Book Review: Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill (4/5)

When 17 year old Britta is caught poaching in the king’s woods, she is given a deal – she can either hang for her crimes, or help hunt down her father’s murderer, Cohen. The problem? Cohen was her father’s apprentice, and she is still in love with him.

Now – I read the first few pages of this novel before checking it out. Just to see if I could read it. And when someone can walk right up next to me without me knowing it, I know I’m going to enjoy the book.

Everything about Ever the Hunted was good. Not great, but good. The world was interesting, but felt a bit flat. Most of the characters felt solid, some like Leif the Nice Guard felt a bit weak, and his actions left me going, “But, why?” The plot itself was okay. It’s been done. Britta solves the major problem a bit too easily. Or course, that’s saying that the romance was a subplot, which it was and wasn’t.

The setup of his novel struck me as cheesy. And, as I anticipated, the romance was forced and read like something out of a Sparks romance – Cohen had these long “I love you and must protect you” speeches and felt like trudging through thick mud.

Because Britta loved Cohen from the start of the novel, I didn’t experience the falling-for-him stage, and I didn’t fall in love with him. I liked him as a character, but not in a romantic way.  I would rather spend the time to get to know him and fall in love with him as the character does.

I loved Britta. Having endured a childhood of an outcast, being bullied and exiled from most of the market stalls because of her heritage, she pulls through all of that. Her father raised her as a survivor, and she takes care of herself. But she’s not a stone-cold survivalist. The loneliness of her life effects her.

Her internal battle with self-worth was both charming and annoying. Her moments of self-doubt felt a bit… told, not shown. Britta often explained her feelings in black and white, and those feelings were never implied. I get this is a YA title, but there were so many moments of telling instead of showing, namely where the romance was concerned. I felt told about the romance and their feelings toward each other – not shown.

Whereas the action was fantastic – I would get to reading so fast and forget I was reading, and then a line of telling show lurch me out of the narration.

Overall, I gave Ever the Hunted a 4 out of 5 because while it was okay, I find myself looking forward to reading the second book in this series. This book had a lot of things going for it – the world building, the magic, and Britta’s uncertain powers left me wanting more. I want to know what happens next. The forced romance angle in this book was really the only thing I disliked.

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