YA fantasy/ fairy tale re-telling
HUNTED by Meagan Spooner is a re-telling of the classic story of The Beauty and the Beast set in Russia somewhere around the 1200’s. I was expecting to like this book, and I did, even though I haven’t read much fairy tale re-tellings. It started off a bit slow and didn’t really get going until about 25% of the way through. There was a-lot of backstory and scenes I felt could’ve been reduced or cut out at the very beginning to make the pacing a little bit tighter, but then again all of the pieces fell together to form a neat little picture by the end of it all, so it’s hard not to see this book as perfectly complete the way it is.
I liked the Fairy Tale background of it all and the way the main characters seemed be in tune with a magical or spiritual world in the deep woods that is just outside the reach of the rest of the characters. The fact that it was set in snowy Russia also gave the story the perfect ambience for the plot to develop.
The beast was my favorite character, he felt so human throughout the entire story that my heart broke for him in almost every scene he was in. Beauty was a relatable character, if at times she fell a little flat and repetitive in terms of her feelings. Discovering the true identity of the beast was also a nice treat within the story and perfectly in tune with its Fairy Tale background.
I wish there would’ve been a little more romance. I’m usually all for toning down the romance in YA, but this time I wish it would’ve been turned up. By the end of the story, while it was clear the beauty and the beast loved each other, it didn’t necessarily feel like romantic love, but a love between two kindred spirits who don’t really feel like lovers, just like really, really good friends.
Because of the Fairy Tale background and the original spin to this classic story, I give it four stars. Because of the lack of romance and the somewhat slow beginning and repetitive feelings of the main character, I don’t give it the full five stars.
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Coming up: A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC by V.E. Schwab