Author: Meagan Spooner
Pages: 374 (Hardcover)
Published: 14th March, 2017
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?
warning! contains slight spoilers
Hunted is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I absolutely love BatB, so this was a must-read for me. To be honest, it was a bit difficult for me to find into the book. It was just so, so slow. Not that much happens in the beginning, except for introducing and building characters. So I needed ages to really connect with anything, the characters as well as the story. The thing I fell in love with right from page one, was the writing style. Despite making the book slower than necessary, it was beautiful. There was so much love and magic behind every single word, in Yeva and the Beast’s chapters alike, but in a very different kind of way. I loved how both of them were chracterized through writing alone already, and you could really see how much love Meagan Spooner has for this world.
Well, let’s start with the story. As I already said, it is a BatB retelling, but set in Russia or the Ukraine (I’m not sure). Books are very precious and a household can be happy if they have a dozen of them. Somehow, there is a lot of snow, even though there seem to be other seasons as well, the book is mostly set in winter, in a town and a forest nearby. The town is described so well and detailed, with its inhabitants and their homes and different aspects of town life. The forest is also written so well, and if you close your eyes you can imagine being in actual nature really well.
So, I already knew where some of the plot was going because you know… a retelling. But I was so excited to see what Spooner was going to make of it. And she did well. In my opinion she stuck to exactly the right parts and changed and added some things I was always annoyed of. It was just so cool to read, knowing where the story was going, but also not knowing at the same time.
And the characters were great! Each of them had different sides, acting another way around different people. But what I loved most was that they were all so nice and good. Even the guy where I thought would be Gaston but turned out to be so lovely and sweet. And Yeva’s sisters were amazing as well. The three of them have such a good dynamic and such a real sisterly love for each other. It was so much fun to read about them. I kind of want nothing more than to wrap all of the characters in a blanket and make them sit in front of the fire and read to each other. I believe they all would like it. And they were so fitting to this cold, wintery seting of the story. It fit perfectly well.
I really liked this book, even though it was pretty slow. The characters were amazing and so was the story, but above all was the author’s love to her story which is shown through every word she has written.