Nov 3, 2012

Review: The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda

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?

I've never read a book like The Hunt before. A dystopian-ish world completely overtaken by vampires?  I know this genre is increasing in popularity, but the books I read that entail the creatures of the night usually involve them doing whatever it takes to keep their deep, dark secret. Also, Fukuda's vampires are closer to the nasty bloodsuckers that made up the original vampire stories. The ones that instill fear in people, not curiosity.

The Fukuda vampire is as weird as it is nasty. They have a slight drooling problem, scratch their wrists incessantly and do this weird elbow-to-armpit thing when gettin' steamy with someone of the opposite sex. Yes. You read that right. Also, their sense of smell and awareness has suffered because they have hepers (humans) living literally right under their noses, and they have not a clue.

There were some holes in this novel, which keeps me from giving it any more than three stars. How did the vampire takeover begin? There were little details ~ such as vampires being called people and humans maintaining the animal name of "heper" ~ that created a believable world where humans are supposed to be the inferior species, but how did it become that way?

And how in the heck can the bloodsuckers not smell Gene, who simply washes with soap and water, but they will go into a frenzy if the hepers who live in the dome escape and exude their scent all over the place? They use soap just like Gene. So how does Gene get away with it? Does he have some kind of weird mutated skin that always smells like roses? Just didn't add up.

The addition of another group of hepers living in the dome (the ones to be hunted) added more depth as it caused Gene to doubt his assumptions that they are little more than ignorant cave people. He sets himself apart from the other humans, above them, but at the same time he doesn't want to "forget who he is." He doesn't want to be a vampire (although he goes through great pains to fit in with them perfectly), but he doesn't really consider himself a "heper" either. It's quite the contradiction, and it makes me wonder why he didn't just have himself turned and save himself all the loneliness and drama.

The action and suspense in this novel is pretty intense. You're always on the edge of your seat wondering if this is the moment that Gene loses his cool and his very carefully placed mask slips. If this is the moment he becomes hamburger. He has his face-palm moments (like almost dying of thirst when he knows there's a pond a short walk away), but he's definitely courageous and can surprise you with his resourcefulness in the face of hissing fangs that will tear him to shreds. 

It wasn't really the characters themselves that held my attention ~ there just wasn't enough substance for me to grasp onto ~ as it was the storyline. Very creative. I loved the idea and concept of an elite group of vampires holding a lottery hunt for the "last" hepers on Earth. And if you're not a fan of sparkling, angsty vampires, then this is a book for you. These things are gag-worthy disgusting at times. Ruthless. Bloodthirsty. Animalistic. They can't control themselves, and that's what makes this book so suspenseful.

Pretty decent read, and the ending has me absolutely reading the next book. Well played, Fukuda.

Three stars from this reader.

Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

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