales Beauty and the Beast is the one retold the most. I’m not sure why it’s so popular compared to all the others out there. I mean it’s a great story don’t get me wrong but there are plenty of other amazing ones.
        Well that’s the impression I got from the majority of the reviews, and if my rating had been any lower it would have been for the slow pace as well. Here’s hoping going in with that knowledge helps when you do pick up Hunted! 🙂 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Awesome review Beth, as always! I was a little in the fence with this one since it seemed it’d be a little cliched but your review has convince me to definitely give it a chance now!
    I’m really glad you said the pacing and plot get better after the beginning because I’m a reader that has little patience and if it’s slow to start it’s easier for me to dnf. Glad to hear it’s worth it by the end though! 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Heather! 🙂 Oh see this was always one of my most anticipated releases, and there are a few mixed reviews out there which I can understand based on how slow the story was at the beginning. Still if you stick with it I think you’ll end up really enjoying it. 🙂
      It’s definitely worth it to reach the end, so here’s hoping you’ll agree with me and this’ll be one you don’t DNF. 😀

      Like

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