BWW Review: HUNTED by Meagan Spooner
"She moves like beauty, she whispers to us of wind and forest-and she tells us 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."
HUNTED by Meagan Spooner came out this week, just in time to be scooped up by fans looking for more Beauty and the Beast-inspired worlds after seeing the brand-new Disney live-action movie. It's a gorgeous new rendition of the tale, and mixes in Russian myths such as The Firebird and Princess Vasilisa and, of course, Tsarevich Ivan, the Firebird and the Gray Wolf. There's also a lot atmosphere in the book that creates a unique world where anything is possible.
Yeva has never wanted to be a proper lady like her elder sisters. She'd rather be outside with the wind through her hair and the grass at her feet. When her family falls into ruin and they're forced to move to her father's hunting cabin, she's secretly happy. She can finally throw off the restrictions of society and all that comes with being a lady. She can hunt again. She can be outdoors. This is the life she dreamed about but knew she could never have, the life she would have chosen for herself. When her father goes hunting for larger, more dangerous game in the heart of the woods and never returns, it's up to Yeva to save her father before it's too late. Unfortunately, she finds herself captured by her father's murderer, a wild, savage beast. She vows to kill the beast and bring vengeance to her father. But what if there's more at stake than what meets the eye?
I really like the unique twists and turns of this particular retelling of Beauty and the Beast. It's a little more dangerous, it's a little more off-the-beaten-path. All the new elements add intriguing dips and valleys that made me eager to explore the tale all over again as though it were for the first time. I also really love that our Beauty is a hunter who provides for her family. That's one thing I liked so much about Feyre from Sarah J. Maas' A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES retelling. She knows her way around a bow and arrow. She can survive on her own. She can provide for her family when her father leaves. I really like that strength, and think focusing on it for the book's title, HUNTED, and including a bow and arrow through the title on the cover was a smart choice. It shows that there's more than meets the eye and that the girl on the cover might just be capable of saving herself.