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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Review & Giveaway: Hunted by Cheryl Rainfield (Blog Tour)


Hunted

by Cheryl Rainfield

Publisher: WestSide Books (December 2011)
Genre: YA Dystopian/Paranormal Fantasy
Pages: 370 (paperback)
Source: Review Request (Blog Tour)
Purchase: Amazon / Book Depository
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 stars)
Summary
Caitlyn is a telepath in a world where having any Paranormal power is illegal. Caitlyn is on the run from government troopers, who can enslave, torture, or even kill her, or make her hunt other Paranormals. When Caitlyn settles down in a city, she falls for Alex, a Normal (someone without Paranormal powers), which is dangerous because he can turn her in. And she discovers renegade Paranormals who want to destroy all Normals. Caitlyn must decide whether she's going to stay in hiding to protect herself, or take a stand to save the world.
The Good
I am always so nervous to read dystopian novels because they don't always end well and they can be depressing. But once I started reading Hunted, I forgot all my worries. From page one I was absorbed into the story and cared about the characters so much all I wanted to do was keep reading, and then read some more. Hunted was a thrill ride of action, emotion, and chill-inducing scenes.

Paras vs. Normals...
Caitlyn may love her powers of telepathy, but to spend just one day as a Normal, without the fear of being tortured for who she is, is just as tempting. And as she starts making friends at her new school the more she feels like she can have a little bit of a normal life, even if she shys away from the idea for fear of becoming complacent and slipping up. But it feels so good being around Alex, a boy she feels oddly connected with, and her new best friend, Rachel. But slowly, others start to endanger Caitlyn's precarious place at school. Becca the mean girl, rude and suspicious faculty and staff, and the renegade Paranormals who want to get their revenge on the Normals that have enslaved them all have their sights set on Caitlyn. She starts getting caught up in some bad situations that leave her wondering who are the true bad guys and who side should she be on?

Are We Looking at Our Future?
I loved the concept of Hunted. It's a concept we have seen across our history: one group suppressing another for being different. Our fear driving us to do horrible things to others. It's even more frightening to realize that the story in Hunted can actually come true one day, maybe not to the same extent (and probably minus the supernatural elements) but a world very close to this book is not unimaginable. That only made reading this book that much more enthralling.

Caitlyn the Caring...
I loved the characters in this book. Rainfield did a wonderful job making us really feel for each person. Caitlyn was courageous and loving while also being cautious and resentful. The world she grew up in has been horrible to her kind, and her mother has drifted away from her, so Caitlyn has had a hard time trusting people. She even goes as far as pushing friends away, trying to make herself invisible. But through it all she stays vigilant, ensuring her family's survival. Then she risks herself being found out by saving people who would probably return the favor by sending her to her enslavement, torture, and possible death. I really did admire Caitlyn's strength and need to do what's right.

Rachel vs. Alex...
Rachel was one rockin' chick. She too has something about herself that makes her different but she does her best too keep her head held high no matter what people say about her. And her friendship with Caitlyn was super sweet, even when she was a little jealous of how close Alex and Caitlyn were getting. Now, Alex I loved. He wasn't the perfect character because he, like many people in this book, was biased against Paras. But we slowly get to see the real Alex, and Caitlyn and his relationship was nothing short of adorable. Alex's journey to enlightenment was very realistic and helped me see his side of things.

Good/Bad Guys...
I don't want to say too much about who the bad guys were in this story because it would give too much away. But the bad guys were those kind that you really don't know if they are good or bad. You can almost feel for them because they are victims after all, but where's the limit when it comes to vengeance and retribution? Hunted dealt with such complex ideas that I sometimes didn't know who to root for. One thing to expect out of this book is a lot of suspense. I was never bored and was excited to turn each page. And let me just say, I LOVED what happened after the final battle. It was something I could have never predicted and it totally worked.

The Bad
I was a little annoyed that Caitlyn often went to face the bad guys somewhat half-cocked. I don't think she thought things through enough to warrant her constant attempts to "save the day."

The ending, where the final battle happens, was very dragged out. It was just too many pages of harping on the situation rather than solving it. It ruined the suspense a little because I felt like I was waiting forever for it to finally end.

The Snuggly
A pretty clean book all together except for some mild language and light sexual situations. I thought the sexual parts were actually quite cute and fit with the theme of the book. I thought Alex and Caitlyn were perfect together. And having the insights on what Alex really thought about Caitlyn made reading Hunted that much more fun. I just have to say again, I LOVE Alex.

Overall
Rainfield has created an interesting dystopian world that will make you think critically of our own world and how we would handle the same situations. Her characters are multi-dimensional and I can't wait to read more of her work. Just a few tweaks would have made this a perfect read. Highly recommended.

Make sure to check out Midnight Book Thief who did an Author Interview yesterday and don't forget to come back tomorrow for my Author Interview with Cheryl Rainfield and her amazing Guest Post. Oh, and Cheryl has a whole bunch of Hunted freebies--a short story ebook, a teacher's guide, a video on why she wrote Hunted, printable materials... Make sure to check them out by clicking the link.
Excerpts
“There’s no one there,” I say, sharp like broken glass, as if I haven’t been checking every few minutes myself. As if I haven’t been reaching out around us for anything different. Anything off.

The truth is, I think she’s right to be nervous. I can’t feel anyone watching, can’t even sense another Para close by—but they’ve been shadowing us too quickly lately, like they’ve found a way to zero in on my talent. But only another Para could do that, and I haven’t sensed the metallic bitterness that comes from the Government Paras—the Para-slaves.

~

I press my fingers to my temples. My scalp is hot, itchy with sweat, the pain so bad it feels like my head will explode.

Terror nips at the edges of my mind.


I shove it away, but it comes back stronger. It's not Daniel; I am sure of it. He's not this afraid.

I let down my shield. Screams rush in, and a burst of heat engulfs me. There's a crackling, roaring sound as the heat licks at me.

Fire! Someone's trapped in a fire!

Giveaway
The lovely Cheryl Rainfield is letting me giveaway two of her books, Hunted and Scars. Scars is another of Rainfield's amazing YA books. Just fill out the rafflecopter below. All information and rules are on the rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



19 comments:

  1. Did you do a Teaser for this book, it sounds so familiar?

    Alex and Caitlyn sound like really lovable characters. The Hunted sounds like fun even though there's a serious situation.

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    1. LOL. That's cool that you remembered. I did do a Teaser Tuesday for this book.

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  2. Candace, I hope you check Hunted out. :) Good luck in the contest.

    Jennifer, thank you SO much for such a lovely, incredible review. I'm so very glad you enjoyed Hunted!

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    1. You are quite welcome, Cheryl. Thank you for sharing your book with me.

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  3. It's awesome when a dystopian feels like it can be reality at one point. It gets everyone more aware of oppression.

    Alex and Caitlyn sound super sweet together:)

    And I love it when villains are a shade of gray, neither fully good nor fully bad.

    Thanks for the review!

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    1. I totally agree with everything you said, lol. Hope you have a chance to read it.

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  4. Excellent review. I've been seeing these two books around and they really do sound intertesting. I'm a Dyo- junkie!
    Janiera @This is From my Heart

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    1. If you love Dystopian books, you are going to LOVE this book.

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  5. I loved your review! It definitely sounds like the good outweighed the bad with this book so I can't wait to read it! Thanks for the awesome review and giveaway:)

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    1. For sure, the good far outweighs the bad. Have fun reading.

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  6. I loved, loved, loved Scars, and thought I wouldn't be too interested in Hunted because I'm a contemporary nut, but I have to say, it looks really good, and I'd definitely like to read it!

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    1. Ooh, I want to read Scars so bad but I rarely read contemp so I had your same problem but reversed. lol. But I think I might have to pick up Scars.

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  7. Hmm, sounds very interesting. I understand your worries about dystopian reads. But they are so addicting too. lol. Sounds like a nice addition to the dystopian world. :) Thank you!

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    1. I know, I always love dystopian reads even though they scare the crap out of me.

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  8. I LOVED this book! Amazing review Jen! <3 Hit some points on the nail!

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  9. Wow this is Amazing! Another interesting book! Well, I really like it, (is it too obvious because I did everything to earn more entries?) :)

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  10. You wrote a very thorough review! This book sounds interesting and I added it to my TBR list :)

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