Title: The Hunt
Author: Andrew Fukuda
Series: The Hunt #1
Published: 8 May 2012 by St Martin’s Griffin in the USA. Simon and Schuster in the UK
Length: 293 pages
Warnings: violence 13+
Summary : 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?
Review: Gene is not like the rest of the population. He smiles instead of scratches when he finds something funny, sweats, and doesn’t have a taste for flesh and blood. Being exposed as a human, or in the terms of this society, a heper, could get him ripped to pieces. And so he pretends he is one of them, something he is actually quite good at-at least until he’s chosen to take part in the Hunt. A small amount of hepers are being kept at an institute, and a few lucky winners get to hunt them down. It’s a chance that all of society would literally kill for. But this game could soon become deadlier than Gene imagined as the hunter becomes the hunted.
At first, it’s confusing. Very confusing, at least until you decide to be sensible and remind yourself of the summary. It’s easy to infer that the narrator is human-that’s easy enough to guess. But the details of the society takes quite a bit of time to get the basics of. I spent ages wondering “So, he’s human. right. What’s everyone else?” Once we work out the basics though, its easy to imagine the rest of it.
Vampire society is something that seems to be getting a bit more of attention, after the surge of dystopian (thinks of Immortal Rules and other things) where humans are enslaved, the minority, or both. The idea of a human protagonist passing himself off as a vampire was interesting though, original, and done quite well in The Hunt.
There are definitely influences from other books that are really noticeable. 1984, with the government layout and a slight extent, the Big Brother thing with having to be on his guard. Also, we see a fair bit of the Hunger Games-a random lottery, training sessions, no tying, and an inevitable bloodbath.
It’s really awkward when you’re halfway through a novel and you suddenly remember you don’t know the main character’s name. And then, 51% through, you find out. It’s an interesting technique that I didn’t really like.
Gene and Ashley Jane (we get told her name at the start) are believable and work well together. It may be because it’s written by a male author, but I’m glad the romance didn’t take over the book. And I’m immensely glad that Gene didn’t fall for Sissy, the sole female heper who he is meant to be hunting.
The best thing bout this was the fullness of the society that they live in. They’re not refered to as vampires, because in this society, they’re the norm. The fact they see humans simply as food is very clear from the attributes from obvious things like what they say to subtle things like referring to humans as “it”.
The other great ting about The Hunt was the detail in the action. It picks up towards the end and is fast, thrilling and totally pulls you in.
Overall: Strength 3 tea to a book that’s really good as long as you can get over the highly confusing start. I would like to read the next book in the series though.