Author: Meagan Spooner
Published: March 14th 2017
(Click Picture or underlined title to add on 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?
Hunted might be my favorite fairy-tale retelling ever. I loved it way more than I had expected.
It has all the fairy-tale elements, complete with beautiful writing and a Russian-like setting. The main character, Yeva, is my favorite aspect of the whole story. She is fierce and strong but in a subtle and genuine way, not at all like many of the YA main characters we get today who are supposed to be ‘fiesty’ and ‘strong’ and end up feeling like tropes. She has become one my favorite YA characters; she is calm, rational and genuine- but not without flaws.
Yeva lives with her two older sisters and her father. They’re all pretty close and they live comfortable lives, having all their necessities met, with the exception of Yeva who’s always felt like something is missing in her life. Unfortunately, their father makes a mistake and all their fortune is lost. They’d all have to go to an old cabin in the woods where their father goes back to hunting.
Soon everything takes a turn for the worst as the father gets more and more delirious with each trip to the forest, claiming that there is something watching him and lurking in the woods. Yeva, having learned hunting from her father, begs to join him but gets turned away each time. Until he goes one night and never returns. Yeva has to resort to her rusty skills of hunting and tracking to find her father in the woods and hesitantly leaves her sisters to search for him. Little does she know that she’d be gone for a long time.
I don’t want to spoil anything else, but I will say that the whole Beauty and the beast element is definitely here, and although the romance was subtle and more of a slow-burn, it felt very believable and just heart-warming.
This was a fast read for me and even though it had a familiar story arc, it still felt very much like its own story. I was kept on the edge of my seat and flew through the pages. I loved the writing, the romance and the characters. The relationship between the sisters was beautifully portrayed and the story overall had a depth to it that I wasn’t expecting.
New York Times bestselling author Meagan Spooner grew up reading and writing every spare moment of the day, while dreaming about life as an archaeologist, a marine biologist, an astronaut. She graduated from Hamilton College in New York with a degree in playwriting, and has spent several years since then living in Australia. She’s traveled with her family all over the world to places like Egypt, South Africa, the Arctic, Greece, Antarctica, and the Galapagos, and there’s a bit of every trip in every story she writes.
She currently lives and writes in Asheville, North Carolina, but the siren call of travel is hard to resist, and there’s no telling how long she’ll stay there. She’s the author of the award-winning Starbound trilogy (These Broken Stars, This Shattered World, Their Fractured Light) and the Skylark Trilogy (Skylark, Shadowlark, Lark Ascending) as well as the upcoming Beauty and the Beast retelling Hunted.
In her spare time she plays guitar, plays video games, plays with her cat, and reads.