Hunted, by Meagan Spooner.
Published: March 14th 2017.
Page Length: 384 pages.
Genre: YA, Fantasy and Retelling.
“She moves like beauty, she whispers to us of wind and forest – and she tells us of stories, such stories that we wake in the night, dreaming dreams of a life-long past. She reminds us of what we used to be. She reminds us of what we could be.”- Beast
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… o 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. The Beast.
Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange creature 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 haunting, graceful and badass written novel based off the well know tale of ‘Beauty and the Beast’. This is the first re-telling of Beauty and the Beast that we’ve actually gotten to read so far! From the freezing coldness, to the language of fairy tales, the theme deliberately portrays the beast’s unaccountable longing for something that can’t quite be placed. This could be dissatisfaction of staying in the one place for far too long. Meagan Spooner powerfully captures this feeling of ‘wanting’ throughout this unique and imaginative world!
We loved how this book alternates between both Yeva (Beauty) and the Beast’s points of views. You easily see that neither of the pairs lives were easy. The Beast is looking for something or someone… a hunter of sorts. Yeva lives a nice and comfortable life – learning how to become a lady and apart of society, joining the baronessa’s court. Being a part of baronessa’s court gave ladies in the village a greater chance at marrying a wealthy husband. However, Yeva just can’t help but wish for more out of life. She craves for excitement, thrill and the sharp, rough draw of her bow. She desires the exhilarated life of a hunter.
We were definitely surprised that this re-telling is very un-romantic. There are no stolen kisses with a distant, somehow ‘magical beast’. The relationship between Yeva and the Beast is one between outsiders – who recognize the feeling of loneliness in one another. Yeva is a trained hunter, dedicated to her passion and her loving and loyal family.
The setting throughout this novel is familiar to a rural medieval perception of Russia. Our pages filled with freezing temperatures, ice and snow which added to the tale exceedingly well. Yeva and her father explore this snow-covered wilderness throughout their hunting. Yeva’s father begins to be overwhelmed by a beast with abilities, unlike any other. A beast that’s intelligent and manipulative. A beast hunting the hunter.
When her father doesn’t return from a hunting trip, Yeva leaves her sisters to track him. However, his trail quickly disappears from the constant falling snow. On her journey, she unexpectedly finds more than what she bargained for. She finds a beast as well as a world of strange, imaginable creatures found in the pages of the fairy tales her father read to her as a child. Dragons, communicating animals, birds and foxes that play by a mixture of deceiving rules. However, Yeva knows these rules too, they’re the ones of fairy tales that she remembers listening to. The rules of threes, the order of curses and the rules of breaking them.
Yeva’s constant determination to kill the Beast and return home to her family is unforgettable. However, her pursuit to kill the un-killable creature unveils more secrets. The longer she spends in this world, the more she worries to what world she will return to as time moves slower in the mystical valley, where the Beast holds her captive.
Despite having loved this adaptation of a Beauty and the Beast tale, we just can’t shake the idea that what was mentioned throughout this novel should have been written in more detail. This could have been done to incorporate more action to describe Yeva’s quest that was meant to be long rather than short.
Although we found this issue, we still rather loved Hunted, by Meagan Spooner. For us, it was imaginable, unique and captivating. We just couldn’t put it down! We absolutely loved the theme and design on the book’s cover!
We recommend this read to those YA readers who love re-telling’s and a great Fantasy novel!
Try this book for yourselves and tell us what you thought. Let us know in the comments!
Book Rating: 3.5/5 stars.