Monday, May 07, 2012

Review: The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda

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The Hunt
Andrew Fukuda
Series: The Hunt, #1
Release date: May 8th, 2012
by St. Martin’s Griffin

Goodreads / Purchase

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?

*A copy was provided by St. Martin’s Press for review purposes*

Definitely creative, but awfully bizarre to the point of being cheesy, The Hunt is perfect if you’re looking for a mindless read with an interesting concept. However, if you sit for a minute and think about it, this whole plot has no justification. Why? Because there’s absolutely nothing that makes me root for the humans. Why stay human? Why not simply become a vampire, and live your life amongst everyone else, free of burden. Sure you crave blood and you can’t go out in the sunlight, but how does that remotely compare to being imprisoned in a human body with a constant fear of being eaten alive? Especially when the constraints are extreme and in no way convincing that any human could get away with it for as long as our protagonist did.

-No smiling/laughing
-No sweating
-No coughing
-No clearing your throat
-Making sure you have no body hair at all, ever
-No slouching
-Having to eat raw meat
-No shivering
-No widening of the eyes – or any other reaction – when surprised
-Having to clip your nails daily
-Needing to goop up your skin to not smell human
-And more, lots more.

Wow! How can someone honestly be this robotic for years? Going to school every day with these people without ever showing any of these signs? Moreover, why would you want to? Living as a vampire doesn’t seem bad at all. They live satisfactory lives; they’re educated, they have friends, parties – a normal life, really, with the only disadvantages being the sun and craving blood (and ok, they drool a lot). I didn’t buy it. This is the main reason why I couldn’t enjoy this book. Everything the protagonist went through, every fear of being found out, every obstacle thrown at him, I simply didn’t care as there is no convincing argument for staying human. This, to me, was a huge plot hole that I just couldn’t let go throughout the whole book. It also brought on world building questions: how hard would it be to get turned without being eaten entirely? How could he make that happen? And if he can’t, how did the others get turned? Were they born? Can vampires procreate (with elbow sex)? So many questions! These may have helped me understand why he’s not one of them. Maybe it’s not even possible; nothing is clear.

I get that vampire lore has gotten to a point where you have to get very creative to make it original. But there is a line between imaginative and just plain silly. Quirks in this lore, especially armpit/elbow sex, went too far. These are way too weird to be taken seriously. The dialogue is also awkward at times with cheesy expressions. What I did like, though, was the ominous vibe from start to finish. I constantly felt like something was amiss. The gory scenes are also pretty awesome (aka: highly disgusting). And despite having a lot of similarities with the Hunger Games, in the end the plot easily stands out in its originality.

The Hepers: Us, mere humans. They’re all rounded up and put into a dome to get them ready for the Hunt. I found this really interesting and quite a bit frightening. Sadly though, this hunt takes a very long time to begin giving the book a fairly slow pace until the very end. I found myself simply wanting to get it over with. I wish that time would have been spent expanding the world building instead of wandering around figuring out how to stay hidden. A bigger understanding of their world, especially their knowledge of the past, would have been great way to get a better grasp on this book. In particular, why they believe Hepers are uneducated, uncivilized savages who can’t speak, and are basically completely unevolved. This is especially hard when one thinking this is, in actuality, a Heper himself.

Honestly, I wanted to love this. I was sure I was going to. I love dystopians and the premise is incredibly enticing, so I’m truly disappointed that it wasn’t as good as I expected. I’m the type of reader who needs to be convinced. Realism is always a huge aspect for me and sadly this one had me staggering more than once. This made not only the reasoning for the plot, but the characters themselves, fall flat. I could easily see a lot of readers enjoy the alarming nature of the story; underneath it all it is interesting so don’t let this discourage you if you were looking forward to it, hopefully you can have a better experience than I did.

2 Hot Espressos
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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.
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46 Responses to “Review: The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda”

  1. Christina

    I thought your review of this would be entertaining. I agree that there were some serious plot holes.

    I enjoyed it a bit more than you did, but I think I went in with the mindless action mindset, because I expected this to be a strange, boy-oriented dystopia. Also, the weirdest vampires I’ve ever read were not in this. They were in an adult book, The Strain. I couldn’t finish that one they were so weird.

    Yeah, I just don’t believe that Gene would have made it through without sweating. I also take issue with the fact that the creatures have hunted their primary food source nearly to extinction. That seems stupid.

  2. speculatef

    Elbow … sex … Um, so I took this one off my to be read list. It sounded so good!! I was looking forward to reading a dystopian with a male protagonist, but it sounds like the author went overboard with his efforts to be cool and fresh.

  3. Elodie

    Thanks for the honest review Giselle 🙂 !! I’ve deided not to read this one as it doesn’t sound like something I’d enjoy but I love the cover 🙂 ! Thank you 🙂

  4. Jennifer | Book Den

    I skipped to your last paragraph because I’m at about 40%, and I don’t want to influence myself. 🙂 I’m not being convinced either. I was hoping there would be a big twist that would change that, but I guess that’s hoping for too much. I’ll be back once I’m finished!

  5. Amy

    I was interested in this one, but not dying in anticipation for it. Since we tend to have very similar tastes I think I will skip this one. It sounds pretty off the wall to me. Great review chick!!

  6. Claire-Louise

    I have been waiting to read your review! There are so many points that you have brought out, that I was also questioning myself – and I’m only 55% of the way through!

    This was a fabulous review, thanks for sharing!

  7. Nick

    Those things are disturbing. :/
    I read it some time back and didn’t like it either.
    Sorry you didn’t like it, Giselle. 🙁

  8. Natalia Belikov @ Dazzling Reads

    buu… so sad you didnt enjoy it -_-… When this happens to me, I feel like a totally wasted my precious time. Sniff. I have read mixed reviews about this book thou, but the way you describe it… well… I don’t know if it’s a read for me. Anyways, thanks for the honest review my dear ^.^

    XOXOXO

  9. Annette

    I totally agree with you — but I loved this book. I couldn’t put it down. Yea, I think there’s NO WAY a human could live among the vamps and not give themselves away for that long..but I got past that.

    I also thought about just giving up and becoming a vamp — but I didn’t understand how to do that? Without getting killed. Like his dad got bitten, so he turned…why didn’t he get eaten? Which seems like what the main character was afraid of…I didn’t understand that little plot flaw…

    But…this was a page turner for me. It sucked me in, and I found myself sneaking around reading it while I was at work.

    Hopefully, my review will post tomorrow.

  10. Hannah Lorraine

    I originally had no desire to read this book – then I heard people absolutely raving about it, so I’ve been reconsidering. I’m SO glad I read your review because I’m going to stick with my original instincts.

  11. Jackie's Little World

    Oh no! I actually loved this one and had a hard time putting it down! Having said that…you do make some good points, why not just join the undead? 🙂 This may be one of those love/hate type books. Great review as always!

  12. Anna @ Literary Exploration

    LOL OF COURSE! I totally thought you would love this one too!!!! I actually like the idea of only a few humans left on earth, trying to survive. I think it comes down to the fact that a vampire isn’t going to turn you, they’re going to eat you. If you don’t stay hidden you’re not going to live. But, you know, we never like the same things 😛

    Anna @ Literary Exploration

  13. Giselle

    @Anna: I totally thought of you when I wrote this haha. And I get what you’re saying but if they can’t turn humans into vampires, how did the vampires become vampires in the first place!? And his father was bitten so I’m sure there’s a way to turn into one of them. I just didn’t buy it. More world building would have helped I think. Glad you enjoyed it though! It was still interesting if you can get past the points I made.

    Thanks for dropping by, guys! 🙂

  14. Jasprit

    Aww it’s a shame this one didn’t work out for you Giselle, the premise does come across as really interesting! I may skip this one too now! Thanks for the honest review 🙂

  15. Katie @ BlookGirl

    “Quirks in this lore, especially armpit/elbow sex, went too far.”

    AHAHAHAH! No way?! I almost want to read it now. LOL.

    I had high hopes this one, too, and am disappointed that it didn’t deliver what it promised. I may still read it, just so I can be all googly-eyed at the armpit/elbow sex, though…

    I know, I know – I’m a perv! 😉

    Great review, as always, love! <3

  16. Mel - Thedailyprophecy.

    Awh, what a shame that you didn’t love it! I really liked your review: very much details and I understand why you feel this way about the book. If you put it like that, I can’t understand why anybody wants to stay human under these conditions..

    And really.. elbow/armpit sex? I have never heard of that before, haha! I don’t want to know how that looks like, actually :p

    The only thing I could like about this book are the highly disgusting details 😀

    Thanks for your honesty! I think I’m going to wait with this book 🙂 There are too many good books out there.

  17. inlibrisveritas

    Great review! It’s the first lower rated one I’ve seen and it kind gives me more insight than I had. I will probably still read it given the chance, call it morbid curiosity…I mean you can’t tell me something about elbow sex and then expect me not to want to know just what the hell is going on, lol. Besides I’m a vampire fan so I make a point to read it all.

  18. Ron C. Nieto

    Great review!

    I’d heard about the same complaints, namely the plot not really standing to inspection, and that, coupled with my reluctance to pick up anything that even smell distopian, has made me keep this one off my TBR.

    If that hadn’t been the case… I’m sure your thoughts would have! But it’s great to see your honest comments on this one anyway 🙂

    Ron @ stories of my life

  19. Danny

    ROFL .. *seriously* this post made me giggle – mainly because I loved this book so much and it’s not often we so completely disagree!!! Although I cannot compete with your logic here.. the armpit make out session was .. just too much!!
    But, why not become a Vampire? They can’t because they will be eaten not turned, or did I miss something?

    Sorry, you didn’t like it!!

  20. Giselle

    @Danny: Haha but if they can’t be turned, how did the others become vampires? Vampires aren’t usually “born”. And his father apparently got bit and turned, so even if it ends up not being true he believed it could happen. Either way, the world building has flaws so the question remains unanswered, thus the plot hole remains.

  21. Rebecca

    Oh no, that sucks you didn’t enjoy it as much as hoped. I’ve heard a few disappointed ones so far and I’m a bit scared of picking it up! It does sound good, but when you put it like that I agree about wondering why you would put up with that. It’s basically being a vampire anyway… Odd.

    Great review though!

  22. manda-rae

    So, the fact that this book had some totally unrealistic settings made me complain a little in the beginning. But I became so engrossed in it that I forgot about my original complaints. I’ll just be happy that I enjoyed it (even though I had some of the same complaints as you but on a lower scale)…

  23. Lexie

    Great review! I said it before, but I’ll say it again: it’s SO nice to see I’m not the only one who was very ehhhh on this. It’s very creative, but as you said, it’s almost TOO creative–he was trying so hard that it surpassed the point of believability. Also, the characters were just really, really annoying. >_>

  24. Sam

    Armpit and elbow sex?! I don’t think I even want to ask… It definitely does sounds like this book went a little overboard. Plus I don’t see any reason to want to stay human either from your review so I can see why that plot hole would have been problematic to enjoying the book. Thanks for the helpful review!

  25. Giselle

    @Brandileigh2003: check the earlier comments I left. It’s not clear enough to use that as an argument. If they can’t turn humans into vampires, then how did the vampires get turned themselves? World building is clearly needed to debunk this plot hole.

  26. Jenni @ Alluring Reads

    I like different, but this one sounds like a bit too much for me. I’m with you, I like fantastical stories but there has to be a certain amount of realism for me to feel it. Great review!

  27. Camille Picott

    I just read another review of this book a few minutes ago, and the same odd plot hole jumped out at me: how could a human really live incognito among vampires for years and years? Don’t think this one will make it to my TBR list. 🙁 Thanks for sharing your review!

  28. Nicola

    …Armpit sex? Heh.

    Sorry this one was such a let down! I hate when there are SO many unanswered questions in a book. Sometimes it feels like the book gets so focused on the characters that no world is actually built. I got this one from Netgalley but it’s an epub so I’ll have to read it on my computer and I’m not sure I’ll ever get around to that!

    Great review Giselle 🙂

  29. Janiera

    Great review, like I said. I’m still going to read it. When I’m reading and it is fantasy, I don’t think too hard about because well it is fantasy it is not supposed to be real. I’m at the point that I read, not to get to analytical but for enjoyment. 🙂

  30. Kat Balcombe

    Oooo you say so many things so well! But this is a reason why I love the diversity of readers, because what you found to be disappointing, I actually liked about this book.

    Why stay human? It’s a basic survival kinda thing – for me I interpreted Gene’s need to survive as a matter of retaining an identity – sure, he could never SHOW his true identity (and had even forgotten his name), but it’s a base human reaction to want to be ourselves, even if we have to hide it from the eyes of the outside world.

    But I think where we really differ as readers is the realism – I was able to completely suspend my belief and not look too deeply into the ‘how’ (although things such as where Gene obtained razor blades from did bug me a little), but I can also understand why having all these points validated adds to the enjoyment of a book.

    Hurrah for diversity 😉

  31. Suzanne @ Paranormal Book Fan

    I totally loved the sound of this one from the blurb but you have put a totally different spin on it for me. It does sound pretty ridiculous the things he has to do, or not do, to pretend to be like them. I think I’ll give this a wide berth now. Thanks for the honest review Giselle.

  32. Lalaine

    oh wow 2? hmm I even requested this one now I dont know if im that excited to read it anymore. eerr. Great review Giselle! sorry that this one disappoint. xox

    Ƹ̴Ӂ̴ƷFICBOOKREVIEWSƸ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ

  33. Sarah (saz101)

    Aw, Giselle, I’m sorry you didn’t love this, but your talking about it on Twitter this morning (it was morning, my time) CRACKED me up.

    I’m a bit… yeah, the implausibility, but I am SO intrigued… and cautious. We shall see ^__^

  34. Novels On The Run

    This is a funny book. Ya either like it or it annoys ya..hehe!! I have kept my jury open until book 2. Lots of crazy stuff happened…but I want to see what happens in book 2. I kinda just accepted Andrew’s world..sure it was a little bizarrooo..hehe!! But I kinda enjoyed his totally odd way at looking at these creatures. Still not sure about the elbow thingy going on, cause..hmmmm…how do these beasties reproduce other beasties, surely not that way?? Yes, many Q’s unattended but I did like it, I just pushed it to the back a bit the crazy stuff…..might be the Aussie in me..hehe!! We are laid back, almost horizontal:D:D

    Love the honesty my friend!!

    Ya won’t be high on caffeine with two expressos:D:D

    Michelle