Ever the Hunted
By: Erin Summerill
Expected Publication Date: December 27, 2016 by HMH Books for Young Readers
Format: eARC courtesy of NetGalley
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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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 is a book filled with magic and romance. There was nothing incredibly unique about it, but I still thought the story was fairly compelling. I don’t want to go into too much detail about the plot, because it’s hard to do so without being too spoiler-y, but I will say that it was pretty interesting and I liked the ending.
For me, Ever the Hunted was one of those books where although I liked the story, I didn’t really care very much about the characters. The main character Britta – a strong, independent, feisty, and talented hunter (all of which are now pretty common characteristics in YA heroines) – goes on a hunt for her father’s murderer. That supposed murderer also happens to be the guy she once loved, Cohen McKay. Like Britta, Cohen also isn’t the most unique character. He’s basically a cookie-cutter male love interest – a tall, dark, handsome, and brooding young man who keeps pushing Britta away for her own sake. Both Britta and Cohen fell kind of flat for me, because of how derivative they were. Thankfully there were a few other characters introduced along the way who were much more interesting…and also helped distract Britta from Cohen’s jawline and scent, which was very much appreciated.
In addition, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Britta’s narration. When it comes to Cohen, strong, feisty Britta pretty much melts into a lovesick teenager. I swear, if the sections with Britta mooning over Cohen were taken out of the book, it would have been about 40% shorter.
Aside from the plot, one other thing I liked about Ever the Hunted was the magic. In Ever the Hunted, some women are Chanellers, who can channel an element – fire, water, earth, air, or spirit – and manipulate it. While the element-based magic certainly isn’t the most unique magic system I’ve ever read about, I still enjoyed learning and reading about it.
Overall, if you like your fantasy books heavy on the romance, you’re going to really like this book. However, I’d give it a pass if you don’t.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.