Title: The Hunt
Author: Andrew Fukuda
Published: May 8th by 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?
*thanks to the publishers for the free copy of this ebook (via Netgalley)*
I had high hopes for this book. Really, I did.
It starts off a bit strangely. It's narrated in first person by a boy whose name we don't find out until near the end (which by the way, says Gene up there^). He's human, unlike the rest of the world. Every day, he has to clean, shave, and take impeccable care of himself to make sure he doesn't reveal his true self. This, I find a little disconcerting because how does a mere human survive in a world full of vampires?! And especially if vampires can smell and run and do everything twenty times than 'hepers' (humans). Like... HOW?!! And how has he managed not to run in sport classes for his entire life? How has he not managed to reveal that he needs light to read when their classrooms are in near darkness?
Getting to know Gene is an interesting journey. He's apparently good looking and really smart. I liked him alright at first, but I just kind of started to doubt him. There's no way he would've survived like a day surrounded by vampires and not have them eat him. But hey, it does say that vampires aren't all that smart, so maybe they can't smell their most craved and hunted meal right under their noses.
Gene is always reminding himself, 'Don't stand out. Don't do this. Don't do that.' His father was found out several years back, and just somehow, he's been living by himself since then. No income? No one coming to check up on him? Okay... But when he's one of the lucky ones to be a participant of 'The Hunt', he can't not stand out. He can't pretend not to crave human flesh and not salivate at the mere thought.
The lead up to the Hunt is actually pretty exciting. Here's when we find out all sorts of weird tid bits of information. Like how Gene was specifically chosen to stay in the library away from the other vampires, and how The Scientist, supposedly another heper, also resided in the library once. And then there are the hepers they're to hunt. It's sad, and it's gruesome the way the hunters drool and scratch their wrists (yes, this is their way of laughing. Evidently vampires don't show emotions), thinking hepers of nothing but more than a good feeding. I wanted to slap the vampires over the head more than I did Gene, because c'mon! HE'S RIGHT THERE! And all the time, they're going about 'I smell heper! There must be a heper in here! A heper must've snuck in!'
Gene, being human and all and needing to drink water and wash, unlike the other hunters, finds himself entering the Dome, where the hepers are kept. All five of them. I love and hate how he feels like he's completely superior to them. It's so realistic, but then it makes me want to hit him because honestly, he's not much better than them at all.
And I mustn't forget Ashley June! I'm torn about her honestly. She's smart, and at the same time, a bit selfish, but then, she's completely selfless too. It's a little awkward between her and Gene, but hey, since when did rubbing arms become something of the norm?
I did enjoy reading this, I did. Gene running and constantly in fear of being found was a continuous roller coaster and a rush of adrenalin.
Overall rating: 3 stars~ An interesting take on vampires!
There used to be more of us. I'm certain of this.
She smiles the widest I've seen; a small sound escapes her throat.
"That's called 'laughter'," I tell her.
Never forget who you are.
Thank you to the lovely Esther for sending me this audiobook clip from Macmillan Audio! Do give it a listen :)