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Review: The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda

The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda
Young Adult, Horror, Vampires
Release Date: May 8th, 2012
Hardcover $17.99 (304 pages, ST. MARTIN'S GRIFFIN)
Ebook $9.99
Audiobook $29.99

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?

Author Site: andrewfukuda.com

The vampire novel I've been waiting years for! (5 stars)

Being the odd man out is no teenager's dream but for Gene, being a human—possibly the last living human—hidden amongst vampires it's not a choice. Hiding his true nature is a matter of life or death, a series of careful machinations he must constantly think about in order to prevent discovery. If his classmates discover that their kind's greatest delicacy is sitting next to them in math class he will be devoured before his next breath.

ARC Cover
When the Ruler announces the final Hunt—where the last hepers (humans) will be chased down and glutted upon—will be determined by lottery, Gene has no reason to believe he will be one of the chosen few. But when his number is called and he is whisked away to be trained in the hunting of humans every careful step in his daily routine of hiding begins to fall apart. Without the tools he uses to make himself into a passable vampire it's only a matter of time before the bloodsuckers realize the Hunt has come early. This Hunt is about something more for Gene, while he's always fought to stay alive perhaps there's more to living than just surviving. For what truly seperates the vampires from the hepers is the one thing Gene must find... his humanity.

I've waited for this book for years. I knew that someday an author would be bold enough to attempt the flipped version of every vampire novel for teens out there. To make the human hide amongst the blood thirsty horde! Now, I love vampire fiction whether they're the good guys, the bad guys, or something in between, but I've never found one that had me this lip-chewed-to-ribbons tense from start to finish. Imagine the fearful intensity of 30 Days of Night mixed into a solid Young Adult horror tale on the scale of Jordan Dane or Anya Parrish and you get a fair idea of what you're in for.

THE HUNT is complex and at times details about how the world has come to a point where humans are almost extinct just aren't there. It might frustrate some readers because it requires a certain amount of suspending disbelief. I found I was able to work past most of the questions I was having because too much detail would have taken away from the desperation and focus of Gene's situation. The not knowing was a key element in strengthening the plot.

UK Cover
The vampires are very different from humans both physically and mentally and yet in some ways very much the same. Fukuda does a fantastic job of blending weird actions into the vampire behavior, such as wrist scratching instead of laughing, that really make the reader's skin crawl. As the hunters train for the Hunt a careful detatchment becomes evident between Gene and the last remaining humans. He's been alone too long, been amongst the monsters so long he's lost touch with what it means to be human. It's freaky and an interesting dilemna that will have readers on the edge of their seats as the action-packed climax of the story comes to a head. I found it a struggle to put the book down because I had to know how it ended.

Though on the intense and somewhat scary side this is a clean title for those who would object to crude language and more than kissing. I've been trying to get my 12-year-old to read it but he's not a vampire fiction fan so I'm not having a lot of luck. It is quite violent and may be too frightening for young readers though, I'd say just use your best judgement if your child is on the sensitive side about blood and guts. As an adult reader I loved this! It's a great change of pace from all the romantic vampire fiction I read and had a somewhat dystopian feel that might appeal to those who like horror and last-man-on-Earth type stories. Overall, I cannot express how impressed I am with this story, a well executed and fresh addition to the YA vampire fiction fad.

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Notes: ARC received via Amazon Vine.

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