I’d love to think that I’m culturally high-minded and well-read, but I love reading monster books and dystopian fantasy. The genres are insane, and the stakes are always life-and-death on a truly bizarre scale. Yeah, I’m pushing forty, but I love me some YA. Judge all you want, but please: In your heart you know you love dystopian-teens-in-distress and vampire stories, too. If you like them together, then this book is SO up your alley. The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda is basically The Hunger Games with vampires. Yes. Read that again. That’s intense, isn’t it? Uh-huh. I know. Here’s what Fukuda gives you:
Our hero, Gene, is a human teenager who must live in a world where vampires are the main species. His parents and sister are long gone, so he must not only pass as a vampire, but he must care for himself completely. Humans have been hunted almost to extinction, as they are prized for their blood and flesh. At school Gene is careful not to give anything away that could expose him for what he really is. He has to control everything he does from making sure he doesn’t sweat nervously to not allowing himself to doze off during math class.
One day, The Great Ruler of his nation announces a great surprise: There will be a state-sponsored human hunt. A lottery is held and Gene wins one of the slots as a hunter. Another slot is filled by a beautiful vampire classmate of his, Ashley June. As they move through the training for the hunt, Gene’s physical capabilities and luck are repeatedly tested as he tries to hold on to the vampire guise he’s so carefully constructed while navigating his budding affection for Ashley June.
Some scenes are too “deus ex machina” to be believed, but I just don’t care. I love how quickly this book races along. I love guessing whether and how Gene could be caught, and if he’ll be torn to shreds or if he’ll luck out. And I love seeing how he navigates the hunt when the time comes. It’s a perfect blend of crazy-ass vampire villainy and horrid future-world behavior. You deserve this wonderfully wicked book.