Reviewed by Marcus Hammond

Young adult science fiction/fantasy/horror is popular; we all get that. Now, however, the most popular creations in the genre are being imitated. Series like Harry Potter, the Hunger Games, and the Twilight Saga set the standard for the genre. In The Hunt Andrew Fukuda begins a human/vampire-based series that combines bits and pieces of all these popular genre standards to a disappointing end result.

Gene is a young boy who is apparently the last free human in a world run by starving vampires. Growing up, Gene’s dad teaches him how to live and act like a vampire. He learns to show no emotion, survives on a vampire’s diet of raw meat, and scrubs his body free of hair and odor. After vampires catch his family, Gene successful continues his faked existence until he is chosen as one of seven vampires who get to compete in the Heper Hunt.

The Heper Hunt holds great importance in the vampire society. Once the heper (humans) population became seemingly extinct the government begins to breed and train the last remaining hepers specifically for the hunt. In order to curry favor with the public, a lottery is held to identify who among the vampires will be allowed to hunt down and eat the hepers. Obviously, the starving vampire community clamors for this opportunity. It is, however, the last place Gene wants to be. As one of the hunters, Gene is taken to a government facility along with a female from his school. The female, Ashley June, represents the romantic interest in the story. Gene has always found her attractive, but due to his humanity cannot get close to her.

There’s a lot that drags this story down. The process in which Gene blends into society is too impractical to be believable. He has to remove all the hair from his body, mask his body order, never show emotion, and eat a steady diet of raw meat. When Gene enters the government facility he has none of the supplies that aid him in his disguise. Eventually, his human scent begins to be noticed, and it is ridiculous how there is always a perfect distraction available. I also had a hard time seeing past the likenesses between this story and other novels like The Hunger Games, I Am Legend, and The Twilight Saga. Overall, I found the story to be too unbelievable to be intriguing.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 

Listen to an excerpt from The Hunt here

After obtaining a Masters in Liberal Arts and Literature Marcus has dedicated most of his time to teaching English Composition for a community college in the Midwest. In his down time, he spends time avidly reading an eclectic selection of books and doing freelance writing whenever he gets the chance. He lives in Kansas with his wife.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by St. Martin’s Griffin. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.