Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Hunt, Andrew Fukuda

Title: The Hunt
Author: Andrew Fukuda
Rating: Siren's Best Book Stone

Genre: Paranormal Science Fiction/Horror
Key-words: Vampires, Post Apocalyptic, Extinct  
Length:  Novel 
ISBN: 978-1250005144
Price:  (Print) $17.99
Publisher:  St. Martin's Griffin 
Reviewer:  Kayden McLeod

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?

The Hunt will creep under your skin and stay there.

When I saw The Hunt on pre-order a little over a month ago, completely by accident, I read the excerpt. I wanted it, and though I never pre-order books, I almost did with this one. However, I went out on the weekend, and snatched it up at my nearest bookstore.  

Gene is immersed in the world of another race: a predatory and primal driven vampire-like set of beings. Though they fear the light, and have fangs, they appear to have a humanoid lifespan. They have children, and grow old.

For his entire life, Gene pretends to be like them, going to extremes to stay under the radar at all times, procuring items to cover his “heper” (human) odor, shaving his body and beyond.

The psychological layering in how Gene thinks and acts is a flawless, brilliant affair. Not only does he pretend to be something he’s not, but in many ways, he thinks like them. When something abhorrent to his basic nature happens around him, he refers to the activity and his association as we, not them. On the occasion, it’s skillfully disconcerting to read him mentally including himself on one hand, feeling his disgust and terror on another. The depth of his character makes you wonder what a lifetime of pretending for fear of his life, has done to his psyche as the book progresses, and he grows into new understanding.

While some of the content gets violent, the prose isn’t as graphic as it could be, though written with enough detail that you can visualize the desperate struggle between victim and predator.

The choice of first person narrative drives his emotions home to the reader with startling clarity. It’s so rare to find a book like this. I do not award Best Book easily, in fact, I never have before. But Andrew Fukuda deserves it for his second novel, The Hunt (available also in the UK under another cover).