ARC Review: Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill

Title: Ever the Hunted
Author: Erin Summerill
Series: Clash of Kingdoms, #1
Pages: 400
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Release Date: December 27th 2016
*I received a copy of this book through NetGalley, which does not influence my review*

      “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.

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I was initially really excited to pick up Erin Summerill’s Ever the Hunted, but the plot inconsistencies and clichéd romance really disappointing me. Britta Flannery has just lost her father. With no one to turn to for help, Britta is forced to break the law in order to survive. But she is caught poaching, a crime punishable by death. In exchange for her life, she must hunt down her father’s murderer. With the kingdom of Malam on the brink of war with neighboring Shaerdan, Britta will soon uncover secrets that have consequences for both countries.

Britta is presented as a capable heroine, but the biases of her fellow countrymen keep her from accomplishing all she is capable of. Her mother was Shaerdan and the animosity between the two countries makes her an outcast. She’s always had her father and his former apprentice Cohen to rely on, but now she must hunt down her only friend, who is accused of killing her father. One thing I found infuriating about Britta is she seemed incapable of thinking of anything but Cohen. A lot of time is spent on her reflecting on him with the flashback scenes focusing on their relationship. It would have benefited Britta’s character for her to have spent some time thinking about her dead father. From the very beginning, we are told that Britta is incredibly loyal, but I found this laughable when she so readily believes her only friend to be a murderer. This becomes even more laughable when you see the direction the author intends to take Britta’s story at the end of the novel.

One major point of confusion for me was Britta’s mother’s story. At the beginning of the novel, Britta says that her mother was accused of giving Malam secrets to Shaerdan and was killed for it. Later, Britta becomes furious with her mother for choosing to leave her and her father after she was born to return to Shaerdan. This was a really glaring error that luckily doesn’t affect the storyline too much as the novel goes on. But nothing compares to the eye-roll inducing romance between Britta and Cohen. Every interaction felt so cliché: Oh, we’re forced to share a bed, how will I keep my feelings to myself?/Oh, we almost kissed, but you pulled away and now I’m going to convince myself you were just checking if I had something in my eye because you could never, ever love little ol’ me/Oh, you asked me to dance for no good reason which has nothing to do with the fact that you like me/Oh, we kissed, but it must be a mistake because I’m so pale and freckled, no one could ever love me. 

Ever the Hunted had potential when it came to the magical system, which is not explored enough, but too many other elements made it a disappointing read.

Rating: 2/5

★★

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19 thoughts on “ARC Review: Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill

  1. Oh what a shame. Her mom’s contradiction would put a pickle in any reader’s experience, especially one who is so discerning as yourself. I’m glad you enjoyed the magical system despite everything. I was on the fence about this book. I think I’ll pass. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad you brought up the point of her mother because that was another plot error that should have been fixed during editing. I mean, there would be no point in telling Britta that her mother is alive and a traitor if she was actually dead. That is just dumb. Yet, it reads more as a mistake in the writing process than character choice differences. So, thank you for commenting on this.

    Also! What is so bad about being pale and/or freckled! I love my pale skin! Heck, I go out of my way to stay pale (mostly because I suck at tanning), but all these books make it seem bad. And it’s like, why are we promoting paleness being bad? Have we just done a complete 180 for the 1800s when paleness was a good thing? Can’t it just be… pale? Why does a skin color have to be good or bad? Bleh! *stops rant*

    Thank you for your review. You brought up some great points!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was really confused about why it was so bad for her to be pale and freckled, and at first I thought well, maybe she is the only pale/freckled girl around, but the author mentions nothing about this (not hard when there are virtually no other females around beside the protagonist). Probably best, I would have hated her going in this direction.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah. I kept expecting there to be some explanation for however EVERYONE in her Malam knew that she wasn’t pure Malam when there were obviously no indications about physical differences between the two countries. That just didn’t seem real and made it seem like the author was forcing her into a pariah state for no reason. :/

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I like the description in the synopsis you included up to the main character finding the REAL killer. Why couldn’t the apprentice be the real killer to amp up the tension? Why does it have to be conspiracy and secrets and her squishy feelings?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Monthly Wrap-Up: December ’16 | A Kernel of Nonsense

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