Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Great Hunt Review: Aerity

Book: The Great Hunt
Author: Wendy Higgins
Series: Eurona Duology #1
Genre: YA fantasy
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 416
Release: March 8th, 2016



When a strange beast terrorizes the kingdom of Lochlanach, fear stirs revolt. In an act of desperation, a proclamation is sent to all of Eurona—kill the creature and win the ultimate prize: the daughter of King Lochson’s hand in marriage.

Princess Aerity knows her duty to the kingdom but cannot bear the idea of marrying a stranger…until a brooding local hunter, Paxton Seabolt, catches her attention. There’s no denying the unspoken lure between them…or his mysterious resentment.

Paxton is not the marrying type. Nor does he care much for spoiled royals and their arcane laws. He’s 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 perilous secrets he’s buried begin to surface.

Inspired by the Grimm Brothers’ tale “The Singing Bone,” New York Times bestselling author Wendy Higgins delivers a dark fantasy filled with rugged hunters, romantic tension, and a princess willing to risk all to save her kingdom.




This book is inspired by the Grimm Brother's tale of "The Singing Bone." Princess Aerity's kingdom becomes threatened by the appearance of a mysterious beast, killing men single-handedly. In a desperate attempt to kill the beast and restore order to the kingdom, Aerity's father, the king, issues a decree that the hunter who slays this fearsome beast will win the hand of his eldest daughter, Aerity. Men from all over Eurona arrive in hopes to win her hand--everyone but Paxton Seabolt, a young man shrouded in mystery who wants absolutely nothing to do with Aerity...

Aerity was an interesting character. I liked how brave she was in the beginning, accepting her fate to be married off for the sake of kingdom, even though her father had raised her to marry for love, not politics. It spoke of hard sacrifice, and how Aerity was willing to put her own happiness aside for the future of her kingdom. But afterwards, when the hunt began, I found her character fell a bit flat, lacking incentive and drive. What role did she actually play other than motivate the hunters merely with her physical appearance? I would have preferred if she had a more active role in the plot. Surely she could have done more than remaining in the castle upon her father's orders and waiting for the hunters to return. It wasn't until the very very end that she finally did something, but even then, I felt like there was more she could have done, more she could have contributed. 

Paxton was the mystery of this story, the one with the hidden secrets I was so desperate to uncover. I really liked him, not just because I'm a sucker for the dark and brooding types, but for the complexity his situation brought to the overall plot and issues of the lands. He never acted without reason, all his motions careful and controlled. The range of emotions Pax went through really made him a round character, showing desperation, fear, and uncertainty. There was so much inner turmoil in him, you couldn't help but just wish happiness for him. And the ending...


I wasn't particularly fond of the plot in this book, or rather the lack of plot. Don't get me wrong, I liked the idea of a great and fearsome beast that needed to be put down, but the hunt itself seemed to drag on. Hunters would leave for the night to try to kill the beast, they'd fail, lose a few of their members, go back to the castle to rest, and Aerity would make an appearance to remind them of the prize. Next day: rinse and repeat, and so forth. Where were the plot twists? The unexpected elements, the ones that kept you on your toes, the ones that changed the entire direction of the book with merely one line? I found myself flipping through pages just to get on with the plot, only to be disappointed when the same thing happened.

Who I did enjoy was Rozaria, or more specifically, what she was working towards. The unfair treatment of the Lashed was an obvious issue in the novel, made evident from the introduction of Paxton. Rozaria's actions properly addressed this issue, taking matters into her own hands. Though her methods at liberating the Lashed weren't exactly morally correct, her goal for the Lashed to live without fear for being who they were was an honest-to-good goal. She may be doing wrong things, but she's doing them for the right reason. Sadly, this didn't quite intersect with the general plot as much as I would have liked. I feel like if it had, the plot would have been much more engaging and stimulating. 

This book is overall fine. The plot was fine, the characters fine, the romance fine. But it just didn't blow me away, like I was expecting. The ending does offer the promise of Aerity stepping up, and there's the slight matter of her betrothed that must be dealt with. I'm curious to know what will become of the Lashed, what rules Aerity will force, and how Paxton will fit into all of it.




12 comments:

  1. I'm sorry you didn't like this one as much! Are you going to be reading the sequel?

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    1. Since it's a duology, I think I might read the sequel just to see how it ends. The world itself is very good, and I do want to know how the plot will be resolved!

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  2. Sounds like an interesting one.. I do like the names within this book - Aerity, the Lashed, Rozaria. Neat. :) You described what you disliked about the plot very, very well, and I can see how that would happen with a plot like this. Looks like it might have some things that will make for interesting sequels, though!

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    1. Agreed! I was instantly drawn to the names too. I think this book sets up some great things for sequel, but only time will tell how it goes!

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  3. Sorry you didn't care for this one more. I'm glad it was still okay for you though. That's too bad that Aerity's character went flat. I hate that! Great review!

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    1. I feel like Aerity's character has a lot of potential to grow in the next one, so hopefully she'll step it up!

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    1. Me too! It's too bad. But I guess you win some, you lose some.

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  5. I felt like this book was miss-mash of so many YA books, like the princess/bad-boy romance trope, failing kingdom, princess saves the day etc, etc. and Wendy just wasn't able to pull it off and trust I don't think anyone is as disappointed as us because it had SO MUCH POTENTIAL!
    I completely agree with you in saying that Aerity could and should have been more, her character was lacking. Paxton was great but I was way more interesting in his storyline with the Lashed people more than his relationship with Aerity or the plot of The Great Hunt. Two very different storylines and yet no plot? I was so confused. You've hit on so many great points in your review, sucks that if wasn't was you were expecting. Hopefully the next book will be better.

    Brilliant review Erika!!!

    Cody @ Literary-ly Obsessed

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    1. My fingers are crossed that the next one will be better! Like you said, I'm much more interested in Paxton's role with the Lashed, more interested than the actual plot of killing the beast itself. So much potential, but then again, it's hard for Higgins to follow up with the perfection of Anna and Kai in the Sweet Evil series!

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  6. Aww it's a shame you didn't enjoy it that much. I've actually wanted to read this for a very long time, but I still have to get it though.
    The cover reminds me so much of Pixar's "Brave" haha, it just looks really magical :)

    Lipstick and Mocha

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    1. Agreed! The cover reminds me quite a bit of "Brave". All that's mission are the arrows! ;)

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