Book Review: Hunted

Hunted
Published By: HarperTeen
Publication Date: March 14, 2017
Page Count: 352
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via Edelweiss
Young Adult - Fantasy, Fairy Tale Inspired

Beauty and the Beast has always been my favorite Disney film. I'm excited to see the new live action version soon. I was excited when I learned about this title; I had high hopes that Meagan Spooner would take the original story and breathe new life into it. She delivers a novel that is equal parts nostalgia and new creation. I loved every minute, in spite of the lengthy amount of time it took me to read this one. Health issues kept me from being able to read for several weeks, but as soon as I was feeling a bit better, I dove into this one with a fury.

One of the things I loved most about this one was the setting. It's set in Russia during the time period when the Mongols were still a threat. In fact, the Mongols indirectly cause part of the conflict within this story. Yeva (aka Beauty) has grown up in town, but her heart is in the woods where her father taught her to hunt as a child. While her family is not vastly wealthy, they have connections and live in relative comfort. Yeva and her two older sisters are expected to marry well and become ladies in good standing in society, but Yeva finds that isn't that life she wants. When her father loses everything in a business deal, the family is forced to sell their possessions and move to the hunting cabin in the woods, far from town and the society they have always known. Yeva is secretly pleased with this development as it will allow her free reign to do as she wishes without having to fit the mold society says is appropriate for a young lady. Yeva is very much a women before her time who sees herself as an equal to men.

Life in the forest isn't without challenges. Yeva's father isn't the same after losing his wealth and he becomes obsessed with the hunt. Yeva and her sisters strengthen their bond and learn to rely on each other. Yeva begins to hunt daily to provide food for her family, but when her father goes missing, she must put her tracking skills to the test.

While looking for clues to find her father, she meets the Beast. He seems to be mainly wolf, but is able to talk and think like a human. Yeva is frightened and intrigued, but soon grows angry and vengeful when the Beast takes her as a prisoner. He hopes someone will come to find her as he needs a hunter to complete a task that will hopefully free him from a curse. As Yeva and the Beast spend more time together, they learn about each other and find that life is more than meets the eye.

I don't want to spoil anything, but I loved the lore surrounding the Beast's curse. I also loved Yeva's relationships with various characters in this one. 

If you're a Beauty and the Beast fan, this is a must read.


One Last Gripe: I wanted more details about Yeva's father.

Favorite Thing About This Book: The setting

First Sentence: We always know before the change comes.

Favorite Character: Yeva

Least Favorite Character: I didn't have one.



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?

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