Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Ever the Hunted Blog Tour: Interview + Review

Friends! Today is a fun day to stop by the blog. You wanna know why? Well, I get to take part in the Ever the Hunted Blog Tour. Ever the Hunted is the start to Erin Summerill's debut YA fantasy series. Raincoast was awesome enough to let me read and review the book for you guys. So check out that below. But even more wonderful; Erin doing a small Q&A(also below). See, all the fun to be had today!

About Erin Summerill

Erin Summerill was born in England. After spending years bouncing between Air Force bases in Hawaii, England, and California, her family settled in Utah, where Erin graduated with a B.A. in English from Brigham Young University. She had aspirations to write the next great American novel, but writing proved tougher than she first thought. So she grabbed a Nikon and became a professional photographer while crafting manuscript after manuscript. The scenic detour of shooting weddings across the United States, as well as internationally, provided world-building inspiration. It gave her the vision to draft her debut YA fantasy, EVER THE HUNTED. Now when she isn’t writing, or shooting a wedding, she’s chasing her four kids, two dogs, one cat, and five chickens. This could be why she downs massive amounts of Coke Zero and Hot tamales.

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Brittany: I see that you're a photographer too; was seeing our world through a lens the tipping off point for you to create your own fantastical world? I can imagine that you were able to create a truly vivid image of the kingdoms with your imagination, but was there a destination/place that inspired you the most?

Erin: Hi Brittany!
Yes! My love of photography has played a huge role in writing. I am a terrible landscape photographer, but I enjoy viewing the world around me and imagining how I could possibly capture it by the camera in a fantastical way. Eventually, that led to writing fantastical landscapes into my book. In fact, with photography as a backbone, I tend to look at light as a tool in terms of how it changes a landscape. When I build a scene, that’s what I usually think of first in terms of setting.
On a family trip, we visited the Oregon coast and the California redwoods. Some of the forests were inspired by the landscape of Oregon and California, with a little bit of Harrison Hot Springs, Canada thrown in. That charming town is magical!


Ever the Hunted (Clash of Kingdoms, #1)Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill
Publisher: HMH Books
Publication Date: December 27th, 2016
Series: Clash of Kingdoms #1
Pages: 400
Source: ARC from publisher
Rating: 3/5
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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.

Ever the Hunted caught my attention early. Firstly because of the cover, simple and pretty. So it made my want to know more; what is this book? Then it sounded like the story was going to be a kick-ass lady. And I am always looking for more strong females to read about. Ever the Hunted was 100% on my radar because of a pretty cover and tough sounding lady, #noshame Also, Britta; Erin you seem to have forgotten two letters. An N and Y and hey look the perfect name.

Britta is an outcast. Having a mother(even a dead one) from the other side of the border is not something that makes you well liked. Britta knew from a young age that she'd have to know how to take care of yourself. Her father taught her to always been on her toes. But now he's been murdered and Britta is in hiding. Until she's caught and offered clemency for catching her father's killer. Except for no way, it can't be Cohen, Britta's childhood BFF and her father's apprentice. Here starts Britta's journey to realize nothing is as it seems and secrets are everywhere.

I liked Britta well enough. She's grieving and lonely when we met her, but as the story progresses she does a pretty good job at knowing herself and what she wants. Britta isn't really one to back down when things get tough. She's alone, she thinks her best friend killed her father but Britta doesn't get all ragey for revenge. Britta's more like let's find Cohen and go from there. She doesn't jump the gun and I really appreciated her toughness well seeming to keep a level head.

There are some side characters, like the three guards tasked with helping Britta find Cohen. They fill out the quote pretty well;  one friendly, two creeper and third mysterious. But Cohen is the focus. Britta has it bad for him; insert love eyes x 100. And this is where the story wobbled for me. Honestly, there's nothing special about Cohen. He fits the mold of childhood best friend who ran away to keep MC safe because he loves her so much but is still keeping secrets to a tee. This is where Britta loses focus. I am all for romance, if you guys know me you know I needs it in my books. Except there are times where it becomes too much. Ever the Hunted is a YA romance set in a fantastical world. It may not be marketed as such, but it is. Britta spends more time focused on getting together with Cohen and his body then Erin spends on building a fantasy world and the magic system.

Talk of Cohen being molded to a tee, well the story in Ever the Hunted is predictable to a tee. There was absolutely nothing that I didn't see coming from page 1 or way before it happened. Did that take away from me loving the book, yes. Did that hinder my enjoyment of the book, nope. This is no epic YA fantasy, and I found that out pretty early on well reading. The predictable factor is high and the world building and magic system are lacking in explanation. But overall it's an easy, light read. Ever the Hunted has elements of what makes a good, but simple fantasy story; it's political with the two warring countries, which of course leads to finding traitors in the mix. And there's a magic system. Did I understand how this magic system worked, uh, not really. But it's there and I know magic is a no-no in Britta's land, well-being more sacred on the other side of the border.

Ever the Hunted falls into a lot of YA tropes; Britta is a special snowflake, and well that can be over done, I actually don't mind it as long as I like the snowflake. And I did. I like Britta. Ever the Hunted is a good book. It reads fast and it's not one you have to spend a lot of time mulling over, nor figuring out. It's a romance heavy plot, but I say as long as you know that going it there's no reason why you wouldn't enjoy Britta's story. The ending didn't leave me in shock, but I'm still super interested in picking up the sequel next year. Again, I'm all for easy reading during this super busy time of year, and Ever the Hunted sure provided that.

I want to give massive thanks to Raincoast for including me in this blog tour. And of course, thank you to Erin Summerhill for taking the time to answer some questions.
Ever the Hunted releases on December 27th. Which makes winter break a perfect time to check it out. 

Happy reading!