Book Review: The Hunt

Title/Author:  The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda
(The Hunt #1)

Genre:  Young Adult, Paranormal, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Post-Apocalyptic

Published:  May 8th, 2012 by St. Martin’s Press

ARC Softcover, 293 pages

How I Got This Book:  Received an ARC in the mail from St. Martin’s Press

Why I Picked It Up?:  I think I first heard of this book from The Book Smugglers and was immediately drawn to the cover and intriguing summary.  I was SUPER excited (and surprised!) to receive an ARC of this in the mail!

Book Jacket Blurb:  “Don’t Sweat. Don’t Laugh. Don’t draw attention to yourself. And most of all, whatever you do, do not fall in love with one of them.

Gene is different from everyone else around him. He can’t run with lightning speed, sunlight doesn’t hurt him and he doesn’t have an unquenchable lust for blood. Gene is a human, and he knows the rules. Keep the truth a secret. It’s the only way to stay alive in a world of night—a world where humans are considered a delicacy and hunted for their blood.

When he’s chosen for a once in a lifetime opportunity to hunt the last remaining humans, Gene’s carefully constructed life begins to crumble around him. He’s thrust into the path of a girl who makes him feel things he never thought possible—and into a ruthless pack of hunters whose suspicions about his true nature are growing. Now that Gene has finally found something worth fighting for, his need to survive is stronger than ever—but is it worth the cost of his humanity?”

My Review of the Work:

What if you woke up to a world that was no longer human?  Not a zombie world, but a world of Vampires.

From the get-go, this novel plunges right into this intensely frightening world of monstrous Vampires.  And Gene seems to be the only “Heper” left in civilization.  Having meticulously learned how to survive from his father, Gene spends every second of the day…or rather, nighttime, pretending to be one of these creatures too.  This task of hiding in plain sight proves difficult, as these vampires do not sweat, they do not laugh, they do not make quick movements, and they show no emotion whatsoever.  But Gene has trained himself to act exactly like them, and he has survived for ten years by himself.  But then, The Heper Hunt is announced.  And Gene holds the lucky lottery number.  He gets to participate in the most exciting event of the decade!  But how can he survive a hunt for Hepers when he is a Heper himself?

Andrew Fukuda showcases his talent and skill for writing by creating this truly frightening world.  He draws you in from the very beginning and KEEPS you in for the duration of the novel.  Then he spits you out in “OH EM GEE where did this story just go! WOW!” land, leaving you yearning for more!  That, my friends, takes a special talent!

Our narrator, Gene (who actually does not name himself until about halfway through the novel), is a unique individual.  For years he has been living strictly in survival mode, hiding amongst his enemies, taking every precaution to keep his humanness under control.  But when taken out of the safety of his home and dragged straight into living among the vampires, Gene struggles with keeping his secret a secret.  As a main character, Gene exhibits both strength and vulnerability in his situation, which makes him a very interesting and intriguing individual, both to readers and to the other characters in this story.  Everyone is interested in Gene–the director, the other hunters, and the imprisoned Hepers.  As a reader, I was interested in Gene, too, and I felt myself wanting just a little more development from him.  We get some factoids about his past interspersed with the present, but I just wanted to see a little more dynamics with the MC.

The other characters in this novel definitely add intrigue and fear to this storyline, but there were moments when I was really confused about who they really were.  The director, who is this grimacing vampire man, becomes very suspicious when he takes a personal interest in Gene and Ashley June.  But then there was a point in the story where he was in the middle of the scene and then just disappears, with no explanation.  And it was kind of awkward and kind of confusing, and it made me infer certain things about him that ended up not being true.  Maybe we can chalk this up to being a draft inconsistency?  I don’t really know.  And then Ashley June, the apple of Gene’s eye, is both cute and slightly creepy at the same time.  But in her case, I am just blaming social awkwardness in really intense situations because I really did like her.  I think the most interesting character in this novel has to be Sissy, the leader of the Hepers, the only female.  Mr. Fukuda pays special attention to her development and spends a lot of time including little details throughout the whole story to add to her intrigue and development as one of the last identified Hepers.

When I picked up this book, I was really expecting a stand-alone novel.  About halfway through reading I found out that this was a proposed series, my initial reaction was WHY?  And HOW?  But never fear, Mr. Fukuda constantly twists and turns this plot from what I thought was going to be a Hunger Games-like scenario into something COMPLETELY different and unique.  And his set up into book two of this series is ingenious and unexpected.

Now, I do feel like I just didn’t get enough world-building in the sense that I have NO IDEA why this world is the way it is.  Where did these Vampires come from?  How did they turn into vampires?  I loved the action-driven plot, but I really wanted to know more about this world in which Gene and Ashley June and Sissy find themselves trapped.  Hopefully, with all of the developments with the Scientist’s journals, we will learn more about this world in the sequel!

Overall, I thought this novel was superb.  It is always surprising you and keeps you guessing until the very end!  And then it leaves you wondering “What will happen, now?”  A vampire novel that takes out the sparkle and adds back the original creepiness of Dracula.  A must-read for lovers of paranormal, horror, and/or dystopia!
My Bookshelf Rating:

A Fourth Shelf Book!

From the very beginning, this novel is intriguing, exciting, and pretty horrific!  The world that Andrew Fukuda creates is intensely frightening, and the story he tells is one of survival among your enemies.  A great premise, a driving story, and plot twists that will keep surprising you until the very end.  Definitely a worthy read!

Find it in a store near you on Tuesday, May 8th!

Love and Fake Fangs,


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