I received this book via Edelweiss, My Book Shelf. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.Hunted by Meagan Spooner
Published by HarperTEEN on 2017-03-14
Length: 384 pages
Reviewing eARC, Audiobook from Edelweiss, My Book Shelf
Reading Challenges: 2018 Audiobook Challenge, 2018 Blogger Shame Challenge
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 by Meagan Spooner is a fantastic retelling of the beloved classic Beauty and the Beast. I devoured this book, listening to it in one day. I didn’t want to sit it down for even a minute. Thankfully with audiobooks you don’t have to sit it down, you can just take your speaker with you everywhere 😉
Yeva, our Beauty, is the youngest daughter to a wealthy merchantman in her town. Despite having everything she could ever want, Yeva longs for the forest and hunting with her father as she did when she was a child. When a business venture goes bad, she gets her wish. Losing everything they own, Yeva and her family move to her father’s hunting cabin. In the forest, Yeva still feels lonely, despite having her two elder sisters with her. She misses town, she misses her father who refuses to allow her to hunt, and she misses her would be suitor. When her father doesn’t return with his hunting dog, Yeva sets out to find him and so the story really begins.
I liked Yeva and disliked her, if that’s even possible. She was a greatly flawed character and yet she overcame those flaws making you like her. I think this quote really sums her up quite nicely:
She wept because she did not know what she wanted, and because she wanted everything.
Yeva longs for more, always more and each time she receives what she wanted, she isn’t happy and wants something else. I think the author did an amazing job in conveying that longing. It was easy to feel it, and as a reader, want it with Yeva and mourn when it doesn’t make her happy. The question quickly becomes what will make her happy.
The Beast was a conundrum for me, yet instantly I fell for him. He was just as flawed as Yeva and longing to break his curse no matter the cost. I loved how the author mixed his original tale with the Russian fairy tales The Firebird and Ivan. Not only did this help to solidify the setting of the Russian woods in winter but Yeva’s upbringing. I found it fascinating to view the Beast through Yeva’s eyes and as the reader realize how she slowly fell for him.
However if you are looking for romance, look elsewhere. This book does not focus on romance at all. Yeva is the heroine of the story and doesn’t need the Beast to save her. Instead she is saving him. She’s looking for what will make her happy. At first it’s hunting, then revenge, and ultimately finding the Beast. Yet none of these make her happy. Instead she learns a valuable lesson about living in the moment instead of always looking ahead.
Overall, I loved Hunted. I didn’t want to sit it down and I’m already making plans to read through it again at some point. Beauty and her Beast felt real while reading and you want them to live happily ever after in the end. I think that is the mark of a great story. I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys fairy tale retellings with strong heroines and medieval Russian settings.