When I was a kid Beauty and the Beast was one of my favorite Disney movies. I fell in love with a character who loved books as much as I did. So every time I hear that someone is writing a Beauty and the Beast retelling I know I have to add it to my TBR. HUNTED follows the same story line while still adding in elements you never expected. She plays with fantasy in a way that is so unique and original, and it still feels like the same story you fell in love with when you were a kid. HUNTED follows Yeva, a young girl whose father just lost his fortune. Yeva is happy when they have to move to their old cabin in the woods. When her father goes missing she takes off in search of him and the last thing he was hunting The Beast. Never expecting or knowing what she would find.
What worked for me
This book was not what I expected. We all know the original story line and so I was very curious to see how Meagan would play everything out. While she followed the same story structure there were parts in here I wasn’t expecting but enjoyed so very much. In this story, Beast does not capture the father for stealing but instead to be his hunter. All throughout the book was the mystery of why he needs a hunter. I needed to figure out what this mystery was and I couldn’t put the book down until I did. I also enjoyed that every few chapters there was a page from Beast’s POV. I liked that it was so mysterious and that we got to see what he was thinking. Especially those last few chapters.
Then there was the setting. The majority of this book takes place in the forest and Beasts castle. But there were glimpses of Yeva’s village and cottage in the woods and her old house. The way it was described allowed me to picture it very vividly. Meagan brought this world up in my mind. It was beautiful, magical, and so easy to imagine being right there in the story.
Yeva’s relationship with her sisters, Asenka and Lena is one of my favorite things about this book. Every time I read a retelling the siblings always dislike each other, which is why I liked Yeva and her sister's relationship so much. They worked together, trusted each other, and enjoyed each others company. I love how Meagan really captured the bond between sisters. They don’t always agree, they fight but in the end, they stand by each other.
What left me wanting more
This book was definitely a slow burn book. It took awhile to get to the action, and really set the scene and give us a good feel of the characters. And while at times wanted the book to move faster, I enjoyed that it was a bit of a slower pace.
There was a part at the end where the magical bit kind of took over and was more and more apparent but it was a bit overwhelming. This was just a small part of the book and while it was overwhelming it does resolve itself in the end and never took away my enjoyment of the book.
Overall this book was wonderfully weird and magical. It gave me all the nostalgia of Beauty and the Beast while still being fresh and new. Meagan has created a world so rich in detail and magic you could swear you were right there in the book with Yeva. I would recommend this to fantasy fans, as well as those who loved Beauty and the Beast. This book was nothing I expected but everything I absolutely wanted.