Author: Meagan Spooner
Disclaimer: I received a free copy via Edelweiss for review purposes.
I had heard mixed things about Hunted, but still my expectations were high because I’m a fan of Beauty and the Beast and I had just watched Disney’s new live-action version so I was totally in the mood for a retelling. And I’d also heard good things about Meagan Spooner as an author, so. I was not disappointed: I loved this book.
Yeva, known by the name of Beauty to her family, is the daughter of a wealthy merchant, whose father taught her everything he knew about hunting as a child. Now, she spends her days as a Lady in Waiting to the Baroness. Yet she longs to be out in the wild, bow in hand, hunting. When her father loses his fortune he takes Yeva and her sisters to his old hunting cabin in the woods, picking up his old trade of hunting to pay off his debts. But when he goes missing on a hunt, Yeva sets out to find him with one mission in mind: kill the Beast that took her father from her. Instead, she ends up his prisoner and the beast uses her as bait to lure skilled hunters who he needs to break his curse.
I think Hunted is a fantastic, dark, atmospheric retelling of Beauty and the Beast. It’s definitely an original take on the fairy-tale, using Russian folklore to put a unique spin on the story. It’s definitely a slow-paced novel which will probably turn off a lot of readers, but where it lacks in pacing it makes up for in character and relationship progression. I pretty much adored Yeva and I really enjoyed Beauty and the Beast’s interaction throughout the novel and their development from prisoner and captor, to unlikely allies and friends. My only complaint is that, whilst I loved the twist at the end, it all fell a little…flat. Anti-climatic almost, like the ending was rushed.
Nonetheless, if you’re a fan of fairy-tales and retellings, I would definitely recommend this one. If Spooner decides to write anymore fairy-tale retellings, I would totally read it.
Lauren is a british blogger and book review. She is an avid bookworm, writer and procrastinator extraordinaire. A recent history grad, Lauren is currently grappling with adulthood, finding solace in the written word. As an avid reader of YA literature, she’s a lover of sci-fi, contemporary romance, sister stories, and cute f/f books. Some of her favourite books include Code Name Verity by the incredibly talented Elizabeth Wein, and the soul-crushingly cute The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli.