Review: The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda

From the back cover

I remember the Hunt from ten years ago. How for months afterward I didn’t dare fall asleep because of the nightmares that would invade my mind: hideous images of an imagines Hunt, wet and violent and full of blood.  Horrific cries of fear and panic, the sound of flesh ripped and bones crushed puncturing the night stillness.

This book is a reversal of sorts on the standard vampire style novel.  In Fukuda’s world the vampires are actually classified as normal people and the humans (hepers they are called in this book) are in hiding and virtually extinct.  I was expecting a dark and thrilling story from the synopsis and I was sadly very underwhelmed, instead I got a fairly shallow and frankly weird story that seems more suited to 10 year old boys or I guess someone who doesn’t mind a bit of toilet humor.

Gene is a heper who has managed to blend in with the vampires his entire life by following a stringent set of rules his father drummed into him from birth.  He does this by flying under the radar and being a loner though through the narration it’s clear he is meant to be incredibly smart and athletic. His ability to stay aloof all goes ary when he is randomly picked via a lottery to participate in the Heper Hunt an event that happens only once a decade. Along with his fellow school student, the “hot girl” Ashley June, they are taken to the Heper Institute for a week of training before the hunt begins.

Probably the biggest problem I had with the story was that the whole vampire culture was incredibly weird and icky.  Now I don’t need my vampires to sparkle but the tourretes like head and neck jerking, the wrist scratching and the drooling just did not do it for me! The spin the bottle memory Gene has where he gets it on with Ashley June was completely nauseating and I just wish the author had left it out because I seriously don’t even understand how these creatures procreate if armpit (or was it elbow?) pumping is part of their foreplay.  The world building also had some flaws, I couldn’t understand why hepers would try to blend in at all considering they had the daylight hours free to do as they pleased – why not simply hole up at night time, that would surely be safer?  Also as there is definitely more hepers than Gene passing how on earth did they not spot one another during the day – the water supply and  fruit trees nearby surely would be hot spots for fellow hepers to congregate?

World issues aside I just wasn’t a big fan of Gene, for someone who considers himself so smart he has to be careful at school not to get everything right all the time, he did some pretty dumb things.  He knew from day 1 at the Heper Institute that the dome housing the captive hepers went down during daylight yet he didn’t cotton on until day 3 or 4 to go and talk to them, drink some water and “hide his odour” by taking a dip in their pond.  Seriously if you are dying of thirst which you would quite literally be after 3 days surely a great big pool of water near your sleeping accommodation would drive you crazy. Aside from Gene you don’t really get much of an insight into any of the other characters in the novel.  You are briefly introduced to the other hunters and the hepers being held captive but you aren’t really given enough quality time with any of them to form anything other than the most generic of connections.  You see a bit of Ashley June through the dialogue her and Gene share but to be honest she does some pretty stupid things too so its hard to relate to either of them.

The actual idea of the hunt was quite interesting and the story really picked up pace towards the end of this book, and I started to enjoy myself.  Unfortunately like so many YA books these days it just ends abruptly without any real conclusion.  This is a pet peeve of mine, when I went through high school if I handed in a creative writing project that ended the way some of these books do I would probably fail for not completing the story.  Using the “there is a sequel coming” excuse just doesn’t cut it for me I’m sorry give your readers some type of conclusion please!

I had really high hopes for this book but was not interested enough to consider reading the sequel when it’s released. Perhaps this book would go down well with middle grade boys? I’m not sure but I can safely say I didn’t love it in my 30s and I would have been highly grossed out by it in my teens so not thinking this one is for the female market!

Thank you Netgalley and St.Martin’s Press for providing me with a copy of this novel for review. The Hunt is released on 8th May 2012.

Rating ★★☆☆☆

Author Andrew Fukuda
Book series The Hunt: Book #1
Genre Dystopian / Vampires / Young Adult
Publisher St. Martin's Griffin
Published May 2012
Source Netgalley ARC
More The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda at Goodreads
The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda at Amazon
The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda at The Book Depository
Ellen Faith says:

Ehh. This sounds so good, but slowly reviews that aren’t all that good seem to be coming out. But I have to admit I was hoping for a little bit more than what it seems to offer :/

Philippa says:

I am absolutely amazed with how many 4 & 5 star reviews there have been on goodreads. I actually seriously wondered if I got a different book to everyone else because there was just so many weird things in it that made me go WTF :) Read it at your own peril hahahaha!

In My Mailbox #7 | Tea, Daydreams & Fairytales says:

[…] commentsWWW Wednesday #6 1 commentHemlock by Kathleen Peacock 2 commentsIn My Mailbox #6 4 commentsThe Hunt by Andrew Fukuda 2 commentsTweets@jeminabox what is lok and will I like it??59 minutes ago@Nymphmage @orvillius lol […]

Alexsandro says:

Now they will change the tune and get pasnorel in their replies.They havent put their political philosophy in these website. But vinavu’s is much inclined towards chinese or USSR or kind of flavor of communism.So when you question about Uligur Muslims (Xinhuag province), Tibet, Taiwan Tienanmen Square, internet search engine restriction, stalin legacy, right to speech in Communist countries either they go pasnorel or just parrot it is capitalist conspiracy. 2 or 3 out of 51 Muslim nations is democratic and they have harsh rules against minority. (eg., blashphemy rule pakistan )These two angels come here and question the integrity of Indians! They talk loud about kashmir why still a azad kashmir hasnt been created out of non-India occupied kashmir and akshai chin? Do you think you will get answers! Who is blocking them from creating aazad kashmir and register in UN? And inspite of they they will name call you (if u are believer of God) as irrational, when their rationality itself questionable?

Month in Review: May 2012 | Tea, Daydreams & Fairytales says:

[…] The Hunt […]

Megan @ Books and Teacups says:

Aw, only 2 teacups! :( I think I’ll still read it though because I ‘love’ the idea of a world where vampires rule.

I didn’t mind the idea of vampires ruling either but there were just too many weird icky things that made me think the author was a 10 year old boy in disguise :) Heaps of other bloggers have loved it though so don’t let my review put you off!

I’m interested to see a reversed world where vampires are the normal people, and I’ll keep in mind not to get my hope up too high.

The concept was very good, it’s just a pity that I didn’t enjoy the execution – I hope you enjoy it more than me I know a lot of bloggers really liked it!

Lisa Richards says:

Darn, this had such an interesting concept. Maybe I’ll get it from the library instead.

Many people really enjoyed it and I agree the concept was interesting it just had quite a few plot holes and too much weirdness for my tastes!

Rebecca Hipworth says:

This book sounds really weird. I’m not sure it’s for me. What do you think? Should I buy it or borrow it from the library?

Personally I would borrow from the library – you can always buy it afterwards if you absolutely love it!

Oh, only 2 teacups. Good thing I didn’t buy this directly cause everyone has been raving about this. Maybe I should think about it before purchasing/reading this. I agree with you most books nowadays end abruptly.

I know heaps of bloggers loved it, it just really didn’t do it for me. Perhaps borrow it and you can always buy it if you did enjoy it!

Still haven’t read this one and I’m not sure I want to…
Negative reviews don’t necessarily put me off but some of the stuff mentioned in this book is gross. D:

Yes, gross and weird are definitely how I would describe this story! It did get great reviews from many other bloggers however so perhaps if you can ignore/skip over some of the descriptive parts…. :)

A Book Vacation says:

I found this book riveting. :) Now, while I agree that there are some weird aspects of the book, and some gross things going on, I was completely in love with them. To me, it showed Fukuda’s ability to imagine a world so different from our own, and that’s what I like. This story is so different from all the other vampire novels I’ve read, a complete reversal, and I just adored it. Yes, some of the world building seemed off at times, but I enjoyed the story so much that I overlooked a lot of them.

I took it to school with me as I run the book club, and we’re planning to read it next year, along with Ashfall by Mike Mullin. We’ll see what the students say… this might be a novel for a younger group, as you say. :)

Thanks for the review–I hadn’t thought about a ton of things you brought up when I read it. Sometimes I gloss right over things if I’m enjoying the main plotline too much. :)

A Book Vacation

Your definitely not alone – I read heaps of very positive reviews so I have no doubt it will be popular with the school bookclub. I just think I prefer my world building a little more subtle and I still can’t get over the elbow sex acts 😛

Wow, going by your review, this does not sound like the right book for me… Maybe my son will like it though 😡

Perhaps, it definitely has an element of not toilet humor but something along those lines :)

Enbrethiliel says:


This is an eye-opening review! Until this point, I had read only positive reviews of this novel–and not a single one mentioned any of the details you include here. You have a point that some people might not be as put off as you, but I can assure you that one huge turn off for me is any lack of closure that is excused away because there is a sequel coming. Yes, the greater story arc must wait to be resolved, but if the threads of one particular novel are left frayed and dangling in the wind, then that’s some poor writing.

Thanks for the review! =)

No worries – it is a very frustrating thing that has taken off in the middle grade/young adult sector I feel!