Review: The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda

Publication Date: May 8th, 2012
St. Martin’s Griffin
Format: E-ARC from Net Galley
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
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?

Imagine a world where humans are close to extinction. Civilization comprises of vampires who rule the night and an undetermined number of humans have resorted to hide their natures to blend in. You have to control your facial expressions; you can’t smile or frown, crying will make an instant dinner out of you. If you have poor eyesight – well, sucks to be you. Because you need to learn how to read in the dark, see what they see. Rare, pretty much raw meat is a staple in your diet, with manufactured blood for cocktail. This is Gene’s reality; alone in the world, pretending to be them to prolong an existence no matter how futile it may be.
This book was such an adrenaline rush. From the beginning, the author took painstaking means to get your heart pumping and he was relentless right to the last page. The vampires here are more rabid than usual, hence the instinct to devour humans was stronger. Factor in the fact that there wasn’t much food supply left, you will have no choice but to be right there with Gene through all the times he struggled to hide his humanity. Every misstep meant the end of his life so I dutifully rooted for him not to screw up. If this was turned into a movie, I’ll be that patron who’d watched the entire thing with a hand covering my eyes. 
I only question the impossibility that none of his classmates ever clued in to his real identity. I mean if the vampires’ senses are more attuned to their prey, I think that it would take a lot more to hide the way a person smells. I wasn’t convince that he did all he could to mask the odor. Aside from avoiding perspiration at all costs, I think that the vampires would’ve been able to smell him. Other than that, I really think Andrew Fukuda did a phenomenal job at being original. We all know this is a hard task when we’re talking about vampires’ books here. I mean, we’ve pretty much read all we could about them.
Andrew was also not big on background – history – set up. We’re just dumped onto a world where it’s ruled by vampires. There were zero explanations as to how it all started, how to world came to be. I’ve read some books where the absence of this would come to pass but I’m truthfully curious and I thought the book could’ve used it. 
The forearm scratching (instead of laughing) was a bit of a reach for me. We weren’t really given any understanding as to what brought it on. Why don’t vampires laugh in the first place? Or why couldn’t they have facial expressions? I wish it were better explained.
VERDICT: In the end, I enjoyed every bit of this highly unique vampire novel. It’s The Hunger Games with rabid vampires for contestants and humans as the ultimate prize. Engaging, suspenseful and flat-out will make your heart beat out of your chest. 

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