Genre: Fiction, fantasy
Synopsis: In this tale reminiscent of Hansel and Gretel, Ravenous follows Greta as she attempts to save her little brother, Hans. When she finds him, however, he is locked in a cage, waiting to be eaten by a Baba Yaga-esque witch, whose house sits atop birds’ legs. This witch gives Greta a task: find the cornucopia which provides endless amounts of food by the next full moon, and she will return Hans. Even with the help of Dalen, her centaur friend, along the way, she still faces insurmountable challenges, such as evading mercenaries, finding the cornucopia before her kingdom does, and facing the town which has provided her with so much trauma. Will she be able to find the cornucopia in time?
Review: I have a penchant for picking up sequels at the library without reading the first one. But, like the others, I had no idea that this was a sequel until I entered the information on Goodreads. The only signs were the fact that she had clearly been to the city by the sea before, and that she did not have a good time there. That being said, you could either read Ravenous first, or Monstrous first.
Ravenous was so fun to read that I read it in one day. It’s fast-paced, and Greta, the protagonists, is headstrong, resourceful, and doubtful. I love love love it when women protagonists are allowed to be both strong and emotional, because that is exactly how many women are: they’re made up of many things, and those many things seem to get cast aside in so many novels in favor of only one character trait. In addition to Greta, Dalen, her centaur sidekick, was so incredibly lovable and understanding to the predicament which causes Greta to choose between an entire starving city and her brother: a perfect duo. The two balance each other out, and even better, there’s no romance between the two.
In terms of the plot–WOW. There was a lot that happened in just 300 or so pages, and I’m honestly thoroughly impressed with it. There’s trauma, a quest, betrayal, friendship, a sea monster, a witch, and mercenaries. That’s a lot for one book, but Connolly does it wonderfully. I can only say that I’m so excited to read Monstrous now, because Greta is a character that I adore.
In addition to this, I’d like to mention the novella at the end of the novel. It focuses on minor characters, some of which we’ve seen before, at least, in Ravenous, but I will warn you–and a minor spoiler alert here–the ending is not a happy one. I was simply shocked by it, and now that it’s been a full day, I can tell you all that despite the fact that it’s not a happy ending, it’s a satisfying one……once you give it time. The novella helped explain some of the magical lore of the land, which I appreciated, and it helped developed context for why Ren and King Oliver act the way they do.