I received this book for free from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill
Release date: December 27th, 2016
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young adult, fantasy
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, the legendary bounty hunter for the King of Malam—that is, until her father is murdered. Now outcast and alone and having no rights to her father’s land or inheritance, she seeks refuge where she feels most safe: the Ever Woods. When Britta is caught poaching by the royal guard, instead of facing the noose she is offered a deal: her freedom in exchange for her father’s killer.
However, it’s not so simple.
The alleged killer is none other than Cohen McKay, 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 daunting and dangerous force.
Ever the Hunted was one of the first physical ARCs that I received when I just started this blog earlier in the year. I requested it through the publisher, but didn’t expect much because I was new to the blogging world. I never heard anything and then the lovely Erin Summerill reached out and sent me a copy. I received it, cuddled, jumped for joy and then was afraid to pick it up. This book has been one of my most anticipated reads of the year and I was terrified that it would disappoint me. Luckily, it went beyond my expectations, it blew me away!
- The PACING of the book was well done. There was never a dull movement. I was drawn into the story from the very first page. I couldn’t help but continue on. I had so many questions that needed to be answered! While some books start and end strong, Ever the Hunted never had a lull in the middle. There was a nice bend of quiet, romantic moments, heart bounding battles and suspense that kept me interested the entire time. The book is 400 pages long and I read it over a weekend. That’s pretty quick for my standards! I literally had to keep reading and reading.
- The CHARACTERS were well constructed, believable and made me feel so many emotions. I absolutely adored the main character Britta. Raised by her father and excluded from society due to her ethic background, she was forced to rely on herself. This made her strong, determined and extremely loyal to those close to her. While the story is most certainly set around Britta, the secondary characters are all well fleshed out. Enat was by far my favourite. How can you not love an arrow shooting, magic wielding badass old lady? And her attitude? I want a novella or something just featuring her!
- The WORLD BUILDING was fantastic! The story takes place in two neighbouring kingdoms. One kingdom embraces magic welding women called Channelers and the other hunts them down. There was a lot of hostility towards one another and this is felt right away from the beginning of the book. The descriptions of the world, the lush forests, frost covered fields, medieval towns, made me feel as if I was right there with Britta on her journey. The map at the front of the ARC left a lot to be desired. It was blurry and unfinished, so I really hope it’s changed before the final version is published. I love maps in books and this particular one wasn’t helpful to enhancing my knowledge of the world or Britta’s adventure.
- The ROMANCE between Britta and Cohen was a large part of the story. It brought butterflies to my stomach. Just the description of Cohen got my heartbeat going. *sigh* There was a lot of would they or wouldn’t they happening and it had me frustrated beyond belief, but I’m a huge sucker for that type of romance. The back and forth, the struggle to finally get there…I loved it!
- The ENDING wrapped up the story nicely, but also setup obstacles for the characters in the sequel. I just have so many questions now and guesses that are probably all wrong. I seriously need the next book!
- While I immensely enjoyed this book, some SCENES read as a bit forced. I won’t write which specific scenes because they would spoil the story, especially the ending, but they just read as way too convenient. They way these scenes were written didn’t fit with the way the rest of the story had been written. They just struck my as strange. Of course, this didn’t impact my rating of the book.
Erin Summerill was born in England. After spending years bouncing between Air Force bases in Hawaii, England, and California, her family settled in Utah, where Erin graduated with a B.A. in English from Brigham Young University. She had aspirations to write the next great American novel, but writing proved tougher than she first thought. So she grabbed a Nikon and became a professional photographer while crafting manuscript after manuscript. The scenic detour of shooting weddings across the United States, as well as internationally, provided world-building inspiration. It gave her the vision to draft her debut YA fantasy, Ever the Hunted. Now when she isn’t writing, or shooting a wedding, she’s chasing her four kids, two dogs, one cat, and five chickens.