Author: Cheryl Rainfield
Publisher: WestSide Books
Caitlyn has never known a normal life. Following the death of her father in the hands of a mob and the disappearance of her brother, she and her mother have lived a life on the run. Moving from town to town, Caitlyn is hunted by government agents who have the power to enslave or kill her, or force her to use her telepath powers against other Paranormals. When someone in the Paranormal underground betrays Caitlyn’s location to the government, she must fight to stay safe without any support from other Paras. Continuing her father’s battle to help Normals (those without paranormal abilities) and Paranormals coexist peacefully, she must stand up not only to her enemies, but to those close to her to fight for what she believes in.
Rainfield’s Hunted is a compelling and provocative novel which kept me riveted from start to finish. Often in the world of young adult fiction, there is a difficult balance between an age appropriate storyline and engaging adventure elements. Rainfield manages this balance with precision and an underlying cohesion that keeps the reader engaged from the very first page. I’m a huge fan of stories with a strong female protagonist, particularly in the current sea of Bella Swan-type vapid teens, and Caitlyn definitely doesn’t disappoint. Dealing with the loss of her father and brother and trying to trust in a world working against her at every turn, she continues to fight for her beliefs no matter what obstacles she encounters.
At the conclusion of Hunted Rainfield references that the book draws upon the author’s own experiences as a ritual abuse survivor. While I find this a fascinating detail and am glad she included additional references for further research, I didn’t make the connection while reading the story. Certainly there are situations of abuse and fear-based control, but I’m not sure I would have made the correlation to ritual abuse without her reference.
In Hunted, Rainfield gives us a compelling, fascinating story complete with a fabulous protagonist and the very best of both fantasy and adventure fiction. I’m eager to read more from her in the future.