GUEST BOOK REVIEW – The Prey by Andrew Fukuda

Guest Reviewer: Ami  (@mama_roach)

Following on from one of my favourite books, ‘The Prey’ is the second book in this exciting series and tells the story of Gene after the ‘hunt’. Gene is still running from the rest of society, alongside the other surviving ‘hepers’ (humans in our terms). Being only safe in the day time, Gene and the other humans have to find their way to the Scientist’s ‘Land of Milk and Honey’, or is it all just a myth?
Fukuda’s writing style still grips the reader from start to finish. The journey to the refuge makes the reader question whether they will actually make it alive, for the predators seem to be getting stronger (and more inventive.) What comes later launches the reader into a world with more questions, more mysteries and more bizarre behaviour- but this time, from the humans.

Whilst the first book introduced Gene’s world, the second book expands the world further. Fukuda introduces us to a peculiar land full of surviving humans, who call themselves ‘The Mission’. Here, Gene meets unusual characters and learns more about the world he has survived in for so long. But is it all what it seems? You’ll have to read it to find out!
Although at first difficult to empathise with Gene in the first book, the reader will certainly want to find out if he is reunited with his father by the end. He struggles with fitting into the new society and in the process becomes closer to Sissy, making it even more difficult to contend with his feelings of guilt, after leaving Ashley June behind. However, by the end of the book, some of our burning questions are adequately answered. The sense of mystery and the non-stop action of this book will certainly set an appetite for the third and final instalment. The Prey is a mystery adventure that takes the reader on a wild journey across vast landscapes, although it’s best not to travel by train!

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Out now from Simon & Schuster Childrens Books
ISBN: 9780857075451


BOOK REVIEW – We Are Called To Rise by Laura McBride

We Are Called To Rise is about the connecting of people. The connection that we all have with each-other, whether we’re conscious of it or not. Four people from different corners of the world, differing lives and differing backgrounds are all connected in some way but before that connection, that meaning is discovered is it all going to be too late? A soldier who doesn’t quite know what going on around him, a social worker from Las Vegas, a run-of-the-mill housewife who is dealing the downward spiral that is her marriage and finally an immigrant child whose family are struggling…these are the four that we can all relate to.

When given the chance to sink or swim, which do you choose? Sink further and further down or rise with your head held high, knowing that what you did was the best you could possibly do?

This is the sad yet ridiculously beautiful tale of worlds colliding through a series of events that none of the individuals involved would see coming. We Are Called To Rise is a remarkable book about courage and bravery in the hardest of times and what we can do to keep ourselves sane even when there doesn’t seem to be a way out.

From the funny yet warm opening to the timely end that really is poignant, this book is an absolute triumph of a first novel from Laura McBride. Tough going at times if im brutally honest but the ‘pay off’ is more than worth it. I can almost guarantee that if you think that this isn’t the book for you then you’re wrong, step outside your comfort zone and give this a go. You will not be disappointed!

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Out now from Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781471132599

GUEST BOOK REVIEW – The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda

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!

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Out now Simon and Schuster Children’s Books
ISBN: 9780857075420