Title: Ever the Hunted
Author: Erin Summerhill
Genre: YA, Action & Adventure, Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Date published: December 27, 2016
Page Count: 264
A digital copy of the book was kindly provided through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: 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.
If you could tell from the 1 star (or husky) rating above, this will not be a positive review. I am sorry to say that I was lured in by the beautiful cover of this book, as well as the synopsis. After having had less of a dose of fantasy than I normally do, for some weeks, I was really looking forward to diving into this book. Once I read the first few pages, however, I realized that this would not be the book I had been looking forward to.
This book is the first which I ever buddy read, and it’s a good thing that I did too, because I am not sure if I could have finished it otherwise. Every 5 chapters, fellow blogger Melanie and I would take a break and discuss what we had read, and I found this to be the funnest part about reading this book. I had always wanted to read a book at the same time with someone else, and even though our reading experience was negative, we encouraged each other to keep going, and made a number of discoveries regarding descriptions, and writing style…But anyway, back to Ever the Hunted.
I think that there was a lot of potential here, regarding world-building, magic, and characters but that they all sort of fell short. And I believe that most of these things fell short because the author did not have a full grasp over the story. The plot and everything else still requires a lot of re-working and refining before publication, in my opinion, and I think that this is the main reason why I was disappointed in this read.
Some of the events or characters choices are not well-explained, and even when they are, the reasoning behind these explanations did not make sense to me. Or I found them to be pointless. There were also a lot of twists and surprises, and while maybe just a few were actually surprising, the others were predictable and definitely plot twists I had come across in other books (books in which these twists were executed with much more skill and reasoning).
The world was interesting, but nothing I hadn’t encountered before. There was also nothing about the descriptions used for the two countries which really caught my attention, or which will be memorable for me in the long-run. The magic became over-complicated at one point, where it could have been more effective and believable if it had been kept simple. I think that the author wanted to do a lot of things with the magic, but that she limited herself and then broke her own limits. As for the characters, they all felt like they had been plucked out of a list of typical fantasy characters and placed into this story. There was close to no depth to any of them, in my opinion, except for Britta who is the narrator and main character. And although there was more detail provided of her character and the inner workings of her mind, there was an incredible amount of repetition, as well as contradictions which became incredibly frustrating after a while.
For me, Britta felt like a female character created out of bits and pieces of other female characters in YA fantasy. Except that all of the pieces which were used, were the parts of those other female characters which I disliked. I cannot think of one quality which was attributed to Britta which I would consider positive or in the least endearing.
I am very disappointed to have been lured in by this book’s cover and description, only to spend hours upon hours of feeling dissatisfied. But while I may have wasted my time with this book, I am hoping that I can save those of you with the same (or similar) tastes as myself from the same experience.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Erin Summerill was born in England. After spending years bouncing between Air Force bases in Hawaii, England, and California, her family settled in Utah, where Erin graduated with a B.A. in English from Brigham Young University. She had aspirations to write the next great American novel, but writing proved tougher than she first thought. So she grabbed a Nikon and became a professional photographer while crafting manuscript after manuscript. The scenic detour of shooting weddings across the United States, as well as internationally, provided world-building inspiration. It gave her the vision to draft her debut YA fantasy, EVER THE HUNTED. Now when she isn’t writing, or shooting a wedding, she’s chasing her four kids, two dogs, one cat, and five chickens. This could be why she downs massive amounts of Coke Zero and Hot tamales.
You can follower her on twitter: @erinsummerill
THANK YOU FOR READING MY REVIEW! HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT DID YOU THINK? AND IF YOU HAVEN’T READ IT YET, DO YOU WANT TO, OR NOT? HOWCOME? LET ME KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!