Title: Ever The Hunted
Author: Erin Summerill
Narrator: Helen Johns
Publisher: Dreamscape Media, LLC
Length: 11 hours, 27 minutes
Star Rating: ★★ 0.5/ ☆☆☆☆☆
Goodreads Summary: 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.
So…This book and I had a …tumultuous…relationship. Though I eventually pulled through to the end, there were multiple sections of the book where I just wanted to DNF it. The book was very touch and go in terms of being interesting and was filled with fantasy tropes and clichés. To make it worse, I abhorred the audiobook narrator’s voice. So. Where to begin?
Let’s talk about the characters first. I really didn’t feel any connection to them. They were bland, uncompelling, and watery. Britta doesn’t really have any defining personality traits to make her stand out. Like, I can’t think of any adjective for her other than…bland. Nothing stood out about her. The same goes for every other character. The only standout trait about Cohen, the love interest and the boy who Britta’s “hunting,” is his over-protectiveness when it comes to Britta. Which is not exactly a shining trait to be recognized by, in my opinion. Inat was the clichéd “wizened, old witch in the woods” and also—you guessed it—had no personality traits that jumped out at you, other than having a vague “wise woman” air about her.
In truth, I think this lack of characterization was what really made the book fall flat. The plot—which I’ll get more into in a minute—fell flat because the characters were so emotionally untethered from it, lacking depth and intense motive. The relationships lacked oomph because the characters were so vanilla that you ended up why on earth someone would be interested in someone so boring. For me, I need that emotional connection to at least one character because it gets me invested in wanting to know what happens to them. Instead, I found myself asking “Who cares?” And that? That spells doom for a book when it comes to the chances I’ll want to continue on.
So enough about the characters. Maybe you’re the type of reader who can take bland characters, so long as there’s a good plot. Well don’t hold your breath for this one then. The book switches courses so many times, that the plot completely falls apart. It is due to this that it starts to feel like the characters are just running around for no reason. It’s like “First we have to do this!–Never mind, let’s do that!–Oh, no, wait, let’s do this other thing!” This made me feel like there was no point. Summerill attempts to tie it all together in the end, but it just feels like she’s slapping a Band-Aid on a gaping wound.
Of course, all of this wasn’t helped by the fact that the audiobook narrator, Helen Johns, had the most annoying voice! Her voice was squeaky and high pitched and those qualities were magnified by when she read particularly emotional passages. She read with a good amount of feeling and an even pace, but that was overshadowed by the actual sound of her voice. If you want to read Ever The Hunted, I wouldn’t recommend the audiobook, unfortunately.
So, all in all, Ever The Hunted was not a hit with me, unfortunately. If you’re looking for something fluffy and light, though, this might be something you like. Ya never know!