Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: May 8, 2012 - Just released!
Number of Pages: 293 (Hardcover)
Number of Pages: 293 (Hardcover)
Blurb 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?
The Hunt has a lot of buildup, which can be a good thing, but it can also be a bit of a bad thing. It worked well because it allowed Andrew Fukuda to establish his world, especially since the vampires are pretty unique with weird little ticks and quirks, like scratching their wrists when they laugh and cracking their neck when they're excited. However, it did make it a bit hard to get into the story, but once I got past the buildup and actual action started to happen, I was totally hooked!
I absolutely loved that The Hunt doesn't try to emulate other vampires, and the worlds of other vampire stories. It was refreshing, and I absolutely loved the new take. It kept me interested, and really curious. Some of it was kind of nasty with drool flying around, and nasty hissing and screams, but I did appreciate that it was something new. I was constantly trying to figure out things, and sometimes I was able to, other times...not so much. One thing I never really did understand was why the vampires called humans "hepers". I figured it might be for some scientific reason, like hemoglobin in the blood or something I have no clue about, but I never did find out for sure. If someone else did find out, I'd love to know. ;)
Another thing about this book that kept me kind of uninterested, while also curious, was the main character. Vampires aren't given names, and since the main character is pretending to be a vampire, he doesn't even really have a name until really far into the book...which was kind of odd and kept him relatively distant from the reader. His narrative also added to this, as he gave more of an observational perspective than his opinion. He tended to give other characters nicknames...which I loved, and it also gave him a personality when he was doing his best to pretend he didn't have one. :P I also felt a lot of distance from the narrator, Gene, because he pretty much hated being human since he was so used to hating what he was...it was really sad, and I loved once he began to embrace his human side...it was definitely the beginning of where this book really hooked me. Once Gene stops completely resisting his human nature he opens up to the reader, and for that reason I felt that his earlier distance was definitely intentional...and it totally worked.
Along with the original vampires, and the ambivalent narrator, is the plot. It's kind of familiar being a bit similar to the Hunger Games with people...in this case people means vampires, being brought together, but instead of fighting each other, they're supposed to hunt the hepers...meaning the humans. While the concept isn't necessarily new, I still felt it was done in a completely different way which kept it from feeling repetitive. The fact that Gene is a heper pretending to be a vampire also kind of stirred that plot idea up quite a bit! haha I actually really liked the main storyline of The Hunt. As I mentioned before, it could've used less buildup, but overall, I really enjoyed this book, especially it's originality and the way that the narrator evolves.
Overall, The Hunt is fantastic! It's a bit slow-going at first, but once it gets going it is an amazing story. Its vampires are original, and its narrator is rather unconventional. These things might entice you, or they could also turn you away, it all depends on what you like to read. I will caution everyone that this book has an insane cliffhanger...it's one of those endings you kind of love to hate. :P I'd recommend The Hunt to anyone who likes vampires, especially ones that aren't cut from the standard mode (but don't worry...these vampires don't sparkle :P), and also for anyone who enjoys reading stories where characters have identity issues...because Gene totally does, but he's working on it. :)
Are you a fan of original takes on traditional paranormal creatures?
How do you feel about narrators that kind of keep their distance...even from the reader?
What are your feelings on cliffhangers?
And finally, what are you thoughts on The Hunt?