Series: The Hunt, #1
Release date: May 8th, 2012
by St. Martin’s Griffin
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?
-No clearing your throat
-Making sure you have no body hair at all, ever
-Having to eat raw meat
-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.
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