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Hunted

Hunted - Cheryl Rainfield Read this review at Smash Attack Reads! http://www.smashattackreads.com/2011/12/hunted-intriguing-look-into-oppression.htmlSmashtastic 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