Release date: May 8th, 2012
Number of pages: 304
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
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? (Summary taken from Goodreads)
The most terrifying yet still completely enthralling book I have read in awhile. One thing is for sure: The Hunt will be on your thoughts long after you've finished it, maybe because you won't be able to sleep after some disturbing parts or because this book makes you reflect about life.
The story is told from Gene's point of view. He is a human, or as they call it, a Heper. In the world Gene lives in, humans are almost extinct, in addition to the ones living in hiding or blending in with the vampire population, there are "Hepers" being kept in a dome, being treated and fed as animals for society's entertainment. Gene has been blending in with the vampires for a long time and everything has almost always gone smoothly until the Ruler announces a Hunt to keep the country's population in his side. Unfortunately Gene is chosen to participate, which means he will have to hunt his own kind: humans.
With such a premise, it's not surprising that this novel has some sinister scenes. Not like most books nowadays, the vampires in this book are depicted as real monsters that behave as real monsters do. They are almost intoxicated by human's blood and flesh that when they are near one, they can't control themselves. Even though they were horrifying, I found myself fascinated about Fukuda's vampires. There were some little details that were interesting like laughing by scratching their wrists or their way of showing affection by touching elbows and armpits. They also don't express themselves with a smile or even blinking, which only makes that much harder for humans to mingle with them but not impossible.
One of the most astounding things in this novel is that Gene succeeded in living among vampires for a long time before the Hunt (I wouldn't probably last a day!). His father taught he everything he should do to not be discovered and that kept him going even after his father was bitten. So it doesn't come as a surprise that Gene lives in "survival mode" and doesn't have the slightest idea how to behave as human anymore. Even after meeting the other Hepers, he had a hard time learning to laugh and even sing. His fragile romance with Ashley June is what weakened his self preservation instinct. He fell in love and learned the hard way that you can and should care for one another. Even though his reluctance to help the other humans was understandable; for helping them meant his probable death, it was a beautiful thing when he came around and saved them.
The Hunt was a surprisingly great read that is full of heart-pounding action, sweet romance, terrifying moments and unexpected twists. Andrew Fukuda's writing, besides being beautiful, has abundant details that enable you to imagine everything perfectly and experience the character's feelings as if you were the one going through it. You will go through an emotional roller coaster while reading this one and it will certainly be a book that will stay with you long after you finished its last page.
A big thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for giving me the opportunity to read and review this unforgetful book!
Born in Manhattan and raised in Hong Kong, Andrew Fukuda is half-Chinese, half-Japanese. After earning a bachelor's degree in history from Cornell University, Fukuda worked in Manhattan's Chinatown with the immigrant teen community. That experience led to the writing of Crossing, his debut novel that was selected by ALA Booklist as an Editor's Choice, Top Ten First Novel, and Top Ten Crime Novel in 2010. His second novel, The Hunt, the first in a new series, was bought at auction by St. Martin's Press and will be published in May 2012. Before becoming a full time writer, Fukuda was a criminal prosecutor for seven years. He currently resides on Long Island, New York, with his family.