By: Meagan Spooner
Genre: Fantasy/Beauty and the Beast Retelling
Expected Publication Date: March 14, 2017
Bang Bang Rating: 1/2
I received this ARC from Harper Collins at ALAMW
Yeva, or Beauty as her father calls her, is the youngest of three daughters of a merchant. Yeva is tired of sitting around with the baroness circle of ladies and would rather be hunting and when her father loses his fortune and must return to the woods, Yeva is ready to help the family. When her father doesn’t return from a hunting trip, Yeva searches the snow clad forest only to be captured by a beast.
I know the basic story of Beauty and the Beast but I’ve never seen the Disney movie (don’t judge me) so I did have to Wikipedia the story to familiarize myself with the plot.
This is the first book I’ve read by Spooner. I didn’t finish These Broken Stars because something else came along and I didn’t go back. I think Spooner is a very vivid writer and she captures loss and grief quite well. But I had some issues.
Hunted moves quite fast as far as story development. Yeva’s family is quite wealthy with servants in one chapter and in the next they are destitute. I know Yeva is bored with the social scene but she’s totally fine with being suddenly poor and in fact she favors it. There is nothing necessarily wrong with this but many people would have some sort of selfish opinions and none of Yeva’s family does, including her father.
Hunted is only 374 pages and it was both too long and not long enough. The middle bits were consumed with Yeva’s hatred/non-hatred of the beast because he killed her father and she constantly waffles. I know Spooner was setting up a romance and Yeva should suffer this internal conflict, I just wish Spooner had have found a way to convey that without repetition.
There was a lack of character development. The father loves his family and he seems to have it together but he quickly becomes obsessed with hunting the beast and turns mental. This happens too quickly to be believable. The sisters, the love interest, and the servant, Albe, were underdeveloped. I honestly don’t know the purpose of Albe and Solmir, the love interest, was a basic plot device-Yeva would rather be a hunter than a wife. With the exception of Beauty and the Beast, none of the other characters drove the plot and if they weren’t in the book it wouldn’t have impacted the story.
The beast has an agenda and you nor Yeva knows what it is until the last 20 pages. Meanwhile, the forest was magical which was very interesting but once again it was underdeveloped. The ending was too quick-Yeva found the answer in two pages.
I liked the weaving of Vasalisa the Beautiful and how Yeva questioned the traditional fairy tale. I also liked that Yeva didn’t question a talking beast and a magic forest because she’s obviously in a fairy tale-duh. Spooner has potential to write an epic fantasy but the story was too rushed and too predictable.