Friday, February 19, 2016

Feature Friday ARC Review : The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins

*Feature Friday ARC Review is a meme hosted by The Tattered Page to feature YA books that have not yet been released by reviewing them.*

*Warning: This review may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.


Release DateMarch 8, 2016
Pages: 432
Source: ARC

The Story:

Wendy Higgins, the author of the New York Times bestselling Sweet Evil series, reimagines a classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale with The Great Hunt, a dramatic, romance-filled fantasy with rugged hunters, romantic tension, and a princess willing to risk all to save her kingdom.
When a monstrous beast attacks in Eurona, desperate measures must be taken. The king sends a proclamation to the best and bravest hunters: whoever kills the creature will win the hand of his daughter Princess Aerity as a reward. The princess recognizes her duty but cannot bear the idea of marrying a stranger—she was meant to marry for love—until a brooding local hunter, Paxton Seabolt, catches her attention. And while there’s no denying the fiery chemistry between them, Princess Aerity feels that Paxton’s mysteriousness is foreboding, maybe even dangerous.
Paxton is not the marrying type. Nor does he care much for spoiled royals and their arcane laws. He is determined to keep his focus on the task at hand—ridding the kingdom of the beast—but the princess continues to surprise him, and the secrets he’s buried begin to surface against his wishes.
via Amazon


Reading Tune Outlander - Main Theme Song by Bear McCreary

Tag Line:

Kill the beast. Win the girl.

Opening Line:

A late summer breeze blew warm over the deep and wide Lanach Creek.

My Review


I went into 
The Great Hunt with high expectations. The premise of the story was brilliant. A great kingdom is plagued by a strange beast. In a last ditch effort to save and defeat the beast, a kind king asks his daughter to make a hefty sacrifice. Become the ultimate prize in the great hunt to stop the murderous beast once and for all. 

And to add the cherry on top, is a fairy tale retelling! "The Singing Bone" to be exact. Y'all know I am obsessed with fairy tale retellings. Now, come on, how does this story not scream magical!

The Great Hunt pacing was a little slow for me. Not enough beast action considering the premise of the story. I expected more bloody, hunting of the great, strange beast and more hot hunters joisting and vying for the princess' hand. Even the romantic tension between Paxton and Aerity was lackluster -- so no redemption there. There was more angst than swoon. I didn't squeal in glee. I have a sweet spot for moody loner but Paxton had a huge thorn in his paw or butt. 

Prior to reading The Great Hunt, the only Higgin's book I have read was See Me. And I absolutely loved it! But the writing in The Great Hunt was different. Not bad writing, by all means, but not as enthralling as in See Me.

All in all, The Great Hunt was a decent read, however, I was underwhelmed. Not one of my favorite but still worth your time if you have time to spare. My hopes are the story is redeemed by picking up in the following installment.

Character Breakdown:

The characters were flesh out enough that I never had to squeeze my brain to remember who was who. As for the dynamic between them, it was average, good enough I wasn't bored out of my mind with the character interactions. 

Princess Aerity - Kind and selfless even though she was royalty. While not outwardly fierce, Aerity was a strong and realistic character, I was able to sympathize with Princess Aerity's dilemma.

Paxton Seabolt - Brooding loner with a chip on his shoulder and loyal to
 his family. 

"At one point she felt his nose against her neck, and when she pulled to the side to peer at him, his head jerked up, and he stared straight ahead.
'You . . . smell nice," e said with seeming reluctance. The princess faced ahead again so he wouldn't see her smile.v- page 275

Here is one of my favorite quotes from 
The Great Hunt:

Paxton's mother: "You don't live with the looks," his mother had always told him. "You live with the personality, so try and be pleasant. And choose a girl with a loving heart." - page 92

"His mother and grandmother used to tie his hair back as a lad, but it had been years since anyone had cared for him in that basic way. Now, feeling her small, warm hands fingering through his hair and smoothing it back, brushing against his skin, a chill of gratification and desire rippled through him. His hair felt tight as she knotted the strip at his nape. He let himself enjoy it." - page 216 

Meet the Author:

Wendy Higgins is the USA Today and NYT bestselling author of the Sweet Evil series from HarperTeen, the high fantasy duology The Great Hunt, and her independently published Irish fantasy, See Me. She is a former high school English teacher who now writes full time, and lives on the Eastern Shore of Virginia with her veterinarian husband, daughter, son, and doggie Rue. 

Wendy earned a bachelor's in Creative Writing from George Mason University and a master's in Curriculum and Instruction from Radford University. She is represented by Jill Corcoran of the Jill Corcoran Literary Agency.

***Check out Wendy Higgins' website for more information about her and The Great HuntHERE
Happy Reading!


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