Published: March 14, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 374 (Hardcover)
My Rating: 4.0/5.0
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?
After seeing a really encouraging review by one of my fellow bloggers, I decided that I obviously had to order a copy of Hunted for myself and see what the deal was. How surprised I was to find that I enjoyed this Beauty and the Beast retelling! There are definitely some common themes that show up in Hunted but it’s not sickeningly saturated with them.
Yeva longs to return to the woods where she has fond memories of her younger years, so when her father loses his wealth she is given a reprieve from the trappings of society. Her father begins hunting but after glimpsing the Beast he goes missing and Yeva sets off into the woods with only her bow to find him. Yeva is captured by the Beast (of course) and is carried away to his lair in an enchanted valley where he imprisons her and eventually trains her to hunt magical creatures like himself.
I like Yeva and felt that she was a convincing main character- she didn’t magically acquire an incredible skill set, she was actually afraid of her captor, and had totally reasonable emotions (and perhaps a touch of Stockholm syndrome). I also appreciated that, for once, the sisters in a fairy tale weren’t evil and they had a good relationship with Yeva. What a relief! The Beast’s mini-chapters added just enough perspective to make the reader empathize with his plight and understand his actions and reactions towards Yeva. Without them I think the story would have suffered.
Overall, Hunted was a well-done retelling that I would absolutely recommend to anyone who love the original Beauty and the Beast story. Though appearances don’t really matter, the book itself is quite attractive- the dustjacket has a nice shine to it, the Beast chapters have some added graphic effects, and the naked book is a pretty white and emerald color scheme. Did I mention that this is also a standalone? I hope it stays a standalone because it worked perfectly as such.