There are a lot of paranormal novels out there in the YA market. A lot of dystopia too. I want to read them all! I love both of those genres so much, so when I got the chance to read Hunted by Cheryl Rainfeld, a book that has both of these in spades, I jumped at the chance.
Caitlyn is a telepath in a world where that is illegal. She is on the run from the government troopers. When she falls for Alex, a Normal, and discovers dangerous renegade Paranormals, she must choose between staying in hiding to protect herself, or taking a stand to save the world.
-Summary from author’s website
Not one to shy away from writing about difficult or controversial topics, Cheryl tackles several within her newest novel, Hunted. The protagonist, Caitlyn, has suffered the loss of a sibling and parent and is under the constant threat of a dystopian government and their cult-like followers wanting her, a “Para,” and those like her, dead. She and her mother are on the run and the stress of everything is about ready to do them both in. There is danger for them right from the very start of the book and all the way through. It never lets up. This constant threat draws you into Caitlyn’s life and allows you to see that, while some of her decisions might not be the wisest, she’s doing the best that she can under the circumstances.
I was drawn into the dark world Cheryl created and easily saw the parallels to disenfranchised communities within our own society. The power of legislating against those that are “different” is a very slippery slope and in Caitlyn’s world it’s turned deadly for Paras and their supporters. Other issues such as bigotry toward homosexuality and bi-racial relationships are also touched upon and woven into the storyline excellently and without the feeling of “token” placement.
Hunted is four hundred pages long and a lot happens within those pages, a lot, but I never felt like the story dragged. It actually reads really quickly. As Caitlyn discovers more about herself and those around her, we get to see it all through the eyes of a girl who discovers who she really is and what believing in herself, and allowing others in who believe in you too, can achieve. I liked Caitlyn immediately and rooted for her the entire book. The supporting cast of characters are well-written too. There is a great mix of “goodies” and “baddies” and you don’t necessarily know who’s what. Gah! The tension never lets up, I tell you!
I don’t feel like it’s a spoiler to tell you that there isn’t a wicked cliffhanger at the end of the story. I feel like I’m doing you a service, not that there isn’t plenty of story left if Cheryl decides to write more, but you won’t be “WTF’ing” at the end. If you enjoy a strong, female protagonist, mixed with paranormal powers and dystopia, you should check out Hunted. It’s a faced-paced paranormal that will keep you guessing until the end.
-ecopy of book provided by the author for review.