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.
I write the books I needed as a teen and couldn't find. I am a lesbian feminist survivor of incest and torture. I write strong girls who save themselves; queer characters; and characters who overcome trauma.
And yes, it is my own arm on the cover of SCARS.
If you loved SCARS, you may want to get my free 38-page SCARS short story that picks up where SCARS left off by signing up for my author newsletter at www.CherylRainfield.com
Here the author of SCARS presents young readers with a very different type of YA novel which will probably have more appeal to a wider readership than her first book did. It's well-written, fast-moving, and carries a strong message about the dangers of prejudice and oppression. I'm so happy to see that Cheryl Rainfield is not a "one trick pony"!
I was thrilled to get a chance to read Hunted, having recently read Scars (also by Cheryl), and being blown away by that story. Cheryl does it again, and drew me into the world of Caitlyn, a teen with mental telepathy (she can read minds and make suggestions that results in a potentially manipulative effect).
The tension resulting from being on the run immediately drew me into the story. I loved the role reversal in the relationship of Caitlyn and her mom. Her mother's powers are mysteriously suppressed and the why is only revealed later on in the story. It creates a strange closeness and dependance of the mother upon her daughter's powers to protect them from being caught, and a distance because of the mother's suppressed powers.
I was reminded of such stories as FIRESTARTER (by Stephen King) and other familiar dystopian novels I've read lately (DIVERGENT, THE HUNGER GAMES, UGLIES). These were positive comparisons. Cheryl does not steer clear of the tough issues presented here, and while strongly portrayed, I did not feel it overwhelmed the story. Rather, I felt the issues of acceptance, diversity, celebrating our differences added to the development of Caitlyn's plight.
Cheryl created an excellent, modern day love triangle between Caitlyn and Alex and Rachel. While Caitlyn does not mislead Rachel's interest in her as "more than a friend," Caitlyn accepts Rachel for who she is and Rachel accepts that Caitlyn is straight. In fact, Rachel encourages Caitlyn in her interest with Alex, even though it conflicts her. I liked that Alex's ethnicity was not pointed out right away, allowing the reader to identify potential prejudice in the way we judge/perceive/pigeonhole others when we meet them. Whether in the pages of a book or in real life, these are the REAL ISSUES that teens face today. I love how I identified with the message of HUNTED, and I'd recommend this as a great read to anyone.
This is the first paranormal book I've read. I love the crossover with the mystery of the Para Reaper and the surprising antagonist, a government controlled para who presents himself differently at first. I also enjoyed the dystopian world, and was pulled in by the way Cheryl incorporates the use of Caitlyn's powers in dialogue, in her relationships with others, and in various plot developments along the way. I was so captivated, I could not put the book down and rushed to read all the way to the end.
Fortunately for all of us, this is the first book in a series, perhaps a trilogy or quartet (if I get my wish). I could easily see this as a movie, and will dream of the day when that becomes a reality. I've already started casting it in my mind.
I believe you will enjoy this book, and I give it at least 5 stars. Cheryl does an amazing job of cliffhanger chapters and a pace that will keep you breathless, on the run and feeling just as HUNTED as Caitlyn. I was satisfied with the ending, but wanted more. I'm thrilled to know Cheryl is currently at work on the sequel.
Give HUNTED a read, and post your thoughts here. I hope this review helps you in your decision to give it a try.
I'm sitting here, having finished this novel a mere five minutes ago, and I am still stunned. The novel was intense and gripping; I could not put it down once I'd started it. And the story was just so incredibly powerful - I found myself truly agreeing with the message I sensed being propagated through it. I'm still trying to come up with more words to describe this book but all that comes to mind is awesome, amazing, inspired and just really brilliant!
The premise is one I've seen played out before - discrimination towards people and the resulting cruelty. In this novel, people known as Paras are getting persecuted for their abilities and talents that set them apart from the Normals. It was heartbreaking to read about the crazy levels of loathing, fear, hatred and discrimination that most Normals had against Paras. I personally found it all distasteful, unreasonable and I could appreciate the presence of pro-Para activists and movements myself. But what stands out to me is the fact that I was so drawn into the story that I could even go so far as to feel as strongly as I did about the Paras.
I enjoyed getting to know all of the characters in the book because the way Ms. Rainfield wrote them immediately brought them to life. I loved our strong, fearless and intensely good narrator Caitlyn best of all, but it was a treat to meet Alex (swoon-worthy!), Rachel (the amazingly loyal best friend), Caitlyn's mom (there is NOTHING stronger than a mother's love) and Mrs. Vespa (how awesome is it that a librarian plays an important role in this story?). Each character I've mentioned is one that I came to know and care about as I read the book.
It is also important to note that Ms. Rainfield paints a scary, intimidating portrait of the bad guys too. I found myself frightened, intimidated and so shocked by their brutality and cruelty. However, I do like how she also shows us some vulnerability and, in a way, allows us to see the root of all this chosen action.
Honestly, this is one extremely awesome book. It's not just an exciting, intense paranormal thriller; it's a book with a message. And, as far as I can tell, the message is this: everyone, no matter their race, colors, status or abilities, has the right to live unafraid, in peace and, most important of all, free. Everyone should be treated equally. I feel that we should all be unafraid to stand up for this basic right, just as the characters in the book do when demonstrate their loyalty and stand up for what they believe in.
This book is amazing - so you better go and pick it up when it hits the shelves on October 27, 2011.
Please note: I read this book in October 2011 from a copy provided by JKS Communications, this author's publicist. All opinions are my own.
My Synopsis: Caitlyn lives in a world quite a lot like ours – with one major difference. Paranormal talents, while not necessarily common, exist in large enough quantity that the existence of them is known. However, many folks without the paranormal ability don’t understand what makes Paranormals tick – and as anyone can tell you, what people don’t understand, they fear; and what they fear – they seek to destroy. Paranormals are expected to register with the government – their rights are restricted and, at any time, they can be taken away by the government and forced to hunt for and betray other Paranormals. Brutality toward, and torture of, these Para-slaves is not only common, it is actively condoned. Caitlyn and her mother have been on the run for years – ever since the riots in which Caitlyn’s father was killed, and her brother Daniel was taken. They’ve landed in a city this time, and are trying to blend in. Caitlyn discovers a plot by a rogue group of Paranomals to take over the country and destroy the Normals, however, and no matter how much danger it puts her in, she believes that people should all have the right to live in peace and she does what she can to stop these events. Can she find the culprit in time – does she have the strength to do it – and will her Normal friends have the strength of will to keep her secret?
My Thoughts: This is a truly amazing book – it has so many levels. On the surface, it is an entertaining paranormal thriller – dig a little deeper, and it has elements of the need to understand that all people have the right to live in peace and freedom – freedom from control, freedom from hate, freedom from abuse. There are messages of friendship and loyalty, of standing up for what you believe in – all very important. Although this book is described as young adult, I would recommend that parents vet the book, or that readers be at least 15 – there are some situations that might be upsetting to more sensitive souls. However, I do highly recommend this book – I think there are a lot of important messages in it, and that it is something about which people should be cognizant. Please pick up this book – it is scheduled to be available 10/27/2011 – and do yourself a big favor and read it.
Hunted by Cheryl Rainfield is a unique reading experience. If you enjoy dystopian and the paranormal, then you will enjoy Hunted. Caitlyn lives in a society where she and others like her are persecuted for being different, for being paranormals. She lost her father in a riot when she was young, and her brother disappeared at the same time. She and her mother have been on the run, moving from place to place, to avoid being captured and Caitlyn being forced into a harsh and painful life of servitude as a para slave, because of her unique psychic abilities. Caitlyn has finally made friends in her new school, she has fallen for Alex, a boy who is a normal, and finally finds out the truth surrounding her brother, all the while being constantly pursued by the Government and Paratroopers whose only goal is to capture and enslave her, and those like her.
Hunted is filled with endless surprises, filled with adventure and heartache, as Caitlyn is forced to make choices that not only affect her, but those she loves, other paranormals like her, as well as the those who persecute her. Cheryl has done an excellent job of bringing the characters to life, and has managed to throw a bit of romance in the mix. Though the book is entirely fictional, it is eye-opening in that it brings awareness to the discrimination and isolation that are prevalent in society today, because people are afraid of those who are “different.”
If you enjoy the action and adventure found in dystopian centered YA fiction, combine that with the paranormal, and a bit of romance to boot, you will enjoy Hunted. As a bonus, Cheryl also shares at the end of the book how her own experiences and the things she has suffered inspired the story. Hunted
Looking for an exciting, action-packed novel for Christmas? This book just might be for you. The author introduces the reader into a world where there is heavy discrimination against Paras (Paranormals) and people are forced to hide their true identities and, for lack of a better phrase, live a lie. Caitlyn is the main character and a telepath. She must hide her talents are face persecution. Alex, the love interest, is a Normal. Alex also just happens to be handsome, charismatic, and seemingly kind. Caitlyn must decide if Alex is trustworthy and worth "blowing her cover."
The action really starts with the Pro-Para group. Caitlyn must also decide whether to help other Paras and possibly create a more neutral environment to Paras in general or stay safe and out of the way. The reader will enjoy reading about Caitlyn's conflicting emotions and decisions as she makes her way through the novel. The reader will enjoy many of the secondary characters, the author places a lot of detail and thought into them. The idea for a persecuted group may not be new, but the author makes it feel new through fresh ideas and the suspenseful undertone. There is plenty of action and excitement in the pages of this novel, the book is certainly hard to put down. The relationships between the characters are very important to the plot and show a lot of precision on the author's part to pull the plot together to cohesively. This book is recommended to teen/young adult readers.
This was an amazing second novel by Cheryl. Scars was good, but Hunted blew me away. I sometimes have a hard time getting into the beginning of a book, but Cheryl kicks it off straight from the start... you'll love this!
Review: Hunted by Cheryl Rainfield Hunted by Cheryl Rainfield
I need to step outside my typical one-line review box for a moment...be right back.
I had absolutely no clue what to expect when I ordered Hunted. The synopsis sounded cool and Cheryl Rainfield comes across as incredibly likeable, down to Earth and easily reachable. It reviewed well, but I try not to let that influence my reading list....anyway, I sat down (actually, I was already sitting having just finished another book -it was Sunday, I'm allowed to veg a bit.) and started reading...and couldn't stop myself.
Fortunately my family managed to work around my transfixed corpse for the day allowing me to finish. That's right, started Sunday, finished Sunday. Captivated.
It touches on so many topics that are so important to its target reader (teens) while telling an amazing story. Bigotry, sexuality, acceptance, defiance, love, sacrifice, being different, loving yourself, being yourself, being strong (I have two daughters and I love strong female characters), turmoil, family...and I'm sure I am scratching the surface.
Then there's the plot -people with paranormal abilities being hunted, tortured, killed by the anti-paranormal government. I was expecting to be taken to cool settings in this unique dystopian world where the climax would draw all the necessary elements together but Rainfield kept it tight. Everything was close -literally and figuratively. Her story didn't need to be drawn to fancy settings because of the emotional depth. You experience Caitlyn's (the main character) doubt and fear and inner turmoil as if they're your own. This isn't the product of her being a telepath (making thoughts and experiences seemingly easier to convey), it's a product of good writing. It is obvious Rainfield was writing from a place most of us dare not dwell in order to really find this character -to allow us to feel this character -to almost become her.
And yes, I'm a guy. I like Lord of The Rings, Star Wars and anything George R. R. Martin. Despite the testosterone, I was sucked into this world via this character and the only thing that pulled me out was the end of the book.
I believe twenty years from now, Hunted will be read in classrooms and the teacher will ask, what's the underlying meaning in this chapter? Overall? etc... Why do I think so? Because it is so rich in depth and teaching potential...it's THAT kind of book.
The Hunger Games is great entertainment. Hunted reaches into your psyche and grabs hold of your mind. It takes you places some of us are afraid to go. It makes you face questions many of us are afraid to answer. We all like to think we'd stand on the side of right and good but when fear of the unknown comes into play as it does in Hunted, doing what is right means letting go of both fear and control and most of us aren't ready to go down that road.
Read this book. Mull over all the implications and underlying meanings -or simply read the book because it's a great story. One way or the other, read the book!
-------------------------------------- For more of my writing, short stories, reviews videos, and information about my novel, Exiled, book one of The Never Chronicles (publishing June 5), check out MY WEBSITE! www.TheNeverChronicles.com
Five stars because a day after I finished, I'm still thinking, still wondering...Cheryl (yes, I DO know her -- not just name-dropping) has created something new here...a book about the world when we've discovered that Paranormals live among us, able to communicate, to predict, to see what Normals can't. Paras are persecuted, hunted. They're captured and turned into slaves of the state, forced to hunt other Paras.
In this world, Caitlyn and her mother are on the run. Caitlyn's father was murdered for the crime of trying to speak reasonably, to keep the peace. She's never seen her brother Daniel since that horrible night.
Caitlyn enrolls in another new school, living in another new town...hoping for just a few months of peace before they're forced to run again.
The new school has more Para haters,but for the first time, a group of Para supporters...but things spiral out of control quickly as Daniel and his keepers enter the picture, trying to recruit Caitlyn, not to right the wrongs done to Paras, but to destroy the world of the Normals and any Paras who are not totally committed to total destruction.
Within this sci-fi setting, Cheryl makes us think about our own world...and our own intolerance of differences -- all differences. She sees the set-up as cultish behavior, mind-control...I see it even more sinisterly: This is the hatred that spews from fearful people right now -- this unwillingness to see beyond differences, to the humanity of our souls. It's so pervasive right now that this book is a cautionary tale, reminding us our own humanity is at stake.
And who among us isn't PARA-normal? Which of us isn't quirky, different, strange? Isn't that our beauty? Isn't that what makes us worthy of being cherished and respected?
Cheryl's Paras are tortured, as she herself has been. They suffer. Some of them have been warped beyond redemption, just as some of the Normals have. Can one young girl with extraordinary powers save us from ourselves?
This book does NOT fit neatly into a specific genre or category, and that's a strength...Caitlyn, her friends and her enemies will haunt you like they haunt me.
Wow, the first page just sucked me in!!! I didn't want to stop. I started reading the book at 12am and I knew I had to go to bed but the story was not letting me. I was too excited that I didn't feel sleepy.
Cheryl definitely can write! Her writing doesn't feel forced; it floods like the finest silk. The first chapter started out very intense. I don't think I was breathing for most parts because I was scared that if I made any movement I would've done something bad to the characters. The story moves at the perfect pace. Not too fast that you feel like there are gaps but not too slow that you get bored. It is like Goldilocks and the 3 bears, well the pace of this book is juuusttt right!
Every few chapters, you get a surprise! It reminds me of the show Nikita, fast, intense, unstoppable. Really, I can hardly breath while reading this book! It is unbelievable amazing! It has the PERFECT balance between normal life and action! I think this book is one of my favourite book of the decade?
Cool Things: Heehee, the school have SMARTboards! My school have SMARTboards! This book is way too cool! I love myself a swimmer *wink*, tight Speedo, strong but lean. Yummy! Plus I am a swimmer myself, not professional of course. I know what it is like and how it works. Pretty awesome!
This book had a feel like the good parts of House of Night series. I can't really explain it but the characters sort of fit together. For those if you that know of Avatar: The Last Airbender, the main character, Caitlyn, reminds me of Katara. She is strong and confident. She doesn't wine much (YESHHHH!).
Not-So-Cool: The reference to The Hunger Game was meh. The similarity too was kind of sad. I wanted books to be books by themselves. I don't want copy-cats. I want a revolution, not an imitation. But this little meh part totally don't destroy the epic-awesomeness of this book!!
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.
“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.
HUNTED comes alive on page one. It engaged me throughout with intrigue and a fast-pace that made the book unputdownable. Although a dystopian, this story was so deeply embedded in a contemporary setting that it became a believable allegory for the issues that teens (we all) face in today's society - racism, sexism, homophobia, ageism, bullying...you name it. Rainfield put these issues into HUNTED by making it a story of bigotry in the most fascinating of ways--Caitlyn is a teen telepath. Telepaths are to be feared and loathed…they are other than normal (which is, incidentally, exactly what the ‘normal’ people in the story are called). From the onset, I was reminded of David and Sophie of my childhood favourite, The Chrysalids by John Wyndham.
As the story opens, the reader is immediately drawn to teenager Caitlyn, and her mother, who are on the run. Always on the move, they're trying to stay one step ahead of the ParaTroopers who are out to capture all paranormals…to either enslave, imprison or kill. Although Caitlyn's mom is also a Para, her powers are completely suppressed. It is up to Caitlyn to keep in touch with the network of para helpers set up to help the underground paras navigate in a world where they are neither accepted nor wanted.
DIVERSITY. This issue was tackled full on in Rainfield's story. Through Caitlyn's eyes the reader is challenged to accept and celebrate the difference that every man, woman and child brings to the table. The uniqueness in this story is that the pacing and the stakes are so encompassing that the issues don't bog down the enjoyment. It's a fine line to weave a story focusing on issues without beating the reader over the head with them. Rainfield definitely accomplishes it.
When Caitlyn and her mom stop in a new town, she is warned by her mother not to get too close to anyone. She must always live on the outskirts of the community while maintaining a convincingly ‘normal’ life inside of it. I can't imagine how hard this would be for a teenager. If they want to have any peace, though, Caitlyn must follow her mother's rules. Nobody can find out that she is a para. Once you start getting close to people, your secret walls start to rapidly deteriorate.
Enter Rachel and Alex. Two strong characters I thoroughly enjoyed. Alex, strong and capable, is a typical teenage boy. I loved that Caitlyn could read Alex's thoughts and see that he liked her. It was nice to see that vulnerable side of a boy’s feelings toward a girl. It was a nicely played addition to the story. And Rachel, who is a strong-willed likeable character, also has feelings for Caitlyn. When she realizes the feelings are not reciprocated, the two become friends. But there is an intense loyal protective aura that comes off of Rachel. The reader quickly understands that, on her watch, no harm or foul will come to Caitlyn.
Caitlyn has a past filled with loss and despair. In the para riots, she lost both her father and her brother. Her peace-loving level-headed father was murdered and her brother, Daniel, was kidnapped during the height of the riots. It is in this new town that Caitlyn discovers Daniel. This is where Rainfield tackles yet another issue—cult brainwashing. The Daniel who was kidnapped is not the Daniel she encounters in this new town. Though a para-slave of the powers that be, he is also part of an underground movement of rogue paras out to claim the world away from the Normals…at any cost.
I want to tell you everything that happens in HUNTED. I want to gush about every scene and share with you the excitement of the execution of the story…but I will stop here. Let me just say that it’s a must read ride. Get ready to cheer for Caitlyn. If you have ever felt like an outsider, you will love this book. You will understand this book. You will walk a mile in Caitlyn's shoes and you will know the adversity she lives with through the unraveling of Hunted. You will root for her, and you will want to see both the government and its potential coup d'état movement fail miserably. I have one piece of advice for you---enjoy the ride!
SIZE: 5 Met expectation. Rainfield has a great way of tackling issues without being preachy. The story grips! Keep your eye out for the heroic librarian! Librarians rock, don't they!
Smashtastic Synopsis: Meet Caitlyn, a Para on the run with her mother. Caitlyn lives in a world where being different gets you a life straight out of a Stephen King novel. Therefore, Caitlyn and her mother keep moving so that the government ParaTroopers do not learn of Caitlyn’s incredible telepathic abilities. When Caitlyn settles in a small town and falls for Alex, a Normal, things get heated. Caitlyn discovers a dangerous group of renegade Paranormals who are more closely connected than she could ever imagine. Faced with difficult decisions that will affect society as a whole, Caitlyn must choose between hiding in plain sight or standing up for humanity.
Interest in the book: Ever since reading Scars, I knew I would be a life-long fan of Cheryl Rainfield. I love her honesty and raw emotion, along with the simplicity and straightforwardness of her writing. I knew this book would be worth the time and was grateful for the opportunity to review an ARC. Characters: Caitlyn is a pretty stellar character. The reader is granted a front row seat as she slowly evolves into someone who refuses to allow others to suffer, even if it costs her everything she has. Her telepathic abilities are strong, as she is able to alter people’s decisions by planting seeds of doubt in their minds. This is clearly against her morals but she uses her ability in the fight to stop the oppression of her people, but also to save Normals. Her decisions are never one-sided, and she struggles with the weight of these decisions. While constantly bombarded by hate and disgust for her kind, she refuses to let these messages sway her perspective. The story aligns Caitlyn in a very straight shot to the dark side, so to speak, yet she fights to remain pure and true to ALL of humanity. She is a true hero and I want to hug her.
Worldbuilding: As you learn about the dire situation the Paras face, you begin to realize how much this world parallels our own. Paras are hunted and imprisoned merely because Normals fear their abilities, which stems from ignorance. Ignorance is prevalent in our own society, which leads to racism, discrimination, oppression and a plethora of other issues that should have long ago been eradicated, seeing as how we have evolved as a race. While there are certainly renegade Paras who take matters into their own hands and relish in the idea of hurting those who oppress them, there is a strong theme that tolerance and more importantly, acceptance, is the best path.
Lasting Impressions: As the author always sets out to do in her writing, she has given us a world rich in meaning. So many real-world issues are brought to light in this book: government control, oppression, racism, homophobia, sexism, and the basic right to life, dignity, liberty and security. The author does a splendid job of weaving these themes into this story. And we all know how much I love a story that brings real-world issues to our attention. My only irk with this book was the romantic aspect, as it never felt real to me. However, I do understand the importance of the Para/Normal relationship in propelling Caitlyn into uncharted water, forcing her to fight to survive.
Smashtastic Entertainment Scale: Great fun and extremely meaningful
Summary…from the back of the book…sort of summarized again… Hunted is a fantasy about a paranormal family on the run from the government. The government tracks, hunts down and tortures people with paranormal abilities. Caitlyn and her mom are all that is left of their family. Her father has been murdered and her brother kidnapped. Caitlyn’s mom has lost her paranormal abilities due to trauma but Caitlyn’s are stronger than ever. She and her mom are always on the run in order to avoid being captured. They eventually hide out in a seedy motel in the heart of a city where Caitlyn attends high school in an attempt to be normal and go unnoticed. Unknown to her, Daniel, her brother, is also attending the same school. He has a huge plan to overthrow the government and allow for a paranormal takeover. This plan and Daniel’s attempts to take Cailyn along with him lead to an explosive ending.
My thoughts… There was no nonsense in this book about true paranormals. It is fast paced, most definitely exciting and truly different from the standard variety paranormal book. This society believes that ‘paras’ are evil. When they are hunted down they are tortured and forced to work for the government to track and take down other paranormals. It is a sad and lonely and secretive life. Caitlyn and her mother are constantly moving and are always in danger of being captured. In addition to this, Caitlyn’s powers are very strong…she is a very powerful paranormal. She also writes an underground paranormal blog that places her in even more danger from the Para Troopers. There is an undercurrent of revolution simmering and more and more people are sympathetic to paranormals but again…these activities are all very underground and secretive. No one is really quite sure if anyone can really be trusted. From the moment Caitlyn steps into her school there is drama. She meets Rachel…who is gay…Alex…who is black and there is much talk of many kinds of oppression. There is a love interest with Alex…although Rachel wishes it was with her. There is Becca…the mean girl…who is being controlled by Daniel who is also going to the same school. And yes…a huge surprise when Caitlyn realizes her long lost brother is attending the same school. I can’t begin to tell you how quickly this novel flows. Caitlyn does not hide very well and she is suspected of being different almost from the start. Secrets are unfolded and there is a very drama filled ending. This author has had to recover from ritual abuse within her own life and this is reflected in her writing. I found myself feeling intensely for the paranormals who were singled out by an evil government. They were forced to stay hidden and on the run. It was quite sad and very believable and real. I found this to be a thought provoking book.
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.
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.
I really enjoyed Hunted. The plot was incredibly and uniquely captivating. It kept my interest until the very end.
There were some parts where I felt the book was about to the end due to the phrasing, but there was actually like fifty percent more left in the book. That was a bit annoying, but didn't really distract me from wanting to finish the book.
There are a few shocks n this books that weren't really "shocking." And although the writing was great, the "shockers" could've been better with some subtle tweaks. The timing seemed longer than it actually was. What I thought was a month, was actually a week. That was annoying for me because time settings are really important to me.
And the time setting of this novel does not match the way it is written. Ms. Rainfield tries to project time moving quickly, but the plot often felt slow, which is why I felt that it had been a month. It needed a lot more structure in that area.
The narrator is really easy to read from though. She's not your average teenager. She has powers and has to keep them hidden for her safety and the safety of her mother. Again, the plot was so cool! There are so many dystopian novels being released that many of them have started to run together. This was a much different experience. While the plot was very interesting, I had a lot of trouble connecting with some of the characters. I didn't really like Alex, and I had some trouble liking Caitlyn, the main character, after a while. She was very repetitive and at parts, too whiny for my taste. Caitlyn's mother really annoyed me. She was a typical single parent that had a hard time taking responsibility and being a parent. Rachel was definitely my favorite character. She brought a lot to the story and she was a great friend to Caitlyn.
The last few chapters were amazing. They really tied up the novel well, though there is definitely room for a sequel! I couldn't put the book down for the last scenes of this story. They were written brilliantly and made reading through my pet peeves totally worth it!
Cheryl Rainfield does a great job with the writing. The expressionism is perfect for this young adult novel. Some authors have trouble keeping up the a teenager focused plot, but Ms. Rainfield does not have that problem. Very refreshing. With just a little tweaking and a bit of expansion, this book would be a five star novel for me. Though it had some troubles, it was still a great read.
If you haven't already, you should definitely give this paranormal dystopian a shot!
I received a free e-copy of this novel for a blog tour in exchange for my honest review.
I really loved this book. It begins normally – as normal as a Paranormal can be, anyway – but towards the middle I just got sucked into the story, which I really love. The conflict feels so real, and I can imagine all the events playing out in my mind, bringing out unique images as I try to visualize Caitlyn’s powers. I really feel bad that I can’t articulate everything I feel for this book. I didn’t expect much, to be honest – I hardly knew what to expect. I gathered that it’s sci-fi and young adult, but those genres are so broad and cover a lot of premises that I couldn’t let myself imagine what it’s going to really be like, despite the blurbs from Goodreads and NetGalley. Reading Hunted reminded me so much of the X-Men, who were shunned for having powers, despite being the logical next stage in the evolutionary process and could have done a lot to, you know, make the world a better place if you are actually nice to them. This association made me appreciate this work more, and led me to think about a lot of things. It’s another of the reasons why I really liked this book.
I guess the thing that really made me like Hunted was how this could be reflected in society today, in so many ways. (Okay, let me warn you. This is the part where I get all analytical and try to connect everything with life. You have been warned.) Paras (short for Paranormals) are treated like pariahs because they have powers, but most of all, because they are different. Because they are not normal. Cycles all throughout history have shown humanity doing this over and over again. Look at the Holocaust. The burning of people just because they were black. The suicides committed by teenagers who are queer because of how intense the bullyings are. I am not a Jew, nor am I black, nor am I gay, but reading how most of the Normals treated the Paras just because of how different they are really made an impact on me. For all we know, there are people being tortured somewhere in the world just for being different from the rest. It’s entirely plausible. The author writes about these issues in the subliminal level, but towards the book there are hotlines that offer help for victims of bullying that are really helpful. It enhances the message she hopes to send to people through the novel, which is a brilliant idea.
Hunted was amazing. Whew. And for a book to make me think that much, I salute you, Cheryl Rainfield!
I am a big fan of paranormal YA books and Cheryl did a wonderful job encapsulating all of the basics of a great paranormal book!
Caitlyn is a para, which is basically a person who has any kind of 'extra' powers. The book starts off with Caitlyn and her Mom on the run from the Normals, those without power, and ends up close to the city...a place where paras can hide. Immediately Caitlyn is challenged at her new school because they are VERY prejudiced against anything that isn't Normal and they have Para warning posters all over there school. Reminded me a lot of segregation and/or the red scare...that whole paranoia over the unknown and using fear to manipulate people... Anyways. Caitlyn falls for a guy (African-American descent) and makes her first friend (a lesbian). I use these descriptions because a lot of the book revolves around the characters using their prejudices and behaviors of those who are prejudiced as a tool to try to create change.
Caitlyn discovers she isn't the only Para at the school and learns about a dangerous Para renegade squad...she has to try to protect herself and her friends and also stand up for what she believes in.
Sometimes, yes, the message was a little forced. But it didn't detract from the point of the story and you found yourself cheering for Caitlyn and Rachel when they had their snide comments to the bullies or the lectures about not judging others. BUT this story did what others that I've read failed to do and that is really put forth a message that the biggest problem in society isn't drugs, alcohol, or those things that we try to cram down our teens throats, but instead acceptance. Acceptance of the unknown, of things that you may not agree with but it's not your place to judge, acceptance of each other as human beings just trying to make your place in this world.
It was a great paranormal YA story but it was a more powerful message bringer to the masses and Cheryl crafted it so well that the message will not be missed and the point is sure to be made. S
I really liked this book. There was definitely a theme to the story about standing up for what's right.
This book reminds me of other books I've read about the way Jews were treated leading up to and during WWII, how the Japanese were treated in the USA during the same time, as well as many other times where we have stood up for basic human rights.
In Cheryl's world, some people have special powers; telekinesis, mind reading, etc...(think like the people on the Heroes TV show from a few years back or X-men, etc...). In this world, the government is aware of these Para's. They are frightened of them. There is a big anti-Para campaign and ALL para's are suppose to be registered and licensed. At the same time the government enslaves Paras and forces them to do their bidding or face torture.
In this book we follow Caitlyn, she is a very powerful mind reading Para and she is on the run with her mom. They have been on the run since riots broke out and her father was killed. During this same riot her brother also went missing. Caitlyn and her mom have been moving from town to town using the Underground safe-houses. However, lately it seems they are being found sooner and sooner. There is clearly a mole in the Underground. They decided to go off the radar of the Underground, everything, and try to make it on their own.
The town they end up in has a very big Anti-Para population as well as a pretty good portion of Para-Supporters. Tensions start to rise as more and more terrorist types of attacks are blamed on the Paras. Everyday more and more Paras are picked up by the government. But not only does Caitlyn have to worry about that, there is also a Para serial killer on the loose that drains the energy from Paras, with a particular appetite for powerful Paras, and he has his eyes set on Caitlyn.
It's a really wonderful book where you follow a world that is just on the cusp of change. Will everyone get on board with the government to catch all of the Paras? Or will people start to realize they are really like us (special abilities or not)?
I recently read, and enjoyed Cheryl Rainfield’s Scars. When I was offered Hunted for review, I thought it sounded interesting. I already knew I liked Cheryl’s writing, so I figured why not. I am so glad I did.
Hunted is amazing. I think it shows the author’s talent as a writer better than Scars did. Don’t get me wrong. Scars is very good and very well-written, but I think this is even more so. This had my attention from the get-go, and didn’t let go. (If it wasn’t for Christmas-related things, I would’ve read this in one day.) The action starts from the very first sentence, and it really doesn’t let up. The world is a scary place, and you get a good feel for how hard life can be for those with Talent.
Caitlyn is a wonderful main character. She’s strong, smart, and very likable. The one thing that maybe could be a flaw is that she’s too nice. Despite her better judgment, she’s too trusting. Too willing to let Normals in. But, she knows what’s right, and she sticks up for those without a voice.
Alex is an interesting love interest. He’s sweet, and almost too good to be true. But, it’s nice to have a decent guy for the heroine. Daniel, on the other hand, is scary. Kind of the polar opposite to Alex. (And, for the record, I did not see Daniel coming – read the book and you’ll understand what I’m saying!)
There were a couple of characters I felt needed more depth. Becca is one. She clearly has quite the story, and we don’t really see much of it at all. A teeny-tiny glimpse, but nothing that satisfies those who want to know why she’s such a bitch – especially to Caitlyn. Rachel is the other one. We get a little bit more information about her than we did about Becca, but I’d like to know more.
Overall, Hunted is a fantastic novel. The ending was satisfying, but left it open to possibly more from Caitlyn and/or her world. I sure hope we get more! I would highly recommend Hunted!
The Bad The romance. This was my only issue in this story. The romance between Caitlyn and Alex felt a bit like insta-love to me. Well, I don't really think it was as extreme as other books I've read, but still felt a bit like it. Their attraction was a tad bit unbelievable at first, but later on, it grew on me, and I began to like their romance together.
The Good The plot. Aside from the above, I loved everything else. I really liked the book's plot. Hunted was a fast-paced read, with tons of exciting action in it. It didn't have those dull moments a lot of other YA books had, and most of the time, characters had to race against the clock in a matter of life and death.
The Awesome The concept. Yes, it had the whole super evil government almost all dystopian books have. But aside from that, Hunted had an original concept. Society is divided into two- the Paras, who have supernatural abilities, and the Normals, who are oridnary human beings. Toss in one kick-butt heroine with the evil brother, and everything's complete!
The message. Above everything else, this book sent a great message to everyone. I actually didn't notice it until I read the Author's Note at the end, but then I realized how obvious it was. Hunted tells us to fight for freedom and to never give up hope. Cheryl Rainfeld portrays it in the Para VS Normal fight in the story, but that's what Hunted is ultimately all about, and I loved it.
The Rating 4 stars! I have to admit, I had my doubts at first. I just thought I'd like the book- I never thought I'd actually love it! It was an enjoyable and quick read, because once I started reading, I couldn't put it down! I devoured it in less than 48 hours, maybe less if I had the time!
In a world full of fear and hate, Caitlyn and other Paranormals are persecuted for their abilities. On the run since the Riots that took her father and brother from her, Caitlyn only has her mother. When they finally settle in a city, it's one of the most dangerous towns they could have chosen. What Caitlyn doesn't expect is the support she gains in Alex and Rachel. And when someone from her past resurfaces, Caitlyn's going to need all the help she can get.
In quite a few dystopian stories I've read with supernatural elements that paranormals are out in the open with acceptance or mild persecution., but in Hunted the persecution is anything but mild. The world of this book is brutal; Paranormals are enslaved, beaten, killed, and even forced to turn on their own if they want to live.
I admired Caitlyn's strength in the face of adversity and her determination to do what's right. Even when she's pressured by her long-lost brother to help in a revolt that would turn the persecution on to the Normals, Caitlyn refuses to cause that kind of pain for someone else, even a Normal. She knows that not all Normals hate Paras, which is evident in her friendship with Alex and Rachel.
Something that I really enjoyed in Hunted that made the story unique was how it was sibling VS. sibling. It's not very often you see siblings fighting such a deadly battle against one another. Caitlyn's fight with Daniel is really bittersweet and emotional.
Hunted is chock-full of action and emotion. I really loved this book and I think that with the way it ended it could easily be made into a series. I'm left wondering what kind of changes were brought about by the events at the end of Hunted.
I got my copy of Hunted from Cheryl herself via twitter when she was looking for reviewers for the book. After reading a small sample on her web page I jumped at the chance to get a copy for review. I will be the first to admit that I haven't heard of Cheryl before or even read on of her books so it was a nice surprise to discover that I really enjoyed reading Hunted.
Caitlyn is on the run with her Mum, finding safe places to stay for as long as it's safe to, while trying to avoid the Para Troopers, who are looking for them, but also the Para Reaper, who is killing other Paranormals. While hiding, Caitlyn is also looking for her brother Daniel. With the help of a fellow paranormal, John, Caitlyn and her Mum manage to avoid being caught and find a safe place to stay. Trying to blend in as best as possible, Caitlyn enrols into the local school and that is when the fun begins. Meeting John, making friends, falling in love, saving normals lives and just barely keeping under the radar until the unthinkable happens and Caitlyn is discovered.
Now I am not going to tell you what happens, to find out you need to buy a copy. All I can say is I really enjoyed reading Hunted. There is just the right amount of action going on to keep you reading and I enjoyed the plot line of the book. Things happen to Caitlyn that I didn't guess what would happen, but even the few things that I guessed correctly still shocked me, or made me happy when they happened.
I will be looking around for more books by Cheryl to see what else she has to offer.
Hunted is a story quite different from many out there. I did start to fall deeply for this one and loved Cheryl's writing, but over time, noticed that the storyline was becoming predictable. With that being said, it is a great novel with a fantastic ending and it does have it's surprises. I just struggled with the predictability of it.
Caitlyn and her mother have never had a normal life living on the run. From who you might ask? First let me start by saying that Caitlyn and her mom are Paras. Paras aren't excepted in the human world and are hunted by Para Troopers. Some Paras seem to be able to hide fairly easy, but not Caitlyn. Her brother was taken when he was younger by a stranger, thinking it was someone they could trust, but it was a trap that he had walked into. Caitlyn had told him not to do it. Sadly, it was too late. Daniel was gone.
Now, hiding out at a cheap hotel and using fake names to fool people, Caitlyn is trying to fit in and go to school, but living in the city that has the highest rate of Paras captured, isn't easy. Para Cleansing Day is coming, and now it seems as if the Para Troopers have wind that she is near. Using Para Slaves to try to capture her, Caitlyn has to work that much harder to hide.
Suddenly, her long lost brother, Daniel shows up. Family is forever right? That's how it's supposed to be. Except it doesn't make sense as to why Paras seem to be dying, and people are out to get her if Daniel is helping. It's a good thing she's got great friends too.
Let me preface by saying this...I don't really relate to paranormal fiction. I'm not a fantasy or sci-fi fan. I'm not against the genre, it's just not my thing. Okay, I did roll my eyes at this one book when the vampire started to sparkle. It's just not my kind of book.
So why am I reviewing Hunted? Because I heard such great things about it and it did not disappoint. Somehow, Rainfield makes you completely believe that there's a world where genetically different paranormal people are being persecuted by a government and its citizens. More importantly, the book is so deftly written that you could take out the world "paranormal" everywhere in the book and insert ANY other name of a group that has been persecuted so horribly. Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe, Muslims in America, Japanese-Americans during WWII, Kurds in Iraq, the list goes on, sadly, without end. Because people are still being persecuted today.
While some YA readers will simply enjoy the paranormal element to the story, which the author admittedly does quite well, this book is about so much more. I love the thought of high school teachers using this book to introduce atrocities throughout history. Not that some of the wonderfully written books on the Holocaust aren't valid, but this book will reach even those readers who cannot identify with those older books. Too often our students think persecution, prejudice, and hatred is something from the "old days." This book shows them it is sitting right in front of them.
From the first page, Hunted is almost non-stop suspense and tension. It takes place in a world that is very familiar. It borders so close to our own and draws such powerful parallels to the prejudices that are alive in the real world. The difference is that instead of being judged by their race, sex, size, age, or class; the conflict is between Normals and Paranormals, or Paras.
Normals are in the seat of power and have spent there resources hunting Paras. They then turn around and force them to use their powers against their own kind. Paras are seen as evil, less than human and once captured are mistreated and abused. Hateful propaganda has influenced a huge portion of the population. Paras must keep their gift a secret at all costs or suffer the consequences.
Caitlyn has been on the run for years. She’s experienced so much hate and anger, but doesn’t wallow in self-pity. Her father died, her brother was taken away and the connection she had with her mom is gone. Instead of plotting revenge against Normals or viewing the world pessimistically, she wants to end the division between the two groups. She even crosses the divide and falls for a Normal guy, which shows that true love has no prejudice.
I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to read Hunted through JKSCommunications. I'm so happy I was able to read this book.
I was a little worried when I started this book. The first couple of chapters felt a little too much like a typical teen/high school story. The new girl shows up, almost everybody dislikes her right away, she crushes on the hot guy everyone wants and is befriended by the other outcasts. However, once the story really started to pick up, it was fantastic.
Caitlyn is a wonderful strong female lead character. She knows her own strength and uses it to not only help herself, but help others. She doesn't look to others for her power; she looks to herself for strength. Rachel is the best friend everyone needs to have and Alex is completely swoon-worthy. I have to say, my favorite character was Mrs. Vespa. There was just something about her that made me love her.
The message for this book is an important one and I feel Rainfield was able to get it across without using flashing lights and neon signs. It's in the way she reveals the characters, the school, and society. It's a subtle placing of words that makes your skin crawl because you know what is happening is wrong.
This was a wonderful book and I can't wait to read what happens next.
If you liked The Hunger Games, you'll love Hunted.
Hunted is an intense read from start to finish, packing the trifecta of awesome you want in a paranormal dystopian novel: action, suspense, romance. There are no slow parts to Caitlyn’s story–the ride is taut with suspense and action, and the even pacing will keep you reading. Cheryl Rainfield scores big for originality, lending believability to the paranormal world she so seamlessly creates in Hunted. She also gets high points for characterization, giving her characters the kind of depth that make you feel like you know them personally.
Caitlyn’s struggles are real, despite the paranormal setting, and the message of acceptance, equality, and overcoming diversity is strong without being overpowering. I never once found myself flipping forward to skip boring parts–because there were none.
Hunted is the kind of book that would make a good movie–the depth and complexity of the story and characters are the perfect foundation for the message in Caitlyn’s struggles.
This book has many aspects I would like to review: For one, a plus, is the pace of the plot. It makes for an engaging read, not with all the action and plot progression. I have read this entire book in one sitting, never a dull moment. Very nicely done. Secondly, the another plus, is the diction; the author chose words that don't require having to looking up in the dictionary and I am grateful for that. All I had to do was pass my eyes over the words and visualize the story as it unfolded in such an interesting fashion. NEVERTHELESS...At some point as I read, I felt some scenes to be too cheesy and embarrassing to read, case in point, READING BOOKS making one less susceptible to PARA powers. I didn't bite. Overall this Novel is very good to read, It's nicely written and the plot progression makes my mouth water. I couldn't put it down until I was done.