Author: MarcyKate Connolly.
Published: February 9th 2016 by HarperCollins Children's Books.
Sort: Part 2 of Monstrous.
Source: I received a copy from the publisher on Edelweiss.
A witch has come to the city of Bryre. She travels in a hut that has chicken feet, and is ravenous for children. And once she gets what she desires, she never lets it go. But when the witch captures Hans, Greta’s little brother, Greta refuses to let her have him. The two strike up a bargain. Greta will retrieve something the witch desires in exchange for her brother’s freedom. To get the prize Greta must travel to Belladoma—a city where she was once held captive—which brings back terrible memories. With the help of a new friend, Dalen, a magical half-boy and half-horse, Greta embarks on the journey and tries to overcome both foes and her own weaknesses.
The first thing I want to address is: how amazing are these covers from Monstrous and Ravenous together? Middle Grade books definitely belong to my favorite style, with drawings and details. The best part is that the inside matches the outside, because this was a highly enjoyable story.Ravenous is set in the same world and time as Monstrous, but is not much of a sequel. There are a few shout-outs to Kymera and Ren, the protagonist and secondary character from Monstrous, but in principle this book could be read as a stand-alone. I would recommend to read the both of them though, because they are both surprising in their own way.
Greta is one of the kidnapped girls that were kept as food in Belladoma. She returned home, but all that is left of her family is her little brother, Hans. Greta desperately wants to find out what happened to their parents and why they suddenly left, but she knows she must take care of Hans now. The two manage to survive until Hans is taken by a hungry witch. Greta makes a deal: she must bring an old treasure that belonged to the deceased king of Belladoma and in return, she can have Hans back. This is the start of a big adventure, because things does not come easy to Greta. She is not the only one hunting down this item and some are willing to go far to get it in their hands.
I loved Greta and her protectiveness over Hans. She was a clever, brave girl who is willing to sacrifice anything to keep her brother save. Their relationship was definitely a fun addiction to the story. What I also admired about this book is that the author never makes it feel or sound too childish, but at the same time Greta does not feel too old for her age. This results in a book that is great for any age. The author also does not shy away from giving emotional punches, something I also noticed in Monstrous.
The only thing is that the plot could have moved a little bit faster at times, but it also gave time for development. Greta meets a half-boy/half-animal from a village made out of different animal-people and I liked how their friendship develops. In the beginning they are forced to be together, but slowly they start to appreciate each other. I liked their mutual respect.
Definitely a good spin on Hansel and Gretel!