Review: Hunted by Meagan Spooner


Series: None
Author: Meagan Spooner
Published March 14th 2017 by HarperTeen

Goodreads Synopsis
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?

Retellings have become a favourite of mine to read, and when I first heard about this one, I knew it would be one for me. Beauty and the Beast is one of my favourite Disney films, and I love seeing how others have interpreted the original tale, compared to Disney.

In Hunted, Yeva and her family have always lived in relative comfort. Her father has favoured her from her sisters, and has taught her how to hunt. However, when he loses his fortune, the whole family has to move into a hunting cabin, and survive on whatever they can find in the woods. Though her sisters struggle with the change, Yeva finds it a blessing in disguise, where she doesn't have to pretend to be a lady, interested in sewing, clothes, and finding a wealthy husband. Soon, though, their father disappears, and it's down to Yeva to find out where he went, by searching for the creature he had been tracking. The problem is, she ends up being captured by the Beast herself, though doesn't discover the truth for sometime.

Yeva's character was amazing. She was strong and had a plan for whatever situation she found herself in. Even when she became a captive, she formulated plan after plan to escape, though she had one issue in her plans - she thought the person bringing her her food and supplies was also a captive, not her captor. By doing this, Spooner made the whole attraction to the Beast much more acceptable, as they had only previously communicated through the door. Their relationship in this sense, was really enjoyable to read, because you could see the vulnerability in them both, even though the reader knew the truth of the situation. Once Yeva discovers the truth about the Beast, she tries to kill him on more than one occasion, though the Beast is kind to her, but still not an angel.

There's so much magic interwoven in the story, along with parts from Russian folk tales, which bring an element to the original tale that I didn't know was missing until I read this book. I thought the Disney version was wonderful, the obviously bad Stockholm Syndrome aside, but I definitely preferred this version. The storytelling and world building was amazing, and I loved how although the book was from Yeva's POV, we did get an insight into the Beast's every few chapters or so.

I haven't read any of Spooner's other books, but I think I might in the future. This is definitely a book for lovers of fantasy and retellings.

Dates Read:
March 23-28, 2017

5 Stars

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