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 by Erin Summerill
Series: Clash of Kingdoms, #1
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers on December 27th 2016
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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.
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:
- 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 raspy, tree-bark voice, a woody seductive scent, and 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- The love story was boring, predictable, and boring. Did I mention boring?
Here’s who I think should read this book:
- 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!
- 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.
This one, unfortunately, just wasn’t for me.
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!