I am an absolute fan of Disney’s Beauty and The Beast from the dramatic imprisonment to the romantic Happily Ever After. Or perhaps it’s that amazing library Beast gives Belle! I was so excited when the live action version came out. It did not disappoint at all. I was blown away at how much I loved it. It is definitely one of the movies I think about when I want to be whisked away into a lull of fun music and theatrics! That being said, when I find a story about a Beauty and a Beast, I am always a bit apprehensive about what the author has decided to cook-up. However, I am intrigued that there is an author out there willing to take on the challenge of reinventing this timeless classic. Here is an author who was able to take this fantastic fable and spin it her own way.
Meagan Spooner’s Hunted, manages to take similar characteristics from Beauty and The Beast and create a story all unto herself. She manages to develop a deep story that keeps you reaching for the next page to turn to figure out what is going to happen next.
Here’s the story:
A young woman, Yeva, known to her family as Beauty and youngest daughter of 3 girls, has her heart in the wilderness. She doesn’t have to follow day-to-day conversations with the baronessas or worry about whom she might have to marry while she is out in the forest. She is comfortable and at ease within those trees. Her sisters on the other hand try to get her to see the enjoyments of the town from the gossip to the people.
Just after a winter storm hits, Yeva’s father goes missing in the woods while he is out hunting and she is the only one able to find him. She has her sight set on finding the creature he father had be obsessively tracking through the woods just before he was lost. Maybe following the same tracks will lead her to her father.
Not listening to her two older sisters, Yeva hunts this Beast through the forest. She follows the Beast all the way back to a ruined castle, with creatures she never dreamed of seeing, nestled in the center of a cursed valley that looks straight out of a fairy tale. And she knows that this place will either be her salvation or her ruin.
I enjoyed this story a great deal. I loved this unique view that the author had towards the Beauty and Beast fable that has been around for hundreds of generations. She was able to take the beautiful young woman and instead of placing her in the damsel in distress motif she made her the hunter of this wicked beast. Yeva is a powerful and vocal individual and it was quite nice to see that strong side that I have always placed with Belle as a character.
I also really like that she allowed small glimpses into the Beast’s thoughts. You can see the progression of him as a character through the little detail that Spooner puts onto each of his inserts. After I was finished reading the novel, I went back through the entire thing just to look at the amount of details that those pages conveyed. That was a very nice touch and something that I haven’t seen done before it that way.
This book will show the reader throw backs to the Disney’s version and the original fable; however, don’t be deceived! It changes right when you think you have everything figured out and not always the way you think it might. I would highly recommend this book to any of my fellow Beauty and the Beast lovers out there. Also to any reader who loves fairy tales and the magic that each one holds.