Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Review: The Hunt

Project Paper Doll #2
Stacey Kade
Young Adult/Sci-Fi-ish
400 pages
Disney Hyperion
Available Now
Source: Finished copy from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Ariane Tucker has finally escaped GTX, the research facility that created her. While on the run, Zane Bradshaw is the only person she can trust. He knows who-and what-she is and still wants to be part of her life.

But accepting Zane's help means putting him in danger.

Dr. Jacobs, head of GTX, is not the only one hunting for Ariane. Two rival corporations have their sights set on taking down their competition. Permanently. To protect Zane and herself, Ariane needs allies. She needs the other hybrids. The hybrids who are way more alien and a lot less human. Can Ariane win them over before they turn on her? Or will she be forced to choose sides, to decide who lives and who dies?

The Hunt is a thrilling second installment, picking up immediately where book one left off as Ariane and Zane attempt to figure out their next steps following the spectacular showdown at the GTX facility. Ms. Kade wastes little time revisiting the events of The Rules, dropping a few key phrases in here and there to trigger our memories rather than providing a detailed account, thus allowing us to move forward quickly and smoothly with our main characters. Tension remains high throughout, Ariane and Zane’s physical situation not the only perilous one given the way their emotional entanglement deepens, and we're kept on edge wondering just what the next chapter has in store.

One of the most intriguing aspects of this series, and this installment in particular, is the dual perspective of Ariane and Zane. The two of them are heavily weighed down by insecurities borne of the conditions in which they were raised, conditions both drastically different but eerily similar in many ways, giving us the opportunity to study their individual reactions both to one another and to the situations they find themselves in. Ariane is arguably the stronger of the two emotionally, able to find logic and reason through her anger, hurt and pain without letting that turmoil spill out and affect those around her. While she keeps much of herself in a death grip clutched tight to her chest, she’s not so closed off that we can’t reach her, and she oh-so gradually as the story progresses unclenches her fists and extends a hand to Zane so that he might share responsibility for her mental, physical and emotional well being.

Due to Ariadne’s telepathic abilities, Zane is a bit more of an open book in their relationship, something we’re exceedingly grateful for as it forces their lines of communication wide open (at least one way). It’s not to say the two don’t have a variety of missteps as they navigate the increasingly complex waters of their relationship–Zane’s understandable inability to censor his thoughts before Ariane gets wind of them creating more than a few gut-wrenching moments–but the beauty of their relationship is that they’re not the type of people to let things fester. Instead, after a short period of time in which they both collect themselves, they sort through their issues before returning to their not-insignificant task of trying to escape GTX detection.

There are a few all-too common second book staples that try and rear their ugly heads in this story, with the main one being an aborted attempt by Ariane to leave Zane early on for his own good. Zane thankfully doesn’t allow that to happen, and rather than having our main couple completely tear down all that was established in book one as is so often the case, the pair of them continue to grow and strengthen together even when a few road blocks force them to reevaluate their path. We are left with Ariane and Zane both in extremely precarious positions however, so those who loathe cliffhangers should be prepared for the rug to be pulled from beneath them in the final chapters. Overall, The Hunt is a strong follow up to The Rules, things intensifying for our protagonists on a variety of levels until we reach an end that leaves us wishing this book was double the length.

Rating: 4/5

Find Stacey:

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This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.


  1. I was so excited for the first book, counting down the days of its release. Guess what, I still haven't read it! Ugh. I need to get my butt in gear.

  2. I remember your review from the first book and I also remember that I wanted to read it ... but see a year later now and still not read. And now, you are giving this sequel also such a ugh rating. I guess I really want to meet Zen now. And honestly, I think sequels are often just suffering from the 2nd book syndrome ...:(

  3. I obviously need to read the first book in the series Jenny! Why haven't I yet?

    Anyways, I am so glad that the author doesn't recap all of the first book, I am really starting to hate that in second books, I think it is part of what makes them lag. glad you enjoyed this one!

  4. Ah it's actually a book 2... I don't know why I was sure it was a book 1. It's nice to see this sequel was good, I confess you made me intrigued about the 2 main characters, they sound really interesting to discover. thanks for the review.

  5. "All too common second book staples" scares me. SCARES ME. Hold me, Jenny.

  6. I actually gave the first book in this series to a friend's daughter. She loved it. Even though it had second book staples, I think this just might really work for her. I will let her know that it is out.

  7. Well . . . I'm definitely interested in this series, but I think I'm going to have to wait until it's finished before I start it.<-----cliffhangers, I hate 'em. But I'm glad that Zane didn't let Ariane leave him "for his own good." *rolls eyes* I hate when that happens. Great review, Jenny!

    Jessica @ Rabid Reads

  8. I haven't read the first book, but I'm very glad to hear that this one avoids some of the sequel syndrome/middle book syndrome pitfalls!
    I never like that a relationship strongly stablished in book one has to be torn apart in ridiculous ways in the second!
    As always, great review, Jenny!

  9. I enjoyed the first book and am looking forward to seeing what happens with Zane and Ariane. (Of COURSE she tries to leave him for his own good. He's just a boy, after all. Ditch him. He's no use in your ongoing epic against a deep-pocketed enemy corp. You don't need no stinkin' allies!) Because of the cliffie, I think I'll wait for the third before finishing this series.

  10. Jenny, you're making me want to read the first book asap. It seems like the character dynamics is really interesting and well-written. I also like how you have dual POVs and from your review, I can tell that they are very different in personality. Ariane sounds like my kind of character if she is logical. I need to meet this girl soon! And Zane does sound quite smart too if he rejected her idea of distancing herself from him. Cliffhanger though? Hmm... Maybe I should I just wait for book 3, but your review is making it very hard to resist reading book 1!
    Lovely review, Jenny.

  11. Damn cliffhangers! I haven't even read the first book yet, but I swear you make this series - and the characters - sound unique and well-written. I can't help but be intrigued! I really do think this is exactly my type of story, even if the second book does fall for some sophomore stereotypes. Great review!

  12. I've considered reading this series several times, but I'm just not sold yet that it's something I would enjoy. I'm so glad to see you enjoyed it. Great review! :)

  13. I just finished reading this and really liked that we get to see what GTX's competitors are up to. That cliffhanger ending though! I need to find out what happens next!

  14. I really enjoyed this author's Ghost and the Goth Series but I haven't been drawn to this yet. I'm glad to hear it's good, though, so perhaps I'll be picking it up soon. Lovely review, Jenny!(:

  15. This cover is so creepy. I really wanted to read the first book last year and I didn't get around to it. I am glad that for the most part the second installment is solid despite a few second book syndrome mishaps.

  16. I haven't read anything by this author but the Paper Doll series, reminds me of The Hybrid Chronicles by Kat Zhang and I really enjoyed that series. So if that's anything to go by I will definitely be reading this very soon. Thank you for bringing it to my attention and lovely review, Jenny! :)

  17. Sounds like the kind of book where you are on the edge of your seat the whole time, possible biting your nails if you have that habit. I need to take a look at this one. Especially if the 2nd book is so good.

  18. I remember wanting to read book one after your review, and I still haven't gotten to it yet - I'm such a slacker! :-) I'm happy to hear book two is thrilling, but the cliffhanger makes me think I should wait until book three comes out to read these. Lovely review!

  19. I'd kind of forgotten a lot of the stuff that happened in the first book but I liked it pretty well so I need to get this one!

  20. I really enjoyed The Rules, and I've been really excited to see where this series goes. I'm glad that the book seems to take off, without too much of a repeat info dump nor 2nd book syndrome. One of my favorite aspects of this story was the growing relationship between Zane and Ariane. So, now I'm even more excited Jenny!

  21. Jelly you read this one before me! I have this book on my shelf and it is calling my name.