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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?

384 pages, Kindle Edition

First published March 14, 2017

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About the author

Meagan Spooner

16 books3,355 followers
New York Times bestselling author Meagan Spooner grew up reading and writing every spare moment of the day, while dreaming about life as an archaeologist, a marine biologist, an astronaut. She graduated from Hamilton College in New York with a degree in playwriting, and has spent several years since then living in Australia. She's traveled with her family all over the world to places like Egypt, South Africa, the Arctic, Greece, Antarctica, and the Galapagos, and there's a bit of every trip in every story she writes.

She currently lives and writes in Asheville, North Carolina, but the siren call of travel is hard to resist, and there's no telling how long she'll stay there. She's the author of the award-winning Starbound trilogy (These Broken Stars, This Shattered World, Their Fractured Light) and the Skylark Trilogy (Skylark, Shadowlark, Lark Ascending) as well as the upcoming Beauty and the Beast retelling Hunted.

In her spare time she plays guitar, plays video games, plays with her cat, and reads.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 5,421 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,990 reviews298k followers
April 10, 2017
“She wept because she did not know what she wanted, and because she wanted everything.”

4 1/2 stars. Wow, this was... unexpected. I got an arc of Hunted from edelweiss months ago. After putting it off again and again for other books, I decided to let it expire. Seriously, who even needs another Beauty & the Beast retelling? Then this book was given to me as a gift and *resigned sigh* I decided to just give it a shot. And I'm so glad I did.

Cruel Beauty is still my favourite Beauty & the Beast retelling, but this comes in at a close second. It obviously follows the familiar B&tB format, whilst doing something completely new and fresh with it. I loved what it did. I love the new themes the author explores in this old template.

It's a haunting, well-written story. Full of icy coldness, the language of fairy tales, and underneath, a running theme of that inexplicable longing for something you can't quite put your finger on. Maybe it's like wanderlust - that restlessness and dissatisfaction with staying in one place for too long. Maybe it's just wanting without knowing what you want. It's powerful, though, and Spooner captures that feeling so wonderfully here.

Surprisingly, it's very... not romantic. There is no time given over to lusty encounters and stolen kisses with a somehow sexy beast. Rather, the relationship between Beauty and this Beast is one between two outsiders who see something they recognize in one another. Yeva (aka "Beauty") is a trained hunter and she remains dedicated to her passion and her family throughout.

The setting is inspired by rural medieval Russia. Lots of coldness, snow and ice, and it fits with the tale very well. Yeva and her father navigate this white-covered wilderness in their hunting, but then Yeva's father starts rambling about a beast unlike any other. A beast that is smart and cunning. A beast that is following him.
The snow is a canvas, her father would say, upon which the beast paints his past, his home, his intentions, his future. Learn to see the picture and you will know him as you know yourself.

When he doesn't return from a hunting trip, Yeva leaves her beloved sisters to go track him. Of course, she finds way more than she bargained for. Not just a beast, but a whole world of fantastical creatures that seem to play by a different set of rules. But Yeva knows these rules; they're the rules of the fairy tales her father always read to her. The rule of threes. The rule of curses. The rule of breaking them.

Yeva is determined to kill the beast and return to her family. But her quest to kill the seemingly unkillable creature unveils ever more secrets, and the longer she spends in this world, the more she worries what world she will find when she leaves.

Despite having read so many retellings these past few years, Hunted found a special place in my heart. It was thoughtful, moving and - for me - unputdownable.

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Profile Image for Hailey (Hailey in Bookland).
614 reviews87.8k followers
April 6, 2023
I really really enjoyed this! I normally like my fantasy books to have a lot of action and this one definitely lacked that but it worked really well because it read exactly like a fairy tale, which is perfect as this is a Beauty and the Beast retelling. This one stuck a bit closer to the Disney version/original fairy tale than others I have read while also taking a unique spin on it which I thought was very neat. Overall an awesome retelling!

*ARC provided for review by Indigo Books & Music Inc. as I am an Indigo employee*
March 23, 2017
Inches from her face was a nightmarish visage, snarling fangs and red-gold eyes. She screamed, every muscle going rigid as she tried to struggle free, but claws dug into her skin on all sides, giving her no room to move. She stretched out with one arm anyway, ignoring the tearing pain of it, fingers brushing the hilt of her fletching knife.

“YOU GAVE US YOUR WORD.” The voice was almost unrecognizable, the roar tangible against her face as the teeth flashed in the firelight. The claws tightened, piercing her skin all over and causing her to cry out in pain and terror.
Ugh. So I'm a sucker for Beauty and the Beast retellings and Russian-y stuff and bad-ass chicks, and so I when I read the blurb, a B&B retelling set in a vaguely Russian-sounding place with Belle as a hunter out to get Beast, fuck yeah, give it to me baby.

Luckily, I was not disappointed. This book was awesome! It had everything I wanted. The traditional elements of the original tale are there, and I do mean the original tale, not the Disney version, but adapted to a Russian-like setting. It is familiar and comforting, in a different setting, and my love for the classic tale is such that I never get tired of the variations. Some of the (welcome) difference in the book is that Gaston (Solmir) is actually a really nice guy (I was rooting for him!) and Belle (Yeva)'s sisters are really nice (again, a welcome change)

Yeva, her sisters, and father live together with their widowed father, leading a comfortable life. She, however, longs for the woods and the hunt. She knows she will have to marry, but it's a prospect to which she does not look forward.
She could remain unmarried, but to do so would make her a financial burden to her father. To marry would be to leave the wood forever, surrendering what little freedom she still had.
Due an unfortunate loss of a trade caravan, their entire fortune was lost. It is a devastating blow, and they will have to return to the forest, where he had lived before marrying their late mother. They bore the loss of their fortune resolutely and bravely, but there is no doubt that it is overwhelming to them all.
She had seen the spirit die in her father’s eyes. He sat doubled over, looking up at her like a man of eighty. How long could he continue to hunt? He had not had to provide for himself, much less a family, solely by hunting in nearly twenty years.

A chunk of ice detached itself from the roof and slid off, scraping loudly across the sniffles and sobs punctuating the quiet. Winter was coming fast.
Their new home is cold, strange, and wild. Something lurks in the forests, slowly driving her father mad. With her father gone, Yeva wanders back into the forest to hunt, reveling in the freedom, until she is captured and chained by the Beast. But she is no weakling, and she knows what she must do.
I am the captive of the monster who killed my father, she thought with sudden crystal clarity.
She hadn’t left her sisters behind for nothing. She hadn’t tracked her father and discovered him dead, only to die herself the captive of a Beast.
She knew now why she was here. She would see the monster dead.
I've been told that this is also based on another Russian fairy tale, but what it reminds me of is Thousand and One Nights, Scheherazade's tale. Like Scheherazade, Yeva tells her captor of her life, tells him tales, to keep him entertained and to keep her own sanity.

This is no tale of Beauty wearing pretty clothes in the castle during her imprisonment. Our Beauty is a hunter and she uses her skills, hunting and learning aside Beast. The romance is almost nonexistent throughout most of the story, as it should be. And yes, there is a sense of Stockholm Syndrome, but come on, have you read the original tale and the Disney version? The important thing here is that their friendship and eventually, their romance, is believable; a slow burn.

I just really like this book. Even Solmir (Gaston) *squee*
Solmir was silent, watching her. Beyond him and around him the peony leaves fell, drifting to and fro like feathers on the wind. Yes, Yeva thought. I could love him.
But though she struggled not to, she found herself listening with all her might for the tiniest glimmer of a song in him, of the magic the Beast had taught her to hear.
Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,607 reviews10.7k followers
January 26, 2023
Hunted is the BEST Beauty and the Beast retelling I have EVER read! It's magical, dark and so murdery.

I know I am late to the party on this one, like really, really late, but I can't help but gush.

Why did I wait so long to pick this up? I am horrible at life, I guess. That must be the answer. There literally cannot be another reason.

I listened to the audiobook of Hunted, which I borrowed from my local library. After completing, I know I will be buying a hard copy because I absolutely plan to read this again.

The most impactful aspect for me was hands-down the atmosphere. It was so well done. Dark, gothic and dangerous. I felt cold, alone and HUNTED.

Set amidst a harsh Russian landscape, this felt like a nice blend of the classic Beauty and the Beast tale and Peter and the Wolf.

I used to have the record version of the Peter and the Wolf symphony. As a child I listened to it all the time. This book was so nostalgic for me, bringing back strong memories of listening to that. It is such a feeling.

I loved the representation of Belle's character here. That was another really strong aspect for me; she was independent, strong, willful and brave.

She was not a damsel in distress. Nope, not our girl. She was a badass, who though scared, did whatever she had to do for vengeance and that's the kind of heroine I live for!

Then, of course, we have the Beast. We get his perspective in small parts throughout the book and I found them to be so interesting. He is way darker, and more primal, than the Beast of the Disney version, but no less compelling.

Along with him, of course, comes the castle fallen into ruin, the hostage situation, the secret library, the Stockholm Syndrome love trope and it was just so good. I ate it right up.

I suppose for some this book may seem slow, it isn't nonstop action, but for me the flow was absolutely perfect.

The pace helped to set up the atmosphere, which contributed to the overall feeling and for me, it was flawless.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves retellings, particularly if you are into dark, gothic or stabby things.

Do you prefer more stabby to lovie? If so, this could be the book for you!

Profile Image for Anne.
4,060 reviews69.5k followers
June 21, 2022
Tale as old as time...


Yeah, this is not that Beauty and the Beast.
This Beauty is a bit less sing-y and a bit more...stabby. Which is a pretty nice change of pace, to be honest!
Plus, this time around, it isn't the villagers who are out to kill the Beast, it's Beauty, herself. She's a hunter. A badass hunter.
And because {insert spoilery reasons here} she's on a mission to take a chunk out of his supernatural hide. Of course, killing him means she's gotta stay on as his Guest prisoner while she looks for the chink in his armor that will allow her to take her revenge.
Then, after a cute montage, they fall in love, right!?


Uhhhhhh. No.


The romance is so slow to build that even the characters are clueless until the very end. And even then what brings them together is more of a mutual understanding of each other. A recognition of someone with the same wants and needs - with the same sort of big gaping hole in their soul.
You know, kinda like real life.
So what happens when the last petal falls?


Oh. Well, there's not any enchanted fucking rose in this one. Soooo. Yeah.
But Beauty sure does take her sweet ass time getting back to the castle to try to break the spell. In fact, she takes so much time that {spoilery shit happens}!
Oh my god! Do they ever get to do that fancy twirly dance in the ballroom?!


Ok, this was a lovely romance, but the goal of this tale isn't that your life will be complete when you find your prince (or princess).
The moral of the story is this:
There's nothing magical over the horizon that is going to make you happy. There's no person that can complete you, no task that once you finish will give you perfect satisfaction, and no point in your life where you can breathe that sigh of relief and live happily ever after.
Life just...is. Until it isn't.
Try to enjoy the times that aren't horrible (because there will be horrible times), and stop waiting on {insert that thing you think will make you happy here} to happen before you let yourself be satisfied.
Bone-deep happiness is more of a choice than most people realize, and if you're able to choose it you'll be far better off than most.
Profile Image for Nastassja.
423 reviews1,013 followers
February 12, 2022

Another anticipated release. Another unpopular opinion! Beware the spoilers!

Lo and behold, Fifty Shades of Beast!

Note: My reference of 50 shades of Beast is not about this book having explicit content. There's no sex; it's a typical YA story 'they kissed and the screen went blank'. My reference is about how disturbing and unrealistic I find what characters have between them, and there's nothing romantic I can see about it. A very strong case of Stockholm Syndrome (worse than in the original, as here the Beast kidnaps, chains Beauty in the dungeon, and threatens to kill her relatives if she doesn't obey him. Their relationship reminds me of a Master/Slave one, where a person doesn't have a choice but to do what their master says.

Somewhere in the wilderness of… um, where are we? Is this supposed to be some kind of imaginary world or a real one? Russian wilderness? Or Europe or America? Stop, did they say Constantinople? Mongols? Rather than these two titles, there was nothing specific. So this is the 15th century of what country? If the author aimed for Russia, then it's an epic fail because there's nothing distinctive about Russian culture except for the name Galina and the Russian fairy-tales the heroine's father told her when she was a child.
*100 pages into the book and still no distinctive picture of where the hell the book takes place* Insert any place and any language you wish and it will work. Heck, insert moon and it'll work as this book's setting. Hello, non-existent world-building.

Beauty aka Dummy: I am so wild, I don’t want to be a gentle lady, give me my bow and arrows and I’ll run about happily shooting poor creatures in the forest.

Sisters: But we must learn to be ladies. It’s the 15th, not the 21st century. We can’t just run about wild and uncaring about our future.

Father: Oh children, we are poor; all my ships are gone and our money with them. So now we have to travel into the wilderness to live in our family shag, wherever the fuck this wilderness is located.

Sisters: Oh god, we are ruined. No one will marry us now without status and money.

Beauty aka Dummy: Yahoo, we are poor, and now I won't have to marry! Fuck my poor sisters and my ruined father, I’ll run about in the dirt and hug pigs and will be so happyyyyy!!

*After a long trip, they are finally in the ass of the world (wherever it is)*

Father: I’ll go hunting. Beauty, I forbid you to go after me, stay home, and take care of your sisters.

*a week or so passes*

Solmir aka Gaston: Hi, Beauty, I came to make you my wife. I was in love with you for a long time. I’ll give you all the freedom you want. We’ll hunt together, we’ll travel together, we’ll do whatever you want. And when it’s time for me to come back and become the Baron, you will be by my side beloved and cared for.

Beauty aka Dummy: It’s tempting, but I am such a feminist, I want to live in God’s ass of nowhere, hunt sweet creatures every day, and roll with pigs in the dirt. Why would I marry someone likable and sweet like you if I have my pigs?

*Solmir goes away but comes back the next day and the next one and so on*

Beauty aka Dummy: Ok, Solmir, I will marry you, because, though, I am a Dummy, but even I can see that you are actually a decent person and I like you, but first I must go find my absent father. I’ll go alone to the middle of nowhere.

Solmir aka Gaston: But..but maybe it’s more reasonable to go together? It’s dangerous alone out there, don’t you think, Beauty?

Beauty aka Dummy: Nonsense! What could happen to a girl with only a bow for protection in the middle of winter god knows where? Besides, you’ll spoil my meeting with my love interest #2 The Beast. Go home, be a househusband while I hunt the Beast.

*some freezing time later*

Beauty aka Dummy: I am alone. And there are eerie sounds everywhere and, look, blood… I just pissed myself but I am such an independent woman that I can’t go back until I find out where the blood trail leads.

*finds her dead father and is attacked by the Beast*

Beast aka Gothic lunatic: We are such a Byronic tragic figure. We hunt. We kill. We compose poetry. We need a girl for our Beast-y shady business.

*Beauty regains consciousness*

Beauty aka Dummy: Oh, where am I? Why am I chained in some stinky dungeon? Who did this to me?

Voice behind the door:Hey you, are you okay?

Beauty aka Dummy: Oh friend, I am so happy I am not alone!

Voice behind the door: I am not your friendrrrr.

Beauty aka Dummy: But you are, I am so alone here, and you are helping me while someone chained me in this stinking dungeon. Let me tell you a fairy-tale while we wait for our nasty captor to return.

Voice behind the door: Um, ok.

*a few fairy-tales later*

Voice behind the door: Put this blindfold over your eyes.

Beauty aka Dummy: Oh, my friend, your voice is full of richness and depth, I can’t disobey it. And, though, you are a stranger and I haven’t seen you, I’ll trust your sexy voice to not lead me back into the forest to kill me. I know you are going to save me from whoever put me in this stinking dungeon.

Voice behind the door: You know nothingrrrr!

(Sorry, I couldn't resist *snickers*)

Beast aka Gothic lunatic: She tells us stories, she lets us touch her, and doesn’t flinch from us. Our den smells so nice of her. Errr, we want to eat her, but we wouldn't because we need to play more mind-fucking games with our prey.

Beauty aka Dummy: I know you are shy and that’s why you don’t want me to see your face, not because you are some vile creature that abducted me and put me in chains. I am your friend, please, show me your pretty, pretty face.

Voice behind the door: Norrrr!

*takes off the blindfold anyway*

Beauty aka Dummy: *gasp* it’s you the Beast who kidnapped and dragged me and chained me in this stinky dungeon!!

Beast aka Gothic lunatic: Finally you Dummy added two and two together! Now I can tell you that I need you for some shady Beast-y business. I’ll train you myself. You’ll be the master BDSM when I am done with you.

Beauty aka Dummy: What?

Beast aka Gothic lunatic: Get up or I’ll kill you. No, better I’ll kill your family, the one you told me about when you was a Dummy and thought I was your friend.

Beauty aka Dummy: How dare you Beast! Un-Beasthandle me now!

Beast aka Gothic lunatic: We both know you love my paws.

Beauty aka Dummy: I am an independent woman and I’ll kill you Beast!

Beast aka Gothic lunatic: I love me some foreplay! Now, go train!

Beauty aka Dummy: Don’t command me as if I were your property!

Beast aka Gothic lunatic: You are minerrrrr!

Beauty aka Dummy: You may have me captive, you may control when I leave, piss or eat, or how long I am allowed to live. You may be my master Dominant, but you do not own me!

Beast aka Gothic lunatic: Um, are you serious, Dummy?

*awkward silence*

Beauty aka Dummy: Ok, I might admit that you actually own me after all… And some part of me actually likes it. I look into your beasty eyes and see a sexy human boy in their depth. I think I can work with that.

*some shady beast-y training later*

Beauty aka Dummy: What are you doing in my room in the middle of the night, Beast?!

Beast aka Gothic lunatic: I am a Byronic tragic figure, I need to brood in the middle of the night in a maiden's room so she would fall in love with me; they always do when I pull that trick.

Beauty aka Dummy: Oh, it’s so romantic, I like it.

*more beast-y foreplay later*

Beast aka Gothic lunatic: I think Stockholm Syndrome finally kicked in. Now I can let you go home Beauty because we both know you’ll be running back to me in no time. Who is your master Dominant?

Beauty aka Dummy: You, Beast, but I didn’t tell you that *flutters eyelashes* I am such a feminist, I don’t need men for anything, I’ll play coy and go home, because I, at least, need to pretend not to care, and then after some angsty alone time I’ll come to you as an independent woman, and we’ll finally deal with your shady Beast-y business *blows a kiss and gallops away astride a unicorn*


Okay, it’s actually not the end, but we all know how this story ends, and besides I DNFed this book at about 50% and just skipped to the end and, yup: angst, angst, angst and then a Happily Beast-y After. I get that the author was aiming for the darker version of Beauty and the Beast, but the whole Stockholm Syndrome case was such a killjoy. Plus the logic behind characters’ actions, especially the heroines, killed the book for me. Add to that the non-existent world-building, and, overall, I didn't enjoy the book at all. So why give two stars then? Well, the writing was nice, and this is not the worst or the most ridiculous book I've read this year. Just not my cup of tea, mostly.

Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.6k followers
July 30, 2020
ive read so many ‘beauty and the beast’ retellings that ive lost count. its safe to say its my favourite story/trope to retell and i honestly never get tired of it. and this is one of the better retellings i have read. im actually surprised at how much i liked this one.

i love the russian folklore influence to this. it reminded me so much of ‘the bear and the nightingale.’ its atmospheric, its mysterious, and its magical. i really enjoyed how the specific russian faery tale ties-in so effortlessly and perfectly into the overall ‘beauty and the beast’ narrative. also, i think this is the first retelling ive read where the beast character is an actual hybrid beast. its very reminiscent of disneys ‘beauty and the beast’ and, being a 90s child, my nostalgic heart loved that.

overall, im super pleased with this. its true to the original story, but has its own unique vibes. which is everything i could ask for a retelling.

4.5 stars
Profile Image for Reynita ★ The Night Reader ★.
123 reviews943 followers
February 7, 2018

Me : *sighs*
Person : are you okay?
Me : yeah, I'm just disappointed.
Me : *facepalm*

And as Yeva
scanned the walls, each one lined with shelves and each one full
of leather-bound books, at least a hundred books, more than she
knew existed in one place, she felt her heart might simply burst.

I truly don't know why I didn't really like this book. Maybe it's because I was in reading slump while reading it ? or maybe it was just the book that wasn't really interesting ? the reason is either of them.

Before I read this book, I kind of had high expectations about it because I heard so many great things about it and even though, retelling is not one of my favorite genres, I still like reading it.
I was so excited when I first started reading it, like really really excited. THE BLURB SOUNDED GOOD TO ME.

This was what I felt when I began reading it. I was excited and the beginning of the book was pretty good.


but then the more I read it, the more I realized that this book didn't meet my expectations. I thought this book would be action-packed, but it wasn't. there're several action scenes in this book but it's not enough and oh my God, there were a lot of information and too much talking and NOT ENOUGH ACTION SCENES. I READ THIS BOOK JUST BECAUSE I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE ACTION-PACKED.




I'm going to speak about them but I have to put spoiler tag on it, because I'm afraid someone would be spoiled.



and now the romance between Yeva and the beast. I consider it as enemy-to-lover-kind of romance. Yeva hates the beast at the beginning but then she slowly ... understands the beast? well, basically she develops feelings toward the beast but the saddest thing is, I could not feel anything for them. Not even a spark. Their romance was just boring for me. I felt as if the romance was forced.

I don't know what else to talk about. I did enjoy reading it at the beginning but then after that the realization sank in that it didn't meet my expectations and then there was that whole drama that I hate. *sighs* I guess, the only thing that I loved in this book was the bond between the sisters. The bond was beautiful and sweet. I have a big sister and I love her so much and I certainly could relate to the bond between Yeva, Asenka and Lena.

I may do not like this book, but please if you want to read this book then go read it! maybe you will love it, who knows, right? and than you very much for reading and liking this review. I appreciate it so much, guys. *hugs*


MY FINAL EXAMINATIONS ARE OVER. Now, I can read a book as long as I want. MUAHAHAHAHA.

Profile Image for Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink.
261 reviews4,946 followers
June 5, 2017
*Full Review Update
Guys I'm so sad. I didn't love it. Don't get me wrong, I totally see why others did, and I'm in the minority for this one.

I'm not going to type a summary on this one because well, it's a Beauty and the Beast retelling. Some parts were close to the original, and other parts deviated quite a bit. In my opinion, it was the wrong parts. Here's the thing... I'm super biased. I grew up with Beauty and the Beast and I just hold it in such a high regard so it's hard for me to love retellings unless they are as emotionally connected as the first.

The story starts off SOOOO slow. It's literally everyone doing normal actions for a good chunk of it. One thing I did love right off the bat was Beauty's connection to her family. She adores her father and sisters and there is such mutual love and acceptance.

However, very little happens as the story progresses. If I'm remembering correctly, the B&tB storyline doesn't even start until like 30-35%? But okay, I'm fine with slower start if they are imperative for character development, but eek it was boring.

Anyway, once the main storyline did start, I just... didn't feel it. I felt like there was no chemistry between Beauty and the Beast. It supposedly took place over months and there was hardly any conversations or interaction between them. I guess I just wanted more? However, I DID love the scene where she sneaks into his room to try and kill him. So there's that. It did finally make me feel something for the beast. But really... that was it.

Whatever, I could have held out and still been quite happy with the book just based on the pretty writing and the folklore aspects if the end had followed through. But whaaat? What even happened? Okay so Beauty went back to her family and literally stayed there for months while she knew she needed to save the beast. But she's all like "Oh hey I'll leave tomorrow it's fine." That literally happened about 10 times and next thing you know, it's months later. Please. Are you serious right now. And then the actual end where she goes to find the Beast... what even happened? I don't even know. BUT the one thing I did love was how the story with her sisters wrapped up. So there's that.

Soooo all in all I was pretty disappointed, but there were some good points that I kinda brushed over. Like I said, the writing was lovely, the forest description was really cool, and the folklore aspect was what had me in such high hopes for the ending. Also, the whole captor vs captive thing can be so tricky to navigate but the author handled it really well - I saw no sketchy issues there.

Anyway, all in all, it wasn't really for me, but don't let this deter you. Try it out for yourself!

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Profile Image for ✨ Helena ✨.
379 reviews1,004 followers
August 23, 2020
“She was so tired after all. Tired of fairy tales, and magic, and empty castles. Tired of wanting so intensely that she didn’t know what she wanted.”

Da da da DAAA…Please allow me to introduce you to the FIFTH La Belle et la Bête retelling that I’ve read! I know; it’s a lot. But it’s my favourite faery tale! Let’s see: Beastly by Alex Flinn, Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge, A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas, Uprooted by Naomi Novik, and now…Hunted by Meagan Spooner! :D Some I’ve loved, some I’ve liked, and some I’ve hated, but I’m happy to announce that Hunted falls under the loved category. Agh! I’m so happy, right now! This was amazing! I know; I know what you’re thinking: Do we really need another La Belle et la Bête retelling? Well, let me tell you…the answer is a resounding yes! Hunted is now my second-favourite retelling of this faery tale, closely following Cruel Beauty, of course.

But, ugh! Why did I put this off for so long? I was going to pick it up after The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden, but decided against it, after not enjoying it…stupid me! Russian faery tales definitely seem to be hit-or-miss with me, but I’m so relieved that Hunted turned out to be a hit! :D It was also extremely unputdownable…one more chapter, one more chapter, one more chapter, etc.

While following the familiar structure of the Disney movie that defined the childhoods of many, Spooner also manages to make this a very new and fresh take, in the same token. In fact, rather than keeping the story true to its origins by setting it in France, it takes place here in rural, medieval Russia. Like Hodge’s Cruel Beauty, which integrated other tales into the story, such as Perrault’s Bluebeard and Greek mythology, Hunted integrates Russian folklore, as well. Two main stories drive the plot of Hunted: Gabrielle-Suzanne de Villeneuve’s La Belle et la Bête (French) and Alexander Afanasyev’s Tsarevitch Ivan, the Firebird, and the Grey Wolf (Russian). The French one provides the main framework that we recognise as the readers of this story, but the Russian one is constantly referenced by the characters themselves. I really enjoyed the tale-within-a-tale format.

In addition, the language itself was hauntingly beautiful, sucking me in and making me constantly think that I was sitting in a snowy castle in the dead of Russian winter, only for me to look up from my book and see Halloween decorations outside my window, which was quite shocking, to say the least!

“To the girl

who reads by flashlight

who sees dragons in the clouds

who feels most alive in worlds that never were

who knows magic is real

who dreams

This is for you”

From the moment that I read the dedication above, I was utterly entranced with this novel…

This reinterpretation of the classic tale presents a slow cat-and-mouse game of Beauty, the huntress, and Beast, the hunted. Here, Beauty is no meek damsel-in-distress, waiting to be saved. Here, she’s the one who saves her prince from a tragic curse.

Gaston is not the hunter, in this tale…Beauty (Yeva) is. A devourer of faery tales, she simultaneously loves the power and freedom that comes with hunting her prey in the woods. Like many protagonists we’ve come across in the past, she is resistant to marriage at such a young age, and feels misunderstood by those closest to her, especially her sisters. While they accept her unconventional and unladylike hobby, they also support her and whatever makes her happy. More than anything else, I enjoyed the familial bonds in this novel. In addition, Yeva has the most loyal dog, Doe-Eyes, by her side, who was the true MVP here!


One night, when her father fails to return home from hunting, she resolves to find him…and encounters the Beast (Eovyn), who is an actual WOLF – snout, tail, and all. Wanting to avenge her father and return to her sisters, she decides to take over her father’s mission and hunt the seemingly unkillable Beast herself. Held captive in his castle, she takes advantage of her situation and bides her time, in order to expose his weaknesses and finally have her revenge. But is anything in life ever that easy? ;)


One aspect of this novel that I LOVED was the slow-burn romance. And by slow-burn, I mean there isn’t a hint of romantic feelings between Yeva and Eovyn until the very last few chapters. Even they didn’t know what was happening until it hit them! Rather, their relationship is grounded in friendship and trust. I wouldn’t even say that there are elements of Stockholm Syndrome, as Yeva recognises that the two of them are quite dysfunctional. She tried to kill him repeatedly and he kept her prisoner for months. Neither one of them were wholly good or bad. They both had very light and dark parts of themselves that came out in certain situations. They have a mutual understanding of each other and recognise that they were the missing pieces in each other’s lives…and I think that it was just beautiful. <3


“She wept because she did not know what she wanted, and because she wanted everything.”

The most prominent theme here is wanting. Beauty wants more: a bigger life, a bigger world, a bigger adventure…a bigger everything. Like many who experience wanderlust, she is unsatisfied with what she has and wants more from her existence. She can’t quite put her finger on it, but she has an inexplicable longing for something more. I, for one, also feel this way. I want something out of life, but I don’t precisely know what it is.

As such, I highly recommend this to fans of La Belle et la Bête and other Russian faery tales. It's definitely being added to my favourites list! :D
Profile Image for sreeja.
65 reviews307 followers
April 9, 2017
“She moves like beauty, she whispers to us of wind and forest—and she tells us stories, such stories that we wake in the night, dreaming dreams of a life long past. she reminds us of what we used to be.
She reminds us of what we could be.”

dark; addictive; unique
this is hands down my favorite beauty and the beast retelling so far. It manages to stick to the original story while having an extremely unique and beautiful twist to it by adding in Russian fairy tale and folklore into the main plot.
Just giving you a prior head up here this doesn’t stick to Disney Movie kind of beauty and beast
there are no talking teacups/ any household item here:
The beast is not a pining softie in this one (I mean he still is but like in a subtler and endearing way) :
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There are no light-hearted breaking out into huge song sequences (bummer but still):

This story is a much much much darker take on this story. The usual elements of the original tale are still retained in this but it is more fantasy based. This was such a beautiful story i can't praise it enough. The story had a few new elements that i thoroughly enjoyed. And honestly let me just list the reasons why you NEED to read this book:
a) the gorgeous description&setting
Most of this book took place in the beautiful castle during the winter time. And it was a cold and snowy setting. The other most used setting was the forest itself which was beautifully described.
b) the sister love
This is a newly added change that was not in the original tale as Belle does not have any sisters but it is definitely a welcome change. Unlike most fairy tales; these aren't your typical 'evil stepsister' trope they are strong independent women who love each other very much and are willing to go to great lengths to sacrifice their happiness if it makes the other happy. Honestly, some of the moments just made me have happy feels.
Yes!! There are dogs in this book and they play a really important part in this story and i love Doe-eyes so much. The dogs were so adorable and loyal and honestly just reading about the relationship that Yeva (Belle) shared with it is so sweet i just can't.
d) Yeva
I am so pleasantly surprised by her character. Like Belle, she is beautiful, graceful and loves her father very much. But Yeva is just so badass she is an amazing huntress and loves to be in the forest and is in love with nature. Yeva is just very skilled and it was so amazing to follow her and see her in action. Yeva is intelligent and though she becomes vengeful in the middle it is so great to see her change her viewpoint.
e) Russian fairy tales& folklore
This was my personal favorite addition! The story itself was set in Russia and the main story that played a part in this book was the Ivan and the firebird one. Meagan Spooner manages to weave together these folklore into the tale and it was so beautiful OMG i'm in love.
f) Beast & Yeva
THEY WERE SO ADORABLE. I knew i was obviously going to end up shipping them but it was so amazing to see them interact with one another and i'm just so happy with the way that their relationship was executed and that ENDING i'm so happy i can just :')

Overall, this book was amazing and i highly recommend if you are looking for a fast and fun retelling! This was amazing and everyone needs to read this!!

NEEDLESS TO SAY, i have a lot of love in my heart for this story
PS honestly how perfect was emma watson as belle like after watching the movie (a week ago?) i can't imagine anyone else pulling off belle's character so effortlessly

BR with the wHOle gang (my pun tho im laughing)
the one who likes to dab
the one who thinks im a traitor (BUT IM NOT ;-;)
the one who got bribed by cookies
Profile Image for Bentley ★ Bookbastion.net.
242 reviews558 followers
May 4, 2017
See this review and on my blog: www.bookbastion.net

This was STUNNING.

^ Actual gif of me reading most of this book.

Okay, not really, but it about sums up my feelings.

Retellings are a difficult thing to go into because you never know how they're going to turn out: how you're going to feel if the story is too similar so it feels boring to read; or if it diverges too greatly from the source material that you feel it's done the original an injustice. Neither was the case for me here.

Hunted sets itself apart from the commonly known fairytale with distinctive characters, and few twists on the most recognizable moments from the story. Spooner's prose took this to the next level for me in many ways. It is magical and lyrical and feels very much in keeping with the spirit of classically told fairytales.

One of the wonderfully macabre things about a lot of classic fairytales that mainstream audiences (who don't read) are not aware of is the dark tonal quality present in a lot of them. Spooner takes inspiration from that and weaves darkness and light together into a tapestry of memorable moments that stand apart from the original in a lot of ways, but are respectful to it all the same.

The most important aspect of the story is without a doubt, Beauty.

My introduction to Beauty and the Beast was of course the Disney version. I've always felt a sort of kinship with Belle, ever since I was a kid. She loves books; she's a bit socially awkward, and she's full of hope for her future. So, I was glad to see that Yeva was quite in keeping with that characterization, but I will say that I really enjoyed her added strengths.

This was a Beauty who didn't need no man for a lot of this story, and that was more than okay. That was great!

Of course, when she inevitably does become involved in the romantic aspects of the story that we all know and love, it's on her own terms and is entirely her own motivation. I respected the journey that she takes, and Spooner for sending her on it.

Of course, we have to talk about our Beast too:

He might be more bite than bark in this particular retelling, but I wouldn't have it any other way. His journey is just as important as the one that Yeva takes, and I particularly enjoyed some of the most pivotal moments involving his character, especially in the final act of the book.

Because I have to explain why I'm rating this the way I am, I will say that I wanted to see a bit more of the world! We know this is a Russian folklore inspired retelling, but beyond that and a few creatures from legends being thrown in, I felt like the world outside of the forest and castle that Yeva and the Beast occupied felt quite small. It helped make their dynamic more intimate, for sure, but even the Beast's background is left in shadows that I had hoped Spooner would illuminate by the end of the story.

This was a fabulous book. It's a respectful take on the material, and a true homage to classic fairytales. I just loved it. I consider it a new favorite, and Spooner an author I look forward to reading more from in the future.

★★★★✯ = 4.5 out of 5 stars

My third buddy read with my buddy Joshua Gabriel (Forever Bookish Josh)!I'm dying to crack into this one! The cover is just so gorgeous, it's been calling to me for a couple weeks now.

I'm hoping for a mix of this:
757 reviews2,349 followers
April 11, 2017
This was a BR with:
the potato
DJ Khaled
Solohoe (I'm exposing you traitor)


This book is so beautiful and magical and I can't get over it. This book takes its time in explaining the world building and the ABSOLUTELY HEART WRENCHING RELATIONSHIP between Beauty and the Beast. I'm so glad this buddy read actually worked out with me and I actually really ended up enjoying a book in a buddy read. This rarely happens oml even though I finished it without two of my BR partners. The reason why this ended up being a successful BR is because I didn't choose the book. WHENEVER I CHOOSE A BOOK, IT ALWAYS ENDS UP BEING TRASH AND MY BR NEVER WORKS OUT WITH ANYONE.

Yeva is a girl who wants nothing more than to be hunting in the forest alongside her father. She doesn't want to be getting married off to some handsome rich guy, but simply being out in the woods where she can be free and do what brings her happiness. When Yeva's father falls under a debt to pay, they have to sell their house and move out into the woods and survive the cold, hard winter. Yeva's father hunts for them also mumbling about a magical creature in the woods out there for him. So when one day, he disappears *poof bye bye* Yeva goes searching for him and the mysterious creature her father was talking about before he disappeared.

I really really liked this retelling because it is unlike any I've ever read before. (This is probably my second one???) The thing that makes this retelling so unique is that the Beauty is the deadly one here and all she wants to do is hunt down the beast. She is brutal and thirsty for the blood of this beast. She wants nothing more than the satisfying death of this creature and to return home, but SPOILERS and SPOILERS. I really liked her character as well. She's badass, she wears dresses, she loves her sisters and dog. She is kind and loving and that doesn't mean she's a rude ass bitch, which is honestly so refreshing from all these YA badass heroine tropes.

⚔Also the relationship between Yeva and her sisters was so amazing. The love the sisters had for each other and the will to sacrifice their happiness for each other to an extreme extent was so real and beautiful.

⚔Also the amount of attention the dogs get in this book is so amazing as well. I loved how the dogs played an important role and how they were treated with love and like family. I love Doe Eyes sm.

I loved how the author took her time in explaining the world building. It's not rushed, there is no info dumping. The book is really slow paced and it takes its time in revealing everything at once and it's done super well. Usually slow paced plot, and world building bother me, but this book does it really well and again, I'm surprised at how much I enjoy it. The relationship between Yeva and the Beast is so well done and beautiful, I might have screamed for ten minutes straight.

What stopped me from giving this 5 stars was that sometimes the story got really dull at a certain point. It is full of magic and beauty (ahahaha... okay i'll just laugh by myself), but it doesn't really have that much dialogue in it. I like my books with lots of dialogue, but it even though there wasn't much of it in this book, it didn't bother me that much and I still ended up liking it. The lack of dialogue in this book made the book sort of dull and bland at certain points for me, but like I said, IT WAS STILL REALLY GOOD OKAY.

I also ended up predicting something major, though I'm not really sure it's major?

I also loved the whole message of happiness and wanting in this book. It's so real, heartbreaking, and beautiful, my heart hurts.

***Major spoilers from here on now, so if you haven't read the book, DON'T READ THIS PART***


Okay, can we please talk about the beast?? He is the most cutest, frustrating, adorable and sweetest piece of shit on earth and my fucking heart hurt SO BAD for him. I hated how he was hurting and HIS FEELS FOR BEAUTY OH MY LORD. THE FUCKING CUTEST THINGS ON EARTH, I'M SCREAMING. I WANT TO STEAL THE BEAST AND PET HIS FUR AND HUG HIM ALL DAY AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

AND THAT ENDING??? OH MY GOD, THAT FUCKING ENDING HAS ME SO HURT. IT'S SO BEAUTIFUL AND SATISFYING, YET IT STILL FEELS INCOMPLETE??? Even though Yeva and Eovan get their happily ever after, I'm still not satisfied. I don't know, but I was expecting something more?

Profile Image for ;3.
441 reviews885 followers
May 20, 2019
the entire concept of beauty and the beast is so wild to me like. homegirl straight up loved an animal romantically. an animal. that’s so wild like have you ever had a pet?

anyway. this book is what sjm THINKS acotar is
December 26, 2020
Intricate, rich and enchanting, Hunted was the tale I never knew I needed - it's a Beauty and the Beast winter retelling interspersed with Russian elements, captivating folklore, and an overall ethereal, snowy atmosphere that contributed to the whimsical fairytale setting in the book. Yeva's heart spoke to mine on a personal level. The restlessness, the constant wanting, the inability to settle, the soul-deep longing. It's the first time in a long time that I've found a heroine after my own wild heart, and I love this book for it.
Profile Image for Trina (Between Chapters).
872 reviews3,756 followers
July 8, 2017
This story had a strong fairy tale vibe with its fantasy world, fantastical creatures, and curses but it did not stick too close to the original Beauty and the Beast tale. Yes, you could easily tell who some of the characters were and assume some information about them, but it really made the world and characters their own. I think it would be great for those who LOVE fairy tales, but want a story that is still its own thing.

Personally, my favorite aspect of this was that the Beast was an actual animal beast. Too many retellings, even in the fantasy genre, just turn him into some angsty rude guy.

I also chuckled at a discussion of Beauty falling for her captor. Though, I have to say that the way this story built Beauty and Beast's motivations did not feel as Stockholm syndrome as the classic tale.

Although this worked great as a retelling in my opinion, it was pretty weak in terms of direction. The curse was not explained sufficiently for me, the answer to everything was so obvious but took the characters until the end to realize, and the ending felt a bit rushed. The story could have definitely used some more development.

Despite the plot's weakness, I was absolutely hooked while reading this. It was one of those experiences where every time I read it I would say "just one more chapter, I'm tired" and then I'd end up reading 5 chapters because I could not put it down! Spooner's writing has some quality to it that propelled me through. I did not mind the slower bits around the middle because I would have gladly spent 600 pages in this story.

Also, I loved the Gaston character. He was not a sleazeball. (No love triangle.) And Beauty has a dog companion that follows her through most of the book that a lot of readers might love!

Overall, though I wanted a bit more from the curse storyline, this was an enjoyable retelling and the kind of reading experience I crave. I would love to read more that Spooner has solo written and hope she does more retellings!
Profile Image for Arini.
857 reviews1,765 followers
September 5, 2020
Beauty and the Beast but make it Russian.

The Russian part . . . I really can’t say. Mostly because I don’t know anything about Russian culture, so I had no clue this was set in a Russian inspired world until I read some reviews—from which I also gathered that to some #OwnVoices reviewers the Russian influence was very lacking or non-representational.

What I can say is that I did find the world building insufficient (or maybe it’s just me who doesn’t get it). The wintery setting made for a whimsical and atmospheric read. However, I felt like I never quite understood about the places where it all took place (the magical forest, Beast’s castle) as well as the magic and how everything worked.

I feel like ever since ACOTAR, we’re just going to compare every Beauty and the Beast retelling with that series. So I’d say that this was also kinda like (the opposite of) ACOTAR in terms of family dynamics. Beauty was a huntress and the youngest of three sisters. Their relationship together and along with their father was heartwarming.

What’s a miss for me is the fact that the plot never really took off. I felt like I was stuck in the introduction phase for most of the book. Then when we got through the rushed ending, I was like . . . waiittt, that’s it?! As much as I appreciated all the family related content, I also think it took away much of Beauty and Beast related plotline.

I liked that Beast was an actual beast and that we got a few short bursts of his PoV. I liked his dynamics with Beauty, especially the time when she thought he was her savior and not her captor. The romance was sweet but also (still) strange. Not so much because of the Stockholm Syndrome, but like can you imagine falling in love with your dog or pet?

Overall, this was a nice read, but I wanted more. It held close to the Disney original Beauty and the Beast even though it also did have its own spin. The captor vs. captive narrative is a tricky one to navigate, especially in the YA category. I didn’t find anything about this to be exceedingly alarming. Grab it if you’re in the mood for some light fairytale reading.

(Read as an Audiobook)
Profile Image for Danielle.
831 reviews450 followers
February 18, 2021
I wouldn't say I've had the best of luck with books that are re-telling fairytales. So, to be honest, I didn't have the highest hopes for this one. But I was quite impressed. It was more adventure than overly fairytale, in my opinion. I really loved Beauty. She is not a helpless girl, who needs to be saved- she is a brave and skilled tracker and hunter. The ending felt a bit rushed to me, aside from that, I'm fairly happy with the story overall and would recommend it to anyone who likes fairytale/adventures.
Profile Image for Navessa.
Author 11 books7,636 followers
April 19, 2018

This is a solid YA Beauty and the Beast retelling, full of girl power and feminist themes. Some of the story threads are definitely true to the original fairy tale (kidnapping, a curse, a ruined castle, a beast), but where Spooner deviates from that tale is where the meat of this story really comes from.

In this retelling, Beauty is something of a badass. A hunter who can move through a forest as though she is part of it.

This book starts off with her father as a wealthy merchant, who sacrificed his love of the woods to give his wife and three children a better life in town. A bad investment ends in tragedy for his business, and the family is forced to retreat back to his dilapidated country cottage. There, he re-enters the surrounding forest, stalking deeper and deeper into the wilderness in search of something that will re-instate his fortune and return the family to the good life they had in town.

This does not go so well for him. As you can imagine.

After he disappears, Beauty goes in search of him. She finds him eventually, and by then it’s too late to realize that while she’s been stalking his tracks, that something else her father was looking for has been stalking her.

The concept of the Beast in this was really quite an original take, based more on Russian fairy tales than anything else. The magic, the enchanted forest, the creatures that lived within it, they were all just so original and refreshing.

I can’t recommend this high enough for fans of fairy tale retellings.

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Profile Image for Laura.
425 reviews1,253 followers
March 15, 2017
I really enjoyed the way Meagan Spooner blended Russian folklore elements into this retelling of Beauty & the Beast. The pacing does fall a bit on the slow side resulting in some plot dragging moments. However, if you enjoy retellings of fairytales, you might find this one interesting.

There may have been more, but the Russian fairytales Tsarevitch Ivan, the Firebird and the Gray Wolf, The Firebird and Princess Vasilisa, and Vasilisa the Beautiful are all mentioned or incorporated into the story in one way or another. I don't want to ruin any of the surprises for readers, so you can find out exactly how when reading. I will say that this was one of my favorite things about the story. It was really quite brilliant the way Meagan Spooner took those Russian tales and worked them into this retelling of the classic French tale. I wasn't sure what to expect, but really enjoyed the result.

My issue with the book has nothing to do with Spooner at all in fact. I've always adored Beauty & the Beast. As a child, the Disney film was a favorite. Belle was someone I felt I could look up to. Here's the thing...take out the talking objects from the castle and you really only have a girl locked in a castle slooooowly coming to see her captor in a different light. Especially when you also take out the evil Gaston character. In this, he's a kind and caring man. This eliminates some of the conflict. Now all we have is the curse. And don't get me wrong, that was enjoyable. It was, in fact, merely the fairytale elements that kept me reading.

The setup of a father losing his fortune forcing him to move him & his three daughters to a cabin in the woods was interesting. He goes missing while out hunting, so our Beauty character Yeva goes out to find him only to be captured by the beast. The beast is hoping she can break a curse placed upon him. Can Yeva even break the curse? And if she can, will she do it when all Yeva really wants to do is kill him?

The writing was beautiful and quite lyrical. The ending, however, sort of lacked the magic I was hoping for. It all feels quickly tied up. I was torn with how to feel about Hunted when the additional fairytale elements were so unique, unexpected, and really added something remarkable to a tale we know so well. I am having a hard time getting past the pacing problems. Regardless, I think those who typically enjoy fairytale retellings may still want to check this one out.
Profile Image for ♛ may.
806 reviews3,832 followers
April 29, 2017
Spontaneous buddy read with my fav, Maraaammmm

“To the girl
who reads by flashlight
who sees dragons in the clouds
who feels most alive in worlds that never were
who knows magic is real
who dreams

This is for you”

Hunted is a beautiful retelling of the famous Beauty and the Beast but offers different twists to the original story. One of those twists were that we got a point of view from the Beast himself.


So like, this book was GREAT but it always was MEH and that’s why I’m so CONFLICTED because yes it was magical and gripping but it was also DRAWN OUT.

Yeva is our main character. She is a #bawse because she loves books and stories but also can hunt you down in minutes. Beast is a tortured soul and has so many layers to his personality.

Yeva’s relationship with her sisters and her father are GOALS worthy like theyre all supportive and encouraging and genuinely care about each other so much. It’s beautiful.


The plot was mysterious and attention grabbing, the problem is that 70% through the book and it feels like the plot is STILL building. I mean I enjoyed the world building, I enjoyed that familiar and welcome sentiment of winter that the book created, but I felt like I was ALWAYS waiting for more.

And then the last few chapters were great, they were fast paced and action packed but they ended too abruptly and left me kind of disappointed.

So yes, I enjoyed the retelling but I feel like it missed the mark a LITTLE too much. :p

“She wept because she did not know what she wanted, and because she wanted everything.”

3.5 stars!!

Profile Image for Nasom.
195 reviews141 followers
November 14, 2018
Full Review

Real rating: 4.5

🎵Tale as old as time
Song as old as rhyme
Beauty and the beast🎵

I loved this so much!

I have read like 4? 5? Beauty and the Beast retellings because I obviously have a problem and I am not ashamed of it. What I love most about this is that Beast is actually a beast. I think this is the only book in which that was the case.

At the beginning, we have Beauty having some type of identity crisis because she feels like she is destined for more than what is expected from a woman in her land. She enjoys hunting and being outside. What I loved most about her was that she was not judgmental. She never judged women who were into traditional things like wanting to get married and being homely. In fact, her two sisters were like that and they were all close!

Another thing I liked was that when they introduced a guy that wanted to marry her, he was actually someone kind, loving and actually liked that she enjoyed hunting. So he wasn't any 'Gaston'. Even with this, there was no love triangle!! I liked how the romantic plot in this ended.

Then there is the relationship between Beauty and the Beast. I loved reading it, especially since Beauty really hated Beast for a long time bc of something. I loved reading about Beast and his struggles with his humanity. He had his POV but they were usually like less than a page, in-between Beauty's chapters. Reading about his inner struggles was so devastating 😭😭

Why 4.5 and not 5
I felt like the second half of the book, towards the end, was kinda slow. Also, I wasn't really satisfied with how it ended. Like I enjoyed it, but I wanted more. I think this is like the least romantic retelling of this story.
Profile Image for Natalie Monroe.
595 reviews3,586 followers
March 4, 2017
3.5 stars

"She knew now why she was here. She would see the monster dead."

Hunted is a hard one to review. I love, love, love the concept of a vengeful huntress Beauty and a cat-and-mouse game with the Beast, and the book itself delivers. Yet we didn't click the way I did with other Beauty & the Beast retellings like A Court of Thorns and Roses and Uprooted.

The romance is a soothing slow burn. Those who enjoy it in small doses should read this immediately. It takes ages for Yeva (Beauty) to fall in love with her captor, and their relationship is cemented in friendship and trust. Even after she realizes she has feelings for him, she doesn't instantly abandon her quest to avenge her father.

She remembers her imprisonment, she remembers the Beast's promise to murder her sisters should she try to escape.

Whereas A Court of Thorns and Roses stuck close to the Disney version—and this is not a criticism—Hunted only utilizes the basic frame of the original fairy tale. Elements of another fairy tale, Ivan, the Firebird and the Gray Wolf are incorporated within. Gaston exists, but he's kind and decent, and actually earnest in his marriage proposal. Yeva's sisters love her and are the complete opposite of the traditional selfish, preening peacocks.

"Yeva, you are my sister. I love you. I love you more than anything. You and Lena are the most important things in all the world." She finally squeezed Yeva's hand back, swallowing audibly. "I would give up a thousand Solmirs for you."

One thing I feel the book did keep from the Disney adaption is Belle's wanting.

Yeva yearns for more, a bigger world, a bigger life, just more from her existence.

Hunted hits all the right notes, and I sincerely hope you give it a try. The writing, the plot, the message—it's worth it.

ARC provided by Edelweiss. Quotes taken from an uncorrected proof and may be subject to change.
Profile Image for Riley.
429 reviews21.7k followers
Shelved as 'did-not-finish'
June 10, 2017
this is nothing new or original and I'm just over it
Profile Image for Alyssa.
1,069 reviews842 followers
March 26, 2017
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

Hunted by Meagan Spooner
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: March 14, 2017
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss

Summary (from Goodreads):

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?

What I Liked:

I've read Spooner's solo books (her debut trilogy), and her co-written books with Amie Kaufman. Her Skylark trilogy was so-so for me, but I loved the Starbound trilogy. When I saw that she would be publishing a new fantasy series, I was definitely intrigued and hopeful - maybe I would love this new solo series of hers. I'm so happy to say that I really enjoyed this new book of hers!

Yeva and her family have fallen on hard times, and they move far from town to their old cabin, where Yeva's father will hunt in the forest in order to provide for his three daughters, and make some money back to pay debts. Yeva's two older sisters, Lena and Asenka, are not like Yeva and her father. Yeva loves being in the forest, away from town, being able to hunt at will. But something dangerous lurks in the forest - a Beast who Yeva's father feared, right before he went missing. Yeva hunts the Beast, and what she finds isn't quite what she expected. She hates him, but she begins to understand him. How is it that he is just as trapped as she is? Yeva learns that the world she knows is not the only world that exists - and she is caught up in the magic.

Beauty and the Beast retelling, anyone? Perfect timing, given the live-action movie to be premiered soon. Personally, I'll take books over movies any day. This retelling is on its own level! I loved it. I was so curious to see how Spooner would handle the fairy tale, especially with all of the controversial aspects of Beauty and the Beast (Stockholm Syndrome, for one).

Yeva is a not an angelic, naive heroine, nor is she a fierce, kickbutt type of heroine. She is sweet and selfless, but also tough and very independent. She likes to hunt in the forest, and enjoys the solitude. She cares for her two older sisters and her father, so much so that she makes different sacrifices when the opportunities present themselves, in order to help her family. When Yeva ends up in the Beast's castle, she is angry but unafraid. I really, really liked Yeva. Arguably, she is one of my favorite Spooner heroines (I liked the ladies in the Starbound trilogy though). She is so selfless, when it comes to her sisters and father, and eventually, the Beast.

The Beast... we all know the story of Beauty and the Beast, so I couldn't help but feel pity and remorse for him, from the start. But in the beginning, the author makes readers feel a little angry with him. He is not kind or patient with Yeva, and he seems more animal than human in the beginning. But his humanity comes about more and more, the longer Yeva is with him. The Beast is a character that I knew I would feel for, and my heart broke for him constantly.

In this book, Yeva actually gets to know the Beast for a bit before she finds out that he is the Beast, if that makes sense. She believed him to be a fellow prisoner at first, and he brought her food and supplies in the dungeon cell. But then all is revealed that he is actually her captor, and she hates him. It's interesting because Yeva gets to know the Beast before she learns that he is her captor, and then she finds out and hates him, and tries to kill him several times. But she quickly figures out that he is cursed, under a wretched spell, and that he seems to be both human and Beast. I liked this setup, in terms of the story. It sort of accounts for why Yeva might fall for him - she knew him as a "good guy" at first. Furthermore, she tries to keep hating him after she finds out that he is her captor, but he is kinder to her, and not a terrible, abusive captor. Still a captor.

The way this story is told, you won't find Stockholm Syndrome here. Yeva recognizes that she probably shouldn't care about her captor, but she also recognizes herself in him (the loneliness, the love of the forest, the desire for more). She talks to a friend about loving a cruel man, but realizes that the Beast is not that type of "cruel man". I think the author handled this aspect of the fairy tale extremely well, and worked around Stockholm Syndrome.

The progression of the relationship is extremely slow, and there is no physical aspect of the romance. In fact, it's hard to call the romance a "romance" because while Yeva does fall for the Beast (and vice versa), it's definitely more of a progression of an emotional connection than a physical one. This is kind of obvious, right? I liked the development of this powerful emotional connection, though it's hard to say in my mind that it's a "romance". It definitely becomes one after the spell is broken.

There is a good deal of magic in this book! Yeva's father used to tell her tales of magical beasts he used to see while hunting in the forest. Now, Yeva begins to see them herself, like the Firebird. Soon it becomes clear that the only way for Yeva to free the Beast from his spell is to seek out magic, and that is what Yeva decides to do, towards the end of the book.

The setting is very Russian-esque, with the snowy scenery, forest, mountains, castles, and the obvious Russian names. I loved the setting and how it added to the magical world-building! Spooner did a beautiful job in crafting this fantasy world.

Overall, I really liked this retelling. Beauty and the Beast retellings can be extremely tricky, given the obvious Stockholm Syndrome problem, and bestiality, but I think Spooner rewrote the classic tale extremely well. There is so much more than two people falling for each other, but I'll let you discover that on your own. This is a great story, friends!

What I Did Not Like:

This is definitely a standalone novel and I absolutely love that it's a standalone novel, but I can't help but want a little more from Yeva (Beauty) and her "Beast", when he becomes human! We only get a few pages of them as a human man and human girl together, and the epilogue is a little on the vague side. Wishful thinking on my part, but I would have loved to get scenes showing the pair together, in the end. Like a more specific epilogue, showing their obvious love and adoration for each other.

But still, I'm really satisfied with this book overall.

Would I Recommend It:

I highly recommend this book if you like fantasy novels, fairy tale retellings, Beauty and the Beast, magical settings, clever heroines, and a romance that isn't a "romance" like you think. Plus, this is a standalone (though I think Spooner is writing more fairy tale retellings, possibly set in the same world but I'm not sure). It's perfect for fans of YA fantasy and fairy tales!


4 stars. I had some expectations for this book, and I'd say Spooner met them. I'm excited to see what other solo projects she has, though I'm also looking forward to reading more co-written books!

EDIT: June 27th, 2016 -- LOOK AT THE COVER!!!!!!!!!!

So far, I've liked Spooner's books... Skylark, Shadowlark, Lark Ascending, These Broken Stars, This Shattered World. NEW SERIES PLEASE!
Profile Image for Caitlin.
339 reviews698 followers
June 10, 2017
Well. That was weird? I've been sitting here for 10 minutes contemplating what the fuck this book was. I don't really understand what even happened and I'm confused as to how I feel about this book so let me just give you some quick thoughts

- I didn't like the Beast. Sorry but he reminded me of Tamlin the entire time. I felt like this Beast had no likeable qualities and was just a big ball of a shit. I would have preferred if he died. Oops?
- I didn't ship it at all. Not once. Not ever.
- I liked Yeva. I thought she was a great main character but she did get a bit weird at the ending and once again it would've been better if she didn't go with the Beast.
- I was intrigued the entire time and it didn't really leave me bored at any stage - hence the 3 stars when it easily could've been a 2 stars.
- I'm disappointed. I was really looking forward to this book and it ended up being a big ball of weird nothingness.
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,739 reviews1,307 followers
February 19, 2017
(I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

"This is a dream," she whispered. "Magic. A fairy tale."

This was a YA retelling of Beauty and the Beast.

I liked Yeva, and I liked how strong she was in difficult situations. She went after her father when he was in trouble, and she didn't give up on the Beast either, even when everybody else had. She was quite stubborn though, she didn't always take the easy option, and was opinionated as to what she wanted to do with the rest of her life.

The storyline in this was about Yeva's father losing his fortune, and then going missing in the woods, and Yeva trying to follow him, and ending up a captive of the Beast. We also got another interesting tale about a firebird woven into the story, and I really liked Yeva's love interest before the Beast - Solmir, who seemed sweet and willing to bend to her desires.

"I am not asking you to love me," he said, his voice ringing in the quiet winter air. "Only that you let me love you. As I do."

The romance between Yeva and the Beast was very slow, and it did take Yeva quite a long time to realise her feelings for the Beast, and then even longer still to work out what to do about them. I personally didn't find there to be as much romance as I expected though, and it seemed like more of a case of Yeva wanting to rescue him than falling in love with him. The story was enjoyable though, even if the pace was maybe a little slow.

The ending to this was a happily ever after, and i liked how things turned out, especially because it wasn't just Beauty and the Beast who got a happy ending.

6.5 out of 10
Profile Image for AMEERA.
277 reviews321 followers
April 2, 2017
200 page enough for me
Profile Image for Patricia Bejarano Martín.
440 reviews5,547 followers
April 9, 2018
4.5 en realidad.
Lo primero que quiero destacar es que es un retelling de La bella y la Bestia en toda regla. Quienes hayáis leído la historia original seréis conscientes mientras leéis de toda la base y todo lo que hay del cuento original en este libro, y con lo que adoro esa historia, me ha gustado verla realmente bien reflejada en esta novela.
Lo segundo la ambientación. ¿HOLA? Me he enamorado de este lugar tan mágico, de esos bosques, de esa casita, de ese castillo, de todo. Es que es todo tan mágico y bonito que no puedo con tanta perfección.
Por supuesto debo destacar la narrativa de la autora, que ha sido maravillosa y eso estoy segura de que se debe a una traducción de 10. En serio, iba leyendo y disfrutaba hasta el infinito de cada palabra que mis ojos captaban. Una delicia.
Y bueno, que he adorado a Yeva (o Bella :P). Me ha parecido una protagonista perspicaz, inteligente, luchadora... es que lo ha tenido para ser la protagonista perfecta. Sin duda ha sido lo mejor de esta novela junto a Cervatilla, claro. He adorado a esa perrita por encima de mis posibilidades.
Sobre la Bestia sabemos poco, pero me encantan como nos van dando la información a cuenta gotas, como es tan diferente al resto de historias el motivo por el que se convierte en una Bestia y sus pequeños fragmentos, los narrados por él, eran increíbles.
La historia de amor es lo que más me ha flojeado. Sí, me costaba ver evolución entre ellos, por eso mismo no se ha llevado el libro 5 estrellitas. Por lo demás ha sido una lectura increíble y que he disfrutado hasta el infinito. Deseando leer de nuevo a la autora.
Profile Image for lauren ❀.
294 reviews432 followers
April 28, 2017
“She moves like beauty, she whispers to us of wind and forest—and she tells us stories, such stories that we wake in the night, dreaming dreams of a life long past. she reminds us of what we used to be.

She reminds us of what we could be.” 

This was honestly such a surprising read! I really did not expect to like it as much as I did and I’m kind of astonished I did. This book isn’t the best but there’s just something about it makes it so compelling, so much that I couldn’t let go. This was beautiful and after reading it I felt so fuzzy inside and was lost for words. I was a bit skeptical when starting this book and thought it was hyped up but it isn’t. It was truly a wonderful book. This book for some reason reminded me so much of my childhood and a movie I watched as a child. It was a movie about Beauty and the Beast which followed a very similar plotline except Beauty didn’t hunt. This was a very pleasant read and I enjoyed reading it so much that putting it down was very difficult. It was an incredible retelling of Beauty and the Beast!!

The writing in this book was fantastic! I mean it wasn’t very deep but in my opinion, it was beautiful. I feel like when authors write in third POV the writing is much better. The book included both perceptives from Yeva and the Beast. At the beginning of every chapter, there was a page or two from the Beast's POV and was in a cursive font. It didn’t give anything away, in fact, it gave very little information and what the beast would say made you want to just carry on reading to find out what happens next. The book also included Russian Folklore which was something that was very interesting.

Something that this book lacked was action but surprisingly I wasn't bored or bothered by it. It didn’t need to have a lot of action because it was just good the way it was. Not much happens in the book yet it still tells an amazing story, which was not boring at all. I mean you’d think if there’s not a lot of action that it wouldn’t be that good but on the contrary, I really could not let go. I was up until 4 AM one night and then 2 AM the other two nights reading this and I was completely awake. Usually reading past 12 is hard for me because I get very tired but I could have stayed up much longer reading if I wanted to.

I loved every character in the book and there wasn’t one that I despised. Usually, there’s at least one character I don’t like in a book but there was nothing wrong with any of the characters. Yeva was a fantastic character and I was surprised I actually liked it. She’s very similar to Belle and she cares a lot for her family. I LOVED that she could hunt and was so good at it.

What I loved the most about this book was the connection that Yeva had with her sisters. It was a very strong relationship. All three of them would not betray each other at all and cared so much. They each were there for each other when their father died and supported each other with everything. Even Yeva’s relationship with her father was very strong and you could tell she would do anything for him.

There was only one issue I had with the entire book and it was a minor issue. The ending wasn’t unfinished but I’m very picky with my book and want every single detailed explained so I just wanted a little more explanation to why the Beast was like that and of course, I wanted to know what happened next. There is no need for a sequel and I would be surprised if there was but I’m just very picky with the ending of books.

This book was so much better than I expected and I am so glad I picked it up. I don’t usually read the authors notes at the end of books but I read this one and I really enjoyed it. I think I loved everything about this book and the only thing that stopped me from giving it 5 stars was because yes it was a really good book but I only give 5 stars to my favourites that blew me away. Overall I think everyone should read this book! :)

“She wept because she did not know what she wanted, and because she wanted everything.”
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