[Here’s my belated Friday post…life was busy this weekend!]
I continue to expect oversaturation of Beauty of the Beast…there are so many adaptations…but once again my skepticism was proved wrong. Hunted, despite taking its framework from a tale as old as time, manages to be its own unique story.
When Yeva’s family loses everything, and is forced to live in a cabin far away from town, she is the only from her family who isn’t feeling down on the move. It puts her in the wilderness, where she can do what she loves most: hunt. Things take a tragic turn when their father disappears while searching for a strange beast in the woods.
Hunted may be Beauty and the Beast, but it is also a lot more than that. It takes just as much inspiration from lesser known Russian tales. It also turns a few parts of the story on its head: Gaston isn’t the worst ever. Yeva’s reception upon her return from the Beast’s castle is very different from what you might expect. It’s also surprisingly unromantic…not to say that romance isn’t in the book. It just isn’t a spotlight.
This take has a main character in need of adventure, who gets trapped with a Beast when she tries to find her missing father. Beyond that, it is very much its own story.
It’s a book where not a lot happens. Yeva spends a lot of time with the Beast…sometimes in prison. Sometimes with free roam of the castle. Sometimes while learning to hunt in a new, magical land. She also sets her heart on killing the beast, for killing her father. The story is driven by emotion and magic, with plot taking a backseat.
The pace is slow, but consistent. Yeva’s voice is also unique and expressive, and easy to follow along and identify with. She has just as much fire and spunk as the Belle we all know and love, but with the added benefit of a little bit of vengeance too.
If you like Beauty and the Beast, this book will be sure to thrill you. If you don’t like Beauty and the Beast, it is worth the read, with enough thought, magic and meaning to keep your attention beyond the standard expected plot.