Title: Ever the Hunted
Author: Erin Summerill
Disclaimer: I received a free copy via Netgalley for review purposes.
A war is about to start between two neighbouring countries – one that accepts magic and one that doesn’t. Britta Flannery has just come out of mourning for her murdered father who was a legendary bounty hunter for the King. He taught her everything she knows, he taught her to work with a dagger and a bow, and to survive in the forest. However, when he died she has no right to her father’s land because she is deemed illegitimate because her parent’s marriage were not accepted in her country. When she is caught poaching off the King’s land, she is offered a deal: her freedom for her father’s killer. A life for a life. However, the alleged killer is her former best friend and things are about to get really complicated and dangerous for Britta.
Ever the Hunted was not necessarily a bad book, but it was a predictable and unoriginal book. It was full of cliché and stereotypes with everything you expect to find in a typical high fantasy novel – warring kingdoms, a chosen one, a brooding handsome love interest, and magic. Britta was a ‘strong female character’ that apparently was an expert hunter but never really showed evidence of her skills, most of the time she actually missed tracks or just *guessed* where they would be. She wasn’t strong because she was intelligent or witty or compassionate or ambitious, she was simply a ‘strong female character’ because she could shoot an arrow and has magic running through her veins. The chosen one who has magic but doesn’t realise she’s got magic until over halfway through the book, even though she’s had an ability since she was a child.
Cohen, her love interest, lacked any real personality or character development. BUT he was super duper muscular and smelt great even though they’d been traveling rough for days with no bathing!! *eye-roll*.
There was a lot of potential in the story. Britta having to betray her friend in exchange for his life for hers was one that could have been done really well, but it ultimately fell flat. There was also some sexism, and there was a lack of female characters, which is weird considering powers only pass from female to female, so an opportunity was missed there.
Ultimately, there is nothing necessarily ‘bad’ about Ever the Hunted, but for big YA readers, especially those of fantasy, Ever the Hunted is just going to feel generic.
Although, I can’t deny that the cover is heavenly.