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?
Beauty and the Beast was my favorite movie growing up, so I was so excited to read this book and I was not disappointed. HUNTED was a spellbinding, beautifully crafted book that stuck to the main elements of the traditional tale, but with a few new added twists.
Yeva, also known as Beauty by her family, isn't your typical dainty girl. She's a fearsome hunter, just like her father. After losing his fortune, he moves his family back to the woods and starts going on and on about a beast. Everyone thinks he's gone mad because of the loss. When he goes missing, Yeva's the only one in her family who can track him down. That's when she discovers the beast.
I loved that she was terrified of the beast at first. Yeva reacted how anyone would at being imprisoned by a beast. I do wish there was a little more romance and it was a bit slow to pick up, but I loved the insights to the beast's thoughts. It made me like him even more and proved there was more to him than just an animalistic manner.
Final Verdict: HUNTED was an excellent retelling of Beauty and the Beast and any fans of the classic fairytales will enjoy this book. It is a little slow, but worth the wait for when it picks up.
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.
Good but not Great
What I love most about this book is the setting. Medieval Russia, like hell yeah sign me up! I love going to other countries and I will always grab one that takes place somewhere else. Also, all that snow! God, I would love that. So beautiful. I'm like the only person ever than loves the snow and winter more than heat and summer. Which always makes me wonder why I live in the freaking South... ugh.
Now this isn't like any other Beauty and Beast retelling I've read. Beauty isn't some little sweet girl or even a hardcore bookworm (which I missed). She's a hunter, a damn good one too. She's also strong and takes no shit from anyone. She is also close to her sisters. I loved seeing their strong bond and how much they all really love each other. One of sisters was even ready and willing to give up the love of her life for her younger sister. It was so touching.
The Beast is pretty much what we have come to know with all these retellings so I won't waste time on him.
It all starts with her father going missing during a hunting trip. Yeva goes after him and instead of finding her father... she finds the Beast! There is also a whole other world filled with supernatural creatures that she is shown. Secrets abound and the ending is not quite what you think.