The Hunt (The Hunt 1)
By: Andrew Fukuda
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Release Date: May 8, 2012
Genre/Age: YA Paranormal Dystopian
Source: ARC from publisher
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?
The Hunt was so different than I was expecting. For some reason I thought that the story would mainly be about the Hunt itself, but instead there’s a strong focus on the time leading up to the Hunt and Gene’s struggle to blend in and not expose himself as a heper. Which is crazy scary and intense.
I really appreciate how original and unique Andrew Fukuda has been in creating this world. In a market saturated with paranormal stories, it was awesome to read something that was so incredibly different. These creatures are barely recognizable as anything we’ve seen before (I’d probably call them an advanced breed of vampires, except instead of just blood they enjoy all parts of the human body. Ick.), and they are terrifying. Some of their habits are actually so weird that I felt like it worked against them just a bit, because I had no connection or familiarity with them and it was just like “What??” In particular, their version of making out was one of those things. But in general I liked the weirdness.
Oh, and what happens to them when they’re exposed to the sun is horrifically disturbing. There is no Buffy-style “dusting” of these vamps, nuh-uh. I’m pretty sure anyone who happened to see my face as I was reading would wonder what could possibly be so gross. But just wait. Unless your stomach is way stronger than mine, you’ll be cringing as you read too, I guarantee it.
I had some trouble connecting with Gene, and I think a lot of that was because he’s so conflicted about who he is himself. He wants to be one of them; he hates thinking of himself as “human” and is ashamed of his human behavior and needs. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how he develops in future books. There were also a few plot twists that I definitely saw coming, but I was pretty okay with this.
Overall, The Hunt is bizarre, disgusting, disturbing, addictive, and SO intense. The last fifty pages or so made my heart pound, and there’s a crazy cliffhanger that definitely makes me want to pick up the next book. If you’re tired of the same-old same-old vampire stories and are looking for a truly unique and creepy read, you should definitely check out The Hunt.