I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Hunted by Cheryl Rainfield
Published: WestSide Books (2011), eARC, 370pg
Genres: Fiction, Paranormal, Sci-fi
Caitlyn, a telepath, lives in a world where all paranormal talents are illegal. She is on the run from government ParaTroopers. When Caitlyn falls for Alex, a Normal, and discovers dangerous renegade Paranormals, she must choose between staying in hiding to protect herself or taking a stand to save the world. (from Goodreads)
Hunted is a somewhat atypical paranormal/dystopian book. It’s set sometime in the future, though I don’t think we’re ever told exactly how far in the future it is. It’s sort of dystopian, but only for the “paras,” really. It’s an exciting story, with some conspiracy things going on and a lot of omg-what’s-going-to-happen moments. The characters were pretty good, especially Caitlyn, who doesn’t really waste any time getting in the action. She’s a very active paranormal/dystopian heroine, which is great because normally I think the typical p-heroine is passive for at least the first half of the book.
The story veers slightly to one side of where you think it’s going to go, which I liked. When Caitlyn gets to her new school, for instance, the first few scenes are so typical of the “new girl in a new school” thing that you think it’s going to be all about that– her fitting in, making friends, trying not to let people know about her powers, etc.
And it’s sort of about that– until suddenly it’s not. The majority of the book is set in the school, yeah, but the actual school part is unimportant. Likewise, the baddie is presented first as what seemed to be a potentional component of a love triangle (“bad boy” vs “good boy,” etc.)…and then suddenly that’s completely wrong and it’s all turned around and really awesome.
I really like it when books take typical tropes and stories and turn them into something else!
What I liked best about Hunted, though, was that the emphasis was on the action/non-romantic part of the plot. The romance was there, and it was sweet (and somewhat unusual– when was the last time you read about an interracial couple in a dystopian/paranormal book?), but it didn’t overtake the other parts of the story. Yay! I also liked that for once the paranormal partner was the girl instead of the boy. Something different! Yay again!
Unfortunately, I absolutely hated the dialogue. It never felt like real people were speaking. It felt instead like something from a really bad Power Rangers episode, or maybe a soap opera from the 1990s. I hadn’t thought good dialogue was all that important to my enjoyment of a book, but as the story went on I kept focusing more and more on it, until it got to the point where it started to make me sort of angry. If the dialogue had been better, I think I would have really loved Hunted. Instead, I’ve ended up just liking it.
If you don’t mind so-so dialogue, or if you can get around it in order to enjoy the rest of the story, Hunted is a good book to read. If you like paranormal or dystopian books and want something slightly different from what’s already out there, Hunted is the book for you. I’m assuming it’s the start of a trilogy since it ends on a kind of cliffhanger note, and I do hope the story gets to be continued. I want to know what happens next!
Read: December 6-8, 2011