Guest Reviewer: Ami (@mama_roach)
Set in a world where humans have been eaten to near extinction, ‘The Hunt’ tells the story of 17-year-old Gene who has managed to survive. He is human or a ‘heper’ as called in the novel and he has disguised himself so that he can live among the general population, who crave heper blood. He has to meticulously shave and wash to hide any traces of heper scent. He also has to suppress smiles and laughter to avoid detection… oh, and wear fake fangs.
However, the real problem for Gene begins when he is selected to take part in ‘The Hunt’. The few remaining hepers, housed in a research Institute, are hunted down every ten years for entertainment. But before you roll your eyes, that’s where the similarities to Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games end. At first, I also thought this was yet another dystopian / vampire novel, but I loved how original and different it was. It was a real breath of fresh air for the genre.
There were some really gruesome moments in this book and the non-heper characters actually felt threatening all the way through – I could sense their heper cravings and the danger Gene was in. The thrilling pace had me gripped; desperate to find out what happens. The writing itself is edge-of-your-seat and Fukuda’s grown-up writing style was superb, with hints of irony and a realistic feel.
Fukuda allows the reader to piece together the mystery of this new world through Gene’s clues, so some things are not explained, such as the non-heper characters’ bizarre behaviour and mannerisms, (Who knew vampires liked ice cream?). But it all adds to the unusual world and sense of mystery, which I am hoping will be explained further in the next books in the series.
I could not fault the writing. Nevertheless, there are still questions to be answered about the world that Fukuda has created, so I guess I will have to read the next in the series to find out. I am on the hunt for more!