Saturday, April 8, 2017

Hunted by Meagan Spooner

Summary from Goodreads:
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?
Side note: this is my one thousandth blog post….I have posted to this blog 1000 times! I will have to do a giveaway to celebrate soon (once I’m back from England).  I’m in shock though. I never thought I’d be doing this for this long.
I am a huge Beauty and the Beast fan. I may have already seen the latest movie in theaters twice…Needless to say, I’ve been anticipating this book for some time. My favorite fairytale combined with one of my all time favorite YA sci-fi authors was sure to make for a hell of a good book.
I was not disappointed. The main character is a dream. She’s a Beauty who hates society and secretly loves it when her father ruins their family fortune and moves the family back to the cottage in the woods. She’s an excellent hunter and overall kick-butt main character. She has her own version of Gaston. And he’s actually a super nice guy who likes that she is so interested in hunting and going “against the grain.” Her only issue with him is that she doesn’t love him and actually doesn’t think much about marriage in general. I love her.
Beast is pretty much a wolfy werewolf who never turns back to his human self. I also love werewolf stories. I love the brief schizophrenic chapters in his point of view. They let the readers know right away that the beast was more than he appeared. He seemed to be two creatures; wolf and cursed man. I love that the romance element was almost nonexistent till the end. Beauty wanted to murder Beast for so much of the book that romance just wouldn’t make sense.
I loved all the interwoven Russian folklore and fairy tales throughout the fairy tale. The firebird is a big part of the story (and I love the ballet, The Firebird). In the Disney version, Belle and the Beast fell in love over a mutual appreciation of books. And in this one, they bonded over storytelling, almost like the characters in the The Wrath and the Dawn (though, books are there too).
I like that it takes a while for Beauty to realize she loves Beast. She has to see love in her sisters and talk about love with her best friend to understand what she is missing and feeling. I love the importance of family in this book. I’m not used to books (especially fantasies) where the sisters are all actually friends who get along. I do wish I saw more of the family dynamic in the beginning. Beauty kept missing her family when she was gone, but I didn’t really get to know them until she returned to them. In other words, I didn’t see why she missed them quite that much till a lot later.
This was also a slow-moving book. It wasn’t full of action and plot arcs. It was more about character and storytelling than anything else. It’s not for everyone. I could easily see readers putting it down because of it’s slow pace. Also, it’s hard to see how Beauty can fall in love with Beast for a lot of the book and I can see some people giving up before they can see how this progresses. That being said, it reads like a fairytale. And the slow pace didn’t bother me too much.
I loved the retelling. I loved the two main characters. I loved the background of magic and Russian folklore. I loved how it all resolved. I don’t think this book is for everyone though. I highly recommend it to fans of Beauty of the Beast and people who like character driven stories versus plot driven ones. I give it a 9/10.

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