This review is a little on the late side but I'm happy to be able to finally talk to you guys about Ever the Hunted.
*Thank you to HMH & Netgalley for providing me with an advanced copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.
What originally drew me to Ever the Hunted was the promise of feuding kingdoms, a badass heroine, and an unsolved murder. (Don't even get me started on that gorgeous cover IT'S SO PRETTY.)
The pitch was great but the delivery was pretty... meh.
The first chapter had me intrigued. We see Britta (the MC) hunting in the woods and she talks about how she can feel when an animal is close to death. Interesting, right? But then she starts talking about Cohen aka her bestie from childhood aka her obsession. You think I'm exaggerating with the obsession thing? Trust me, I'm not.
One of my main problems with the story was the romance. It wasn't terrible but I think it overshadowed some of the more fascinating, unique, aspects of the world. One of those aspects being the magic system. The idea of people being able to control nature/things related to the spirit has always been something that has interested me. When done well, it can really be a great addition to a story. But it kind of fell flat for me in Ever the Hunted. There was a large emphasis on the spirit magic (which made sense for the story) but the other magical aspects were brushed over.
I felt the same way about the world-building. There's a map at the beginning of the book to help you picture the layout of the lands, but it didn't help much. The world building in Ever the Hunted reminded me of the world building in Red Queen. Not terrible, but lacking.
I wasn't in love with the characters but I did enjoy following them on their adventures. I always like to read about women who are able to fend for themselves and there were more than a few of those women in the story!
The story, overall, was paced pretty slowly. Not many memorable things happened until probably the last 15% of the book. Even the exciting stuff wasn't that exciting (if that makes sense ahaha.) I will say that I'm intrigued by the ending and, despite everything, I'm excited to see how the story progresses.
"Control yourself, thoughts and actions.
Then you can combat the world."
Thank you for reading and have a lovely day!