Friday, December 30, 2016

YA Review: Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill

Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill
Publication Date: December 27, 2016
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Amazon Link: HERE
Received From: Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)

Summary (from Amazon):
Seventeen-year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father, a legendary bounty hunter—that is, until her father is murdered. The alleged killer is none other than Cohen Mackay, her father's former apprentice. The only friend she's ever known. The boy she once loved who broke her heart.

She must go on a dangerous quest in a world of warring kingdoms, mad kings, and dark magic to find the real killer. But Britta wields more power than she knows. And soon she will learn what has always made her different will make her a force to be reckoned with. 

In a divided kingdom at war, Britta's father, a famous bounty hunter, taught her everything he knew alongside Cohen MacKay, his apprentice. Working with each other, Britta and Cohen soon became close friends until Britta began developing feelings for him. Even after Cohen moved to the kingdom to work as a bounty hunter, Britta believed that he would come back to her like he promised. But after her father is murdered and there's no sign of Cohen, Britta begins to lose hope. She's alone and starving, and when she's caught illegally poaching in the king's land, she assumes she'll be killed. But to Britta's surprise, the king doesn't want to kill her because he knows of her tracking skills and wants her to find Cohen, who he believes killed her father. This comes to a surprise to Britta because she thought she knew Cohen, but when all the facts point toward a guilty Cohen she makes it her mission to find her father's murderer. Unfortunately the facts aren't always what they seem and Britta's journey turns into a mission to not only find her father's murderer, but also answers about herself.

I added Ever the Hunted to my Amazon wishlist as soon as I read the summary because it sounded similar to The Hunger Games, and since I loved The Hunger Games I knew I had to pick this one up. As soon as I sat down to read Ever the Hunted I was pulled into Britta's world. The book itself is sort of a medieval urban fantasy and features characters with supernatural abilities. And much of the story takes place in the forest, which is one of my favorite settings because it allows the characters to show off their intelligence and skills. Britta is a great character and the author used the forest in order to play up her strong characteristics. She also comes across as relatable since she isn't perfect or completely confident with herself.

And even though I enjoyed Britta as a character, the romance between Britta and Cohen was probably my favorite thing about the book. The story begins with Britta poaching in the woods because she's starving and left with few other options. At this point her father was already murdered and Cohen has already been gone for months. So the resentment and disappointment that Britta feels toward Cohen is definitely there, and it grows even more when the king tells her Cohen was the one who murdered her father. And even though Britta views Cohen more as a villain at this point in the novel, there was still definite chemistry between them. And it was the best type of chemistry as well. Britta doesn't know where she stands with Cohen and vice versa. And because their relationship is so strained, it takes Britta much of the novel to figure out her feelings. Cohen is also purposely kept in a mysterious light throughout the novel, which made his character and the relationship more interesting.

While I loved many things about Ever the Hunted, one thing I couldn't get past was the fact that it was too similar to The Hunger Games. Britta reminded me of Katniss and the plots of both novels were often similar since they both revolved around the corrupt society that the heroines lived in and them trying to survive in such a society. While I would have liked to see this novel stand on it's own, I wasn't able to completely separate it from The Hunger Games because of these similarities. But even with that being said, I did genuinely enjoy Ever the Hunted until the last page and I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series (especially after the book ended on a cliffhanger).

Overall, I would definitely recommend Ever the Hunted to any fans of The Hunger Games or to any readers who are fans of young adult novels that take place in the forest and feature love/hate (enemies to lovers) relationships.