ever the hunted

Ever The Hunted: A Trope-heavy Disappointment

Let me tell you something. When I get an advanced copy of a book, there is nothing I want more than to love it. I want to be able to say, “I READ IT FIRST AND IT WAS GLORIOUS!” It is so painful to read an advanced copy of a book and dislike it. I am trying so hard to find things I enjoyed about Erin Summerill’s young adult debut, Ever the Hunted, but there’s just not much there for me to grasp.

Ever The Hunted: A Trope-heavy DisappointmentEver the Hunted by Erin Summerill
Series: Clash of Kingdoms, #1
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers on December 27th 2016
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 400
Format: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon, Buy on Barnes & Noble, Buy from The Book Depository

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.

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I just need to talk about what I didn’t like first:

  1. Could I have read a more trope-heavy and cliche-laden book? Read Ever the Hunted and you will discover:
    1) A waif-like, blonde haired, blue-eyed, doesn’t-realize-she’s-beautiful, insecure main female character named Britta.
    2) Britta turns out to be a very very special little snowflake.
    3) A childhood friend, Cohen, become lover. But he could never love her. She’s a fool for thinking someone like him could love someone like her. (These sentences are dripping with sarcasm, in case you didn’t catch it.)
    4) Cohen also has a raspytree-bark voice, a woody seductive scentand melted caramel eyes. (These aren’t direct quotes, I’m just making up something that fits with whatever the 500 different ways his eyes, scent, and voice were described in the book.)
  2. An uninspiring world that has limited development. I don’t care much about the world that was created in this book. It was boring and like so many other fantasy worlds: two different areas at war with each other (honestly I can’t even remember why they’re at war?). One is magical and the other isn’t, and unmagical land is intolerant of the magic in the magical land. Yawn.
  3. One of my biggest grievances was in the small details of the writing. Sometimes the narrative (first person from the perspective of Britta) was completely anachronistic with the world the story is set in. She talks like she’s a teenager in 2016, not like she’s some little huntress fleeing bad guys and sleeping on forest floors in a medieval world. “It should be illegal for him to go shirtless.” What? Am I reading a contemporary novel or a fantasy novel?
    Also there were several instances that very specific phrases were used, and then used repeatedly for several pages and then never again (or at least that I noticed).
    “It’s a lush country of suffocating emerald growth…” insert TWO sentences, “He doesn’t wrap a suffocating arm around me…” This occurred often enough that it was a distracting. It’s a small detail, but it was so annoying that I felt like I had to mention it. The writing was just meh to me. 
  4. The love story was boring, predictable, and boring. Did I mention boring?

ever the hunted
I will say that this cover is PERFECTION.

Here’s who I think should read this book:

  1. Anyone who is intrigued by the synopsis. Please don’t let my issues with this novel stop you! I have seen numerous people who have given this 5-star reviews, and you may be one of them!
  2. Young readers! I think most of my issues with this book stemmed from me being an adult who appreciates a more sophisticated and complex plot. I think a lot of pre-teens/young teenagers will enjoy this book and not care one lick about any of the things I mentioned above.

final star count
single star
This one, unfortunately, just wasn’t for me.

chime in
Do you have a book that you wanted to love so much but just couldn’t? Are you planning on reading Ever the Hunted? If so, I certainly hope you enjoy it more than I did!

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  1. Thanks for the review. I’ve found several YA fantasy titles to have the same issues: “meh” world building, boring romances, and generic characters. I felt the same way about Raasch’s Snow Like Ashes.

  2. I don’t know if I could deal with this book. Maybe if I was in a mood for something easy/ those particular tropes (sometimes trope reads are fun/ just want I want sometimes). Otherwise think this would get on my nerves as much as it got on yours.

    1. Yeah, it’s definitely something you either have to not mind or be in the mood for. I definitely wasn’t in the mood for it, so it drove me crazy. There are other times when these sorts of things don’t bother me nearly so much!

  3. I’m so sorry you didn’t like this book! It was kind of sort of maybe on my radar, but I did expect it to be super tropey and cliched and really nothing new to the fantasy YA genre. From your review, it sounds like my first instinct was right. I hope your next read is better. <3

  4. UGGGHHH I got this in the Uppercase box and I was excited but I keep seeing mixed reviews! I’ll still read it, but UGH @ the cliches you mentioned. Let’s see how this goes.

    Molly @ Molly’s Book Nook

    1. To be fair, I read this book right after I read one of my favorite books of all time… which is also an adult fiction book and far more complicated in both writing and plot. So I bet part of my frustration was that it just wasn’t my favorite book, lol. If you’re in the right mind frame for a simpler, don’t-have-to-think-a-lot fantasy read, then you may really like it! I hope that you do! I’ll be eager to hear!

  5. hahaha I love this rant!! I don’t plan on reading this. It didn’t grab my attention + I’ve heard either bad things or really really good things.. but the bulb in my head lighted up with this book in bright red lights! 😛

  6. Aw sorry to hear this one was disappointing. I’ve seen a few other reviews that came to that conclusion too, so not totally surprised. Judging from what you’ve said, I’d probably be rolling my eyes a bit too much to enjoy this one! But yeah I’m sure this one absolutely has an audience out there. Nice review, thanks for sharing your thoughts!
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