Book #1 – The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda
So… this is a book that I remember walking through Chapters over a year ago and seeing. I don’t know about the rest of people but I am one of those people that takes pictures of all the books I want to read as a way of making sure that I will never forget. I was going through the old photos in my phone a couple weeks ago and I came across a photo of this book. I decided to finally buy it… by the way I found it for $1.50. Awesome!!
Just so people know. There will be SPOILERS in this post. If you want to read it you can choose to spoil what happens or not. Just don’t keep reading if you want to find out on your own. Wow… that is a terrible way to get people to read your blog. Yes I’ll advise people to hold off… good job Sammie.
Anyways, I am going to start off by saying that I didn’t hate this book. Do I think it’s amazing or even good… no I don’t think so. I kind of had to push through it because I’m one of those people that has to finish a book. I have a little voice that always whispers, “Maybe it gets good.” It did… and then it would get bad… and it would get good… and then bad again. I believe that to be a great book it has to be great all the way through and unfortunately this book just wasn’t that.
Let’s start with the concept. The idea that the world has been completely taken over by vampires and humans, or what they call “hepers’, are pretty much extinct. I thought that this was an interesting idea (even though it has been done many, many times before) and I was really excited that the novel was from a male’s perspective. I am always on the look out for male perspective novels. So if anyone has any recommendations for male perspective novels PLEEEASE let me know (even though as of right now no one reads this haha). Gene is the protagonist that we follow all throughout the story and he is a human who has somehow been able to hide that fact and be part of this vampire society. I first want to comment on this because I did not find it convincing at all. Fukuda talks about how Gene is able to hide the fact that he is a human by masking his “odour”, shaving all the hair on his body, and never showing emotion. My first issue is that all throughout the history of vamparism it is a known fact that humans have an “odour” that cannot be hidden from vampires. Somehow with the same amount of bathing that most people in our own society do (so showering once maybe twice a day, depending on your workout schedule and such), Gene is able to hide his human “odour” from these creatures who have hieghtened senses of smell. I find that simply unrealistic .. even in this make believe world of vampires. My other issue is that at Gene’s age when puberty is in full swing it is quite often that emotions are uncontrollable. Whether is be anger, sadness, or even some kind of sexual desire (a boner… come on we’re all adults here… I think), there is no way that he would be able to hide his emotions all of the time. Fukuda does show a lot of struggle when it comes to Genes hiding, however, even the slightest struggle would be noticed if he is genuinely the only human, or heper, among hundreds of vampire students. Oh but wait, he isn’t, there is also Ashley June who reveals herself as being human later on in the novel. Ashley June even states at one point that she had a feeling he was human because she saw him show emotion sometimes or slip up in some other way. Now let’s be real here for a second, if Ashley June, a human, can notice these “slip ups” do we honestly think that NONE of the vampires would notice… no I don’t think so. Someone would have notice, he would have been ripped to shreds, and there would be no story. So that is what I have to say about the concept at it’s skeleton.
The storyline itself was very promising at first. I was honestly intrigued by the idea of a hunt for half a dozen humans and what would happen. On the front of the novel there is a quote by Richelle Mead that states, “Think of The Hunger Games with vampires.” Obviously this statement caused a lot of intrigue and in a way that is exactly what it is. Characters fighting each other for their own survival. My issue is with the fact that the novel is called The Hunt, but the hunt didn’t actually happen until three quarters into the novel, maybe more than that. The novel was more about everything leading up to the hunt instead of the actual hunt… maybe the title should be changed to … I don’t know … The Training. Which isn’t as exciting but it actually helps deliver my point. The beginning of novel is dragged out quite a bit when the lottery is drawn in order to pick who is going to be part of the hunt. WE ALLLLL know that Gene is going to be part of the hunt but man did it take a long time for it to actually happen. There was a genuine attempt at suspense in Gene finding out he is going to be in the hunt, which was a failure because there can’t be suspense in a novel if you know what is going to happen. And it was obvious that he was going to be part of it. The novel then spends the next 200+ pages telling the story of the “training period” for the hunt. Literally 200+ pages leading up it and of course there are some interesting parts and some close calls between humans and vampires BUT no hunt. The training period was VERY repetitive, with a lot of eating dinners with the other competitors, having tours around the facility, complaining about the weird leg things you have to dangle from when sleeping, etc. The repetition was hard to get through because I personally felt that a lot could have been cut out and more information could have been given about let’s say people’s backgrounds. For example… why do they call them hepers? Maybe I missed that but I don’t remember that being explained. Oh and if the dome has light sensors so that no one controls when it opens and closes … how did they get the humans in there in the first place without ripping them to shreds. There were a lot of holes that could have been filled in the place of the repetitive information.
Gene’s name!!! Oh my goodness I don’t think you actually find out Gene’s name until way later in the novel. Like at least halfway .. which is also when the hepers are introduced by the way. We should have known his name a lot sooner … correct me if I’m wrong. Maybe that is something I also missed but I know when I learned his name and it was not at the beginning of the novel where it should have been.
Gene and Ashley June falling in love was so abrupt I didn’t even know how to process it. I mean you get a little background between them but not all that much. Fukuda tells you about their seven minutes in heaven encounter and their eye contact here and there. But they never really voiced that they liked each other or anything. Gene had a clear attraction but once they found out about each other’s humanity it turned into a “let’s run away together scenario.” I don’t even know what to say to that except… oh jeez. Maybe it was a realization of love OR an “Oh my goodness you’re a human too? I must be with you” kind of thing. Who knows… it was just so abrupt and strange.
There is more I could say about this book but I feel like if I keep going I may lose you haha. Again, I didn’t hate this book. It was entertaining at times and OF COURSE it ended on a CRAZY cliff hanger… I had to force myself to finish it and then it caught me on the last five words and now I have to read the sequel… grrrrr. Would I recommend this? I may recommend it to someone who is looking for a really light read that does not involve any kind of intellectual strain. You could read ten pages every week and still know what’s going on. If you are into that vampire-teen angst then ya go for it. But for someone who is kind of into the realistic portion of vamparism (that doesn’t make sense because vampires are not real and therefore realistic is not really a good word to use to describe them but…) then I would stay away from it. In the end it’s a fun teen fiction novel with quite a bit of blood and gore. If you like that then give it a shot, if not then don’t bother.
Thanks for reading 🙂