Not so much. While the basic plot ideas seem to be right down my alley, Ever the Hunted was just not the book for me. For me, this novel felt like it was trying to hard yet hardly at all. How do I explain that in better words? I'm not entirely sure. My point is, there were a lot of good ideas behind Ever the Hunted, they just weren't portrayed in a way that was appealing to my taste in books.
That is to say, I am especially picky when it comes to my fantasies these days. Since the position of my favorite book has been filled by a fantasy, I've come to expect a lot out of this genre. Sometimes maybe a little too much. Part of the reason I didn't feel particularly attached to this book may be because I didn't feel particularly interested in it when I started. Then again, that has worked the opposite way with some other books (Better off Friends comes to mind... Love that book.) As soon as I started the first few chapters, I immediately knew that I would not be falling in love with this book. That may have ruined a bit of the experience, I'll admit, but... I don't think I would've liked this book overly so even if I had not made the decision that I would most likely not enjoy this read.
Why did I make this choice from the start? Because of the protagonist. Britta Flannery. I just... Ugh. I had several issues with her even from very close to the beginning of the book. To start off, I thought I would be getting a bad-ass huntress protagonist from the feel of the synopsis... Instead I got Britta. She does have her moments with her arsenal of witty lines, but that's pretty much all she has going for her. Her narrative felt somewhat childish, which was one of the main reasons I found myself rolling my eyes for 90% of the book. Not only is she childish, but Britta is also just plain out naive. There are situations and just things in general that took me .00001 pages to figure out what was going on, but Britta took about two hundred to actually realize something. It was irritating to say the least.
Another component of my "DUH" feeling the entire time was because of how predictable the plot of this book is. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind cliches, especially when it comes to hot cocky boys who have a soft underside and a sad background about the way they act (it's my favorite), but I don't like every single component of the story to be a cliche that I could predict about a hundred pages beforehand... And I did predict almost every single part in the story wayyyy before it occurred. Most of the time I like the predicability to be something subtle-- something I can feel feel proud about figuring out. Like subtle foreshadowing is great, this is fore lightening. Even without my previous book experience (I've become really good at picking up subtle foreshadowing) I could've predicted every plot element and twist. Most of the time I save my leniency for predictable plots for contemporary romance novels, because then YES I WANT THEM TOGETHER and it's perfectly fine, but in a fantasy? No, please give me at least a few surprises here and there.
Another one of my issues with this book was how easy everything was. Almost all the conflict was resolved fairly quickly (like the whole Cohen issue which is supposed to have driven the entire plot), and the author didn't even toy with the relationships of trust-intrust or anything. No, it's basically either trust 100%, 50% or 0% in this book. There is no in-between. The relationships, solutions to situations, and situations in general all just felt way too easy. Like along the lines of if most other protagonists had it that easy the book would've ended 400 pages ago easy.
While reading, I found myself more looking forward to the end than actually finding out what happens. Never a good sign when reading a book. I have a "book honor code" that forces me to keep reading a book until the end before picking up a new one (only broken once), this is one of those times that I resent and am incredibly grateful for said code. It means I wouldn't have another book stuck in my mind while starting a new one, but it also means I have to finish this one before getting to start a new one. This book was very reminiscent of Vampire Academy (Richelle Mead) and Shadow Queen (C.J. Redwine). Mostly Shadow Queen, the only thing that reminded me of Vampire Academy was the powers in it, and the connection some of the powers gave.
For those of you who follow my reviews (first off, thanks! love you!), you'll probably know that I read Shadow Queen last spring and found myself feeling supremely disappointed and bored while reading it. The protagonist thought she was a badass when in reality she was a pretty annoying, naive little girl. Hey! Britta and Lorelei have that in common. Also the plot for that story was predictable and way to easy feeling... All in all these two books basically mirror each other in terms of the issues I had with them. Personally, I wouldn't recommend either book, but if you liked one, I'd say you might like the other, so why not try them out?
All in all, I'd give Ever the Hunted 5/10 stars. It wasn't the worst book I've ever read, but it's far from being the best. It barely tugged at my interest and I just found myself wishing it would end already. Sorry if you liked the book, since this review was basically just me bashing it. These are just my opinions, and I will respect whatever you have to say about the book as well. I just personally did not find this read enjoyable.
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.
Oh. Also ps, I also didn't enjoy the romance at all... and romance is usually one of my favorite parts about the book, unless it's instalove. This romance, like so many other things in this book, had my eyes rolling and me thinking, "DUH" most of the time.
Thanks for reading :)