Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (May 8, 2012)
Series: The Hunt #1
Source: Finished copy provided by publisher
Cover: I like this cover because of the color of the sky. Since the main character can go outside at any time (not being a vampire and all), it's a good thing that they showed people right before night or early dawn. Even the fact that it is torn through is cool. However, I think I liked the first cover just a little bit better. This one is still great though.
First Sentence: "There used to be more of us."
Mini-Review:A creative and interesting take on vampires but suffered from pacing issues.
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 is definitely an unique take on vampires that you aren't likely to forget and has some pulse pounding moments and interesting characters. Unfortunately, some of that action is lost in heavy writing and poor pacing that effects the overall enjoyment of this novel.
I really loved learning about this breed of vampire that Fukuda created because I truly felt like I'd never read about it before. They laugh by scratching their wrists and they make out by rubbing an elbow in an armpit. It's all so foreign that it feels like you are reading something fresh. The vampires also have super strength and sleep upside down which for me gives the perfect blend of the creature we know while being completely knew. I loved the idea that this was a story about a human trying to live in a vampire's world and the price of being found out is a painful terrible death of being ripped apart and eaten.
Gene is one such human in that world, trying his best not to be discovered as a "heper". In order to survive, he shaves every single day, smuggles water into his house, has straps on the ceiling to pretend he is sleeping there, never draws attention to himself and bathes religiously. What I liked about Gene is that I felt his fear in living in such a perilous world but he never gave up. He was creative at finding ways to avoid being detected even in situations where I couldn't see an out. It was sad that he was ashamed at what he was and I liked that throughout the novel, he was forced to accept it. The other thing that really made Gene shine as a character was he never thought about ending it. Even though he lived a half life, he fought tooth and nail to keep it even though a lot of the time it was probably easier to give up. I'm not sure I'd have that type of strength, especially having to do it on my own.
The plot of The Hunt was definitely not something I've seen before. The stakes are high the entire time. Every time Gene walks out of his house, he is betting his life AND risking getting ripped apart and devoured. However, I felt like the pace was really off. I was thinking that it would pick up a bit after he was chosen for the hunt but then we were shown around the facility. It just felt like it never really got going. Parts that I wanted to get to happened too quickly and parts that I could have lived without went on and on. I also was able to guess quite a few of the plot twists which isn't a terrible thing since I make a game of guessing where a book goes but it would have been nice for a few more surprises.
Though the writing was very clever, after a while it sort of felt like over kill. I have no doubt that Fukuda is a talented writer and he created a world and a character that are truly unique. But I felt like there was an overabundance of detail and sometimes it wasn't at the right time. I guess it is all this detail that caused the writing to feel thick. It just didn't flow very smoothly and almost felt too formal. Coupled with the fact that the print on the pages was tiny, it felt like it took way too long to get through a single page.
Even though there are a few problems that slowed this book down for me, I really enjoyed the characters and world that the author created. I'm not sure if I'll tune in for the second one but I am interested to know how it turns out. Over all, if you want a really different vampire read that is funny, I'd say go for this one. Just don't expect to be able to take big bites out of this novel at a time.
After kindergarten, when you're free and clear of naps, that's when you show up at school.--Pg. 1 of "The Hunt" by Andrew Fukuda
Call my picky, but imminent death at the hands (or teeth) of a friend who would suckle blood out of you at the drop of a hat...that throws a monkey wrench into friendship building.--Pg. 11 of "The Hunt" by Andrew Fukuda
Under the flickering light of the candle, colors burst into being, flooding the room with pools of melted rainbows.--Pg. 24 of "The Hunt" by Andrew Fukuda
He can whisper a rat to death with the razor-sharp incisions of his carefully nuanced words.--Pg. 52 of "The Hunt" by Andrew Fukuda
I can never forget that her beauty is laced with poison, that her lips veil twin rows of knives, that her heart is enclosed by a razor-sharp rib cage.--Pg. 143 of "The Hunt" by Andrew Fukuda
She peers at my face as if it were a page, like a toddler learning how to read, enunciating in her mind the syllables of emotion on my face.--Pg. 186 of "The Hunt" by Andrew Fukuda