cover image Hunted


Meagan Spooner. HarperTeen, $17.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-242228-6

In this standalone tale from Spooner, coauthor of the Starbound trilogy, a merchant named Tvertko loses his fortune and moves his daughters—Lena, Asenka, and Yeva—to a remote cabin. Once a legendary hunter, Tvertko has difficulty finding prey and comes to believe that a fearsome Beast is scaring off the other animals. Tvertko ventures into the woods to slay the creature but fails to return. Yeva strikes out after him and is captured by the Beast, who imprisons her in a castle. As Yeva fights for survival and escape, she learns that the fairy tales of her youth are more grounded in reality than she ever imagined. After a slow start, Spooner’s take on Beauty and the Beast finds its groove when Yeva (also known as Beauty) finally encounters the Beast. Yeva’s narration is interspersed with snippets from the Beast’s perspective, adding depth, and while the plot is largely predictable, this emotionally complex story satisfies. Spooner writes eloquently about magic, her world building is excellent, and the book’s characters are nuanced and well drawn. Ages 13–up. Agent: Josh Adams, Adams Literary. (Mar.)