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The Headhunters Race

(Headhunters #1)

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  499 ratings  ·  73 reviews
Sixteen-year-old Avene was sentenced to prison at thirteen for a crime she didn't commit. Now she has a chance to win her freedom back – if she enters the Headhunters Race. Second prize isn't so bad either, an upgrade to the Leisure Prison if you make it to the finish line. To win either prize, Avene and the other prisoners must navigate one hundred and fifty miles of dens ...more
Paperback, 1, 196 pages
Published January 3rd 2014 by January Sky Publishing (first published January 1st 2014)
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3.51  · 
Rating details
 ·  499 ratings  ·  73 reviews

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Jan 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dang this one was actually pretty crazy, didn't know what to expect, but I really liked it. The MC has major trust issues though, lol, but it was really frustrating at times. Kind of love McCoy :)
Catherine Winn
Dec 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a real page turner! Excellent plot and fantastic characters.
Avene was sent to prison for something she didn't do. This isn't just a prison though, this is a hell. King runs the prison in such a way where he doesn't care if the prisoners live or die. He feeds them in a trough twice or three times a week and there's never enough to feed everyone. Its a constant battle to get food. Avene tries to supplement the meals by hunting in the abandoned part of the prison. To Avene this place is hell.

The only way to gain your freedom is to take part in The Headhunte
T.B. Markinson
When I saw the cover for The Headhunters Race I knew I had to read the book. The cover is intriguing and pulled me in. And I’m so happy to report that the book didn’t disappoint. Right from the start I was hooked. Avene is one of those characters who I cheered for, but I also wanted to lecture her. She has some serious trust issues. I understood why, but I still wanted to shout, “Knock it off and learn to trust!”

There are so many twists and turns in this book that I bet I couldn’t name them all
Kimber Wheaton
Feb 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review

The Headhunter's Race is a nonstop, action-packed ride that will keep you turning pages as fast as you can all the way to the end. Though, I'm not sure I'd call it an end so much as the opportunity to begin a new story. The novel is a dystopian adventure with a sprinkling of romance. In many ways it reminded me of The Hunger Games.

Main character Avene hasn't had an easy life. Her step-father, the governor of her town, is cruel
Feb 03, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebooks
A bit late but better late then never. So I read this book back in the beginning of February when I won it as an ebook from the author Kimberly Afe and I was very much pleased with this story. It was intersting and very much intriguing. I stayed up until midnight on a school night to finish it and see what happens and even after I did my head was clustered with thoughts as to how it ended and as to what we learn in the end. It was very much a page turner.

The main character in this book's name i
Saruuh Kelsey
Apr 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
((3.5 stars))

When I started reading this, I expected more dystopia than survival story and I am extra happy that this book is what it is.

In The Headhunters Race Avene, the protagonist, is imprisoned with only one hope of getting out of jail - win a manhunt of prisoners organised by the governor, and capture a fugitive in return for her freedom. But she'll have to battle criminals much more deadly than her in order to return the fugitive to the governor - her sadistic stepfather.

The Headhunter's
Lise Foket
Feb 10, 2014 rated it liked it
This book was a nice read and a must for the hunger games fans. The writing is good, the characters are very likeable and the world is, well horrible, but it's dystopian so I guess that's a good thing. It was plain and simple, a fun read.

But I had some issues with it though. Actually one big issue: It was so rushed. The characters didn't get enough time to develop and although I liked them, I felt like they were strangers to me. I would have loved to get to know them a bit better. The same goes
C.M. Keller
Dec 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed The Headhunter’s Race. Avene is a wonderful protagonist—I appreciated the way she grew and matured over the course of the novel and the way the author wove this growth together with the plot. The things that happened in the book caused Avene’s growth and her growth (or failure) led to the plot’s advance. It was seamless. The pacing was excellent and kept my attention. And even though I can’t wait for book two to find out what happens to Avene, Boom, Kurt and even Gavin, the nove ...more
Jan 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Headhunters Race was an enjoyable read.

I really liked Avene. Her trust issues could be slightly annoying at times, but it was understandable that she would have them.

I also really liked McCoy, Zita, Jake and Jim.

I liked the romance in this.
There was a hint of romance throughout the book, but it never became the main focus in it.

Overall, a good read, with likable characters.
Dec 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is action packed, non-stop and I couldn't get through the pages fast enough. I really loved Avene's character, she is strong, compassionate, and fearless. She has a hard time trusting people because of what her mentor, Verla taught her as far as surviving. Another strong character in the book that I enjoyed is McCoy. He was strong and kind and the hero type. There were so many other characters that were good, like the 9-year-old kid Jake and King who you love to hate. This book leaves ...more
Christina Ferreira
Reminded me a lot of The Hunger Games, except that there is no Capitol and it's based in a prison but still the whole thing reminded me of the Hunger Games. It's good though, you like the characters and they're all different and it's just shocking at some parts, I mean there's cannibals and bears and there's a mechanical collar around the prisoners necks which tighten every three days which is pretty interesting and scary at the same time. It's a good book overall, I enjoyed it and it's an easy ...more
Jan 29, 2014 marked it as to-read
wOAH? Did you just Say, Prison at 13? Battle in an arena to gain freedom? This is my genre!
Emily Agnello
May 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Very creepy at times, but never a dull
moment. I wonder when the second book
comes out
Vee ♔Under Mountain Books♔
What first caught my attention was the gorgeous cover, it's really pretty and as I discovered later, fits in well with the plot too, which is a rare event in typical Teen books I've found. The book itself is a quick read, only around 200 pages but packed with action all the way through. Our protagonist is Avene, a 16 year old girl who has been sent to prison for the death of her mother. It's not mentioned in the description, but she's sent there not for the murder but as an accomplice to Gavin, ...more
Ellen Wookey
Jun 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mini-reviews
I don’t know what I was expecting but I thoroughly enjoyed The Headhunters Race

Kimberly Afe knows how to build up the curiosity in someone. The Headhunters Race is a novel full of questions, and characters that will make you laugh, cry and ask yourself why.

I don’t know what I was expecting but I thoroughly enjoyed The Headhunters Race. Once you begin reading you go right into the gruesome details of how life in Dead Man’s Pen is for all its residents. I found it interesting that Kimberly Afe did
Chelsea Moreen
Mar 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-not-buying
3,5. The concept of this story is interesting and I liked the main character most of the time but she had some moments. I think that the reason I gave it 3.5 stars is that the story was squashed down but it was still really good. I'm excited to continue with the series.
Erisha (Bookaholic Reads)
Mar 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review-books
*I received this novel in exchange for an honest review*
Read full review at:


My Opinion:

The Headhunters Race was a fast pace dystopian/ sci-fi book. It was an enjoyable read and definitely entertaining. The protagonist of this book, Avene, had confidence in herself and she was determined in any task received. The theme of trust and friendship was portrayed throughout the book which is a major issue today in society. Avene's strength and courage ma
Pete Tarsi
Jan 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult, dystopia
A teen in a place she doesn’t want to be, kept there against her will. A society existing after some devastating event, but governed by a corrupt leader. A deadly contest, where the teen’s life hangs in the balance numerous times. All the while, she wants to take down the leader.

That generalized plot synopsis may sound like many other YA dystopian tales, but the specifics of The Headhunters Race by Kimberly Afe make it a hidden gem among the genre, and one that I highly recommend.

Our protagonist
Feb 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
I liked this book a lot! I admit that at first I was pulled in by the cover, it sort of had this piratey feel to it and thought that it was going to have swashbuckling action with pirates or even better assassins and then when I read the summary I was double intrigued.

Although it seemed a little short to me, it was full of action and was well paced, there wasn't any part where I thought it dragged on, nor did it have any boring parts. It had an interesting concept about the Kill Plague and canni
 Soph - Lock&Key

Okay I'm gonna be really harsh here but....

This was completely and utterly a Hunger Games try hard, I could not get past it, could not enjoy it because the similarities were too much for me.

So let's talk about these similarities:

First the plot - prisoners trying to win a challenge to earn their freedom and a higher place in society ? A big Hunger games check right there. Okay, so I will admit that the setting was a bit different, and the circumstances, as in she chose to go in the race instead o
Avene has been in prison as a conspirator in the death or her mother for three years even though she had nothing to do with it her step brother did. The prison where Avene has spent the last three years has been a fight every day for food and to stay alive. Every year a race is run that the prisoners get a chance to compete racing to find her brother who ran away to bring him back in hopes of getting out of prison. It’s a risky race through harsh territory and cannibal are around every corner. ...more
Yu Xuan
Feb 04, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of The Hunger Games
Shelves: arc, ya, dystopia, sci-fi

I got this an ARC from Goodreads

A simple and extremely quick read.

This story is basically about inmates who can enter a race and if they are first, they will earn freedom. Or if they come second place, they'll get upgraded to a leisure prison thing-o.

In this dystopian world, I wish there was actually info dumping so I knew what was going on. Like what is the Killing Plague and how does the government work? I would like more descriptions about the prison.
The book as a whole felt really rushed
Mar 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Exciting new YA sci-fi/ distopian that’s fresh and futuristic!

Full of twists and turns ‘The Headhunters Race’ is an action-packed, thrilling adventure story that takes you on a fantastical magical journey. I was enthralled by the creative, vivid settings and in-depth world building that took this genre to new heights. I literally sat glued to the pages engrossed within this spectacular novel for hours on end…not wanting to it to end! Highly readable and incredibly addictive this compelling book
I really liked The Headhunter's Race when I first started reading it. I thought the premise was interesting, and the set up was good. The reading flowed easily and I was excited about it. Avene sounded like an awesome kick-ass strong heroine who is bent on revenge and freedom and will stop at nothing to get her chance.

About halfway through the book I started getting really bored. This is definitely a "journey book" and each time they kept back tracking or getting more survival issues or being ki
Feb 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
See full review at my blog

Who has read hunger games and loved the book, will love Headhunters Race. It is amazing book, which makes you be on edge the whole time while reading it. It is quite short and that was my main disappointment in it. It was less than 200 pages and I really wanted to know more about that world. The one and only similarity with hunger games is the race. But not in its concept. While tributes were chosen in Hunger Games, to participate in the r
May 26, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I appreciate YA dystopias that actually deliver on the ugliness of the world in which the story takes place. Series like The Selection and Shatter Me take the label but are essentially frilly stories about pretty people doing pretty things in a world that, for pretty dumb reasons, is slightly less than okay. On the other hand, The Headhunters Race is nasty. The dystopia is actually physically present around the characters who resort to actions that would make most people shudder. Avene and her i ...more
Jul 09, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I received this book as part of a goodreads givaway.

Wow... I love this book!

The headhunters race is about an innocent girl called Avene who was sentenced life in prison. All prisoners were given the opportunity to win back their freedom by winning a race through forests, deserts and cannibal territory.

This is the shortest book I have read in a very long time and I was able to read it in only one sitting. However, it didn't feel short at all. It was jam-packed full of action and suspense. This bo
Apr 11, 2014 rated it liked it
This is an okay read. It's entertaining and it flows pretty quickly from one thing to the next. As reasonably mindless, action filled entertainment goes, it's good.

Obviously, it's going to most of the same places that the Hunger Games have already gone, from the violent contests to the use of food to control people, so in that sense it's not doing anything wonderfully original.

Things that bothered me slightly more: You've got a protagonist who is supposedly this expert with knives, but who stil
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Addicted to Novel...: The Headhunters Race by Kimberly Afe 2 13 Feb 28, 2014 09:54PM  

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Kimberly is the mother of two awesome kids, wife of the nicest man in the world, and her dog's best friend. She works by day and writes middle grade and young adult science fiction and fantasy novels in her spare time. She lives with her family in the beautiful Sonoran Desert.
“Keep to yourself. Once you show kindness, people WILL take advantage of you.” 1 likes
“She said if anyone ever double-crosses you, especially if it’s a friend, you have every right to stomp their guts and leave them with little breath.” 1 likes
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