Saturday, January 26, 2013

Review: The Hunt - Andrew Fukuda

Released: May 8th, 2012
Borrowed from library

Description from Goodreads:

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?

Review after the break...

I wasn't too aware of this book until about a month ago when I was searching the kindle books and this was recommended to me. I downloaded the sample and I was sucked in. Although I wanted to keep reading past the sample, I couldn’t justify paying $10 for a kindle book when I could wait 4-5 days and get it from the library. The day I got it, I read it in about 4 or 5 hours over two sittings. 

There didn’t seem to be any slow moments, as I felt the pressure and threat as the main character, Gene (whose name is used very rarely) did, living among these vampires, masquerading to be one of them. The beginning was seamless in my opinion. We get a little bit of history about how hepers (humans) were hunted and became extinct and how a small population hid in plain sight among them, pretending to be one to survive. The amount of detail Fukuda goes into for each scene is so specific and intense that I was sweating, not sure what was going to happen. For with these vampires, they completely bloodthirsty and do not hesitate when presented with a heper. There are a few scenes where a heper is discovered and within seconds, they are devoured by the vampires around them. 

Which brings me to my only concern with this story – Gene, as taught by his father, keeps himself impeccably clean and has trained himself to mirror their actions which has allowed him to continue living for an extended period of time among the vampires. He attends school, is on the swim team (they can’t see/smell the sweat in the water), and tries extremely hard to appear ordinary and not draw anyone’s attention. Even though Fukuda does an outstanding job with detailing Gene’s routine and everyday actions that make him “vampire proof,” it makes me wonder how none of these vampires, especially teenagers, (who completely lose it when they catch the scent of a heper) have not detected him in all these years. Other than this slight drawback, I was fascinated with the story and how Fukuda didn’t romanticize vampires and allowed them to lose control as vampires are characterized to do.

The plot is driven by an event called The Heper Hunt, where citizens are chosen at random to participate in hunting down hepers and devouring them as a sport. Over the years as the hepers have become extinct, the hunts have become less and less, and it is speculated by the characters to be the last hunt as hepers are believed to be extinct. As Gene and a female vampire in his class, Ashley June (not her real name, but a name Gene uses to think of her as), are selected to be apart of the hunt, Gene’s greatest fear of being found out become the main focus, as he is unprepared for the trip to the Heper Insitute where the hunt will take place. Gene is resourceful and manages to fool the vampires around him even during thrilling and nail biting scenes where they are distracted by his heper smell, and we start to see his hard exterior that he built up as a form of survival come slowly unraveled.

You would think Gene would see himself as courageous and smart, but he constantly see himself in a negative light because while he blends in, he is shunning his true self, his human self, and he feels disgusted with how far from humanity he has grown. In order for him to survive, he has had to lock away anything that makes him vulnerable and his self hate is suffocating and truly heartbreaking as he literally has no other choice but to continue on this path. Before the hunt, Gene doesn’t have a life. He is not able to enjoy anything except the relief that he has made it another day without being eaten and having such a twisted and impending responsibility as a teenager makes his struggle that much more emotional.

Fukuda really impressed me with his ability to take a paranormal fantasy and give it such depth as to represent humanity and how society versus the individual can change instantaneously. Once I read the last page, I checked Goodreads to see when the second installment, The Prey, comes out and I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw it released January 29th, 2013. While I might not buy the book, opting to borrow from the library, I am definitely excited to read what happens next.

Have you heard of or read The Hunt? What did you think?
Happy Reading!


  1. I'm glad you liked this one! I've always been super curious about it. I heard it was a lot like Darkness Before Dawn and the Immortal Rules. (and possibly Daybreakers -- the movie). But from your review it actually sounds a bit more like The Hunger Games with a vampire element. Anyway, it does look pretty awesome! And I'm glad that it was deep. I have problems with paranormals because most are very surface level stuff. Plus, anytime you get to the end of the book and want to read the sequel is good news! Great review, Sallie :D

    1. I haven't read Darkness Before Dawn or The Immortal Rules (both on my TBR list) but now that you said it, it does remind me a little of the movie Daybreakers - which I LOVED. It did have a little bit of The Hunger Games style in it, but it was so far removed from the actual human kids killing human kids (cuz they be vampires) aspect that I didn't find a huge connection between the two while reading The Hunt.

      Totally on the spot, I'd say The Hunt is like Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer meets Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi meets some other story that's action packed but I can't think of right now.

      Let me explain!! Midnight Sun is from Edward Cullen's point of view, and he has some SERIOUS self hate going on because he hates himself, which you only hear a little about in Twilight. Gene, the main character of The Hunt, also has a serious about of self hate going on too. It's also like Shatter Me for the same reason. And it's totally action packed even when they're just sitting in a room, his writing is fast paced and made me constantly look up from reading to make sure someone wasn't watching me (that might just be me being a weird though.. haha).

      Thanks for stopping by, Krista!

  2. I have been so curious about this one for so long. It seems like it's a very polarizing book, people either love it or hate it which scares the living crap outta me. So happy to see that you are on the good end of that spectrum. Great review!

    1. Yea, I agree with you about The Hunt having a polarizing effect on readers. I hesitated for a while because of the reviews on Goodreads. But each book is going to have a different effect on each person, so maybe you'll take the leap and see if you enjoy it! At least the sequel, The Prey is out tomorrow. So if you like it, you can continue without stopping, haha. :)

      Thanks for stopping by, Jenni!


Thank you for stopping by! Leave me a link to your blog/website and I'll return the favor!