{Review Redux} EVER THE HUNTED by Erin Summerill

O P E N I N G   H O O K:

    TO SURVIVE THESE WOODS, A man has to be strong as the trees, Papa had said. The memory is a whisper compared to the attention my cramping stomach demands. 
    I try not to think of him or my trembling legs as I dust my boot prints from the path with a broken branch. Every starved scrap of me begs to stop and hunt here on the foot trail in the Ever Woods. Only the danger of getting caught propels me onward, boots stumbling over rocks and dirt.

(Page 7, US e-book edition)

This review was first posted at A Backwards Story on December 20, 2016.

“You want to trade my life for Cohen's?

He smiles with a hint of pride, displaying a row of large teeth. Precisely."” 

~Britta and Lord Jamis, EVER THE HUNTED

EVER THE HUNTED has been on my radar for a REALLY long time. As in, back during BEA 2015, before there was a cover, or a summary, or ANY INFORMATION. A publicist I worked with was in the middle of reading (or had just finished reading?) this upcoming title she was going to work on and help publish, and she was telling me how much I was going to like the book. I put it on my TBR that moment.

When the cover came out and everyone on the internet got really excited for the book, I just got extra excited. I was extremely lucky to receive an early copy for review, since this was one of my most anticipated titles of 2016!

Now, the sequel, EVER THE BRAVE, is about to launch, and I'm excited to re-read the first book and then return to the world to find out what happens next!

The book centers around Britta, a girl who has recently become an orphan. Her mother died when she was young, and her father was recently murdered. Due to her realm's mourning requirements, Britta must mourn in isolation for two months, never leaving home. Because her mother was from and a shunned country and nobody ever really trusted Britta, nobody comes with condolences, or checks up on her, or brings her food. Britt is literally starving to death because she's run out of food and can't leave to get more. As her isolation comes to an end, she's forced to poach from the Ever Woods in order to survive. Unfortunately, she's caught red-handed and taken to the king's dungeons; poaching is a hanging offense. However, because her father had been the king's best bounty hunter, she's given a reprieve: Hunt down her father's killer and be pardoned. The only problem? The killer is Cohen McKay, her father's former apprentice and the one boy Britta has ever loved. Can she trade her life for his, even if he killed her father?

There are a lot of plots and schemes and twists introduced throughout the novel, so it's hard to talk about this book without being all spoilery, but I'll try! Some of the twists readers will see coming, while others aren't as easy to spot. I wouldn't say this novel has a crazy cliffhanger, especially since I can guess where it's going, but it's intriguing enough to make readers want to pick up the second book when it comes out! Plus, it's only a duology, so the wait for the series conclusion won't be too bad!

While the book starts off slowly, it picks up speed, especially once Britta is kidnapped. There's so much about herself that she doesn't know, and she discovers a lot about her heritage throughout the novel. She has both a past and a future that change her fundamentally, and a lot of that discovery will compile the second book. The magical elements in this world are interesting, and I can't wait to see them expanded upon in the next book.

While Britta has her weaknesses, she evolves a lot and becomes much stronger and more secure by the book's end, though she still has a lot of growing to do. She also has a lot of uncertainty remaining, and needs to trust her gut instincts a little more. It will be interesting to see the direction the second book takes and whether my predictions are on target or not.

And...I guess that's really all I can say about this book without blabbing all its secrets to you!

Content Ratings: highlight between ( ) for details

Romance: PG12  ( Kissing. Lots of kissing! And Cohen is often shirtless when Britta comes across him, which does weird things to her, but the innuendo is light)
Language: --
Violence:  PG ( There's a scene where Britta comes across a couple of hanging corpses. There is some death toward the end of the book. Britta is also hunting her father's murderer, and his death is lightly described. )
Other:  PG13 ( One of the guards mentions things such as wanting to "taste" Britta and wanting to be left alone with her, implying that he'd like to rape her, though he never does. )
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

Do you guys like coloring books????

I'm not really a coloring book person, but OMG, this cover makes me want to cover it. 

Preferably with metallic gel pens, actually. There's so much white space!! And the cover is made with that papery material that would actually LET you color it and have it look nice. It's not a shiny or matte finish at all!

Seriously, look at it in person. YOU WILL WANT TO COLOR IT:

Look at all that detail in the background!! There's even a bird! And antlers!!! So much to bring to life!!!

(It's a lot whiter in person, too. My photo came out dark. Sorry!!)

Plus that pop of gold for the title, and the forest green of the author's name and the blood red of the series name--with those gorgeous looping letters!

This is a really pretty cover...and you'll want to make it even prettier!
O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Author: Erin Summerill
Release Date: Dec. 27, 2016
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers
Received: For Review
Purchase Links:

Amazon | B&N  


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.   

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.