Giselle's Reviews > The Hunt

The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda
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Mar 13, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: arc, ebook

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.

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Reading Progress

March 13, 2012 – Shelved
March 13, 2012 – Shelved as: arc
March 13, 2012 – Shelved as: ebook
May 5, 2012 – Started Reading
May 5, 2012 –
12.0% "They scratch their wrists instead of laughing? And I hear they make out with elbows and armpits O_o"
May 5, 2012 –
18.0% "I don't get why he doesn't just get turned into a vampire? Seems like a pain in the ass to stay secretly human, and for what?"
May 6, 2012 –
60.0% "Ewwwwwww"
May 6, 2012 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-43)

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message 43: by [deleted user] (new)

aww almost all of the reviews for this have been great. Sorry you didn't enjoy it. :(

Giselle You find? I see mostly 3 stars and lower from my Goodreads list.

message 41: by Kay (new)

Kay Armpit sex?! What!?
I'm really looking forward to your review of this one, most I have read were greatly positive so it will be nice to have a different opinion.

message 40: by [deleted user] (new)

Giselle wrote: "You find? I see mostly 3 stars and lower from my Goodreads list."

Yeah, i looked through it again and seems mostly 4-5. Armpit sex is pretty damn strange though lol

Giselle It's super weird. Like trying too hard to be creative you know. And yeah I think my friends on here are pickier readers. I used to be able to just read mindless stuff like this but I'm not that type of reader anymore. I need it to convince me, you know.

Rogier bummr
sucks that was a letdown Giselle
i can't wait 4 book2

Christen (GoldiloxReads and Whimsify) Thank god. Yours is only the second review I've seen that talked about how weird this was. I completely agree with everything you said but I was starting to think I was crazy with all the good reviews I kept seeing! The wrist scratching, the jumping on the ceiling, the weirdo armpit sex - just too much. And I felt it very unrealistic that anyone could keep up the pretense of being human for that long. Just unbelievable. I didnt even review the book because I really didn't have anything positive to say.

Lisa {Silverlight} {Paranormal/Urban Fantasy Reviews} I had high hopes for this one, totally have no desire to read this, now. It lost its appeal at armpit/elbow sex!?? Just don't get it!

Giselle @Christen: I often find I'm the black sheep. I'm glad I'm not the only one who didn't like it. A bunch of my friends only gave t 3 stars but 1 and 2 are rarer. Anyways, I reviewed it still because I still think it's best for readers to know why those of us who didn't like it, didn't. But I understand why you wouldn't want to. I always hate reviewing negatively, especially when it's an ARC, but they expect honesty so that's what they get. Plus, reviews are for other readers, not for the author. Wtv, this goes up on the blog tomorrow If they don't like it, tough. :)

@Lisa: Yep, and instead of laughing, they scratch their wrists. And they drool, like all the time.

message 34: by Lexie (new) - added it

Lexie This pretty much expresses my opinion of this book perfectly. I'm so glad I wasn't the only one who didn't adore this.

Giselle Lexie wrote: "This pretty much expresses my opinion of this book perfectly. I'm so glad I wasn't the only one who didn't adore this."

Well it seems we're not alone, Lexie! :) If you just read and not think about it it's pretty entertaining so I can see why so many like it, but I'm just not that type of reader. I gotta be convinced this situation can happen in their world, y'know.

Steph Sinclair These are the same issues I'm having as well. It's interesting, but not very believable.

Giselle Stephanie wrote: "These are the same issues I'm having as well. It's interesting, but not very believable."

I'm looking forward to your review, Steph! I saw you were still reading it.

message 30: by Lexie (new) - added it

Lexie Giselle wrote: "Lexie wrote: "This pretty much expresses my opinion of this book perfectly. I'm so glad I wasn't the only one who didn't adore this."

Well it seems we're not alone, Lexie! :) If you just read and ..."

Agreed. And with some books, even if the world or a basic concept is unrealistic, I can suspend my disbelief and still enjoy it, but when this entire plot was so implausible, it's a bit more difficult.

message 29: by Giselle (last edited May 06, 2012 05:38PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Giselle @Lexie: I mean, sure I can roll with alternate (aka unrealistic for us) worlds, if you make it real in their circumstance - like any fantasy novel. Make your freaky shit work!

@Jilian: I know and the list goes on. No human tics at all are to be made known. And he does live in constant paranoia and awareness of every little movement he does, it's why I couldn't fathom why he just didn't become one of them.

Kristin (Blood,Sweat and Books) Looks like most of the vampires can't control feeding, maybe it wouldn't be so simple to say hey turn me.

message 27: by [deleted user] (new)

wow it does sound strange. I think i might read it though because a lot of people like the fantasy world. When it is a fantasy world nothing is realistic it is a matter of if you like it or not. One of those book you have to test for yourself i guess.

Giselle @Kristin: Well see, this is a world building issue as I could say he could probably go to the people in charge and ask to be turned. We aren't told enough of how it's done. His dad was bitten, so why can't he. I'd find a way. It's better than staying human. Plus, I can't believe he could go on living unnoticed as a human all those years. How often do you cough without wanting to!? I choke on my own spit sometimes. Lol

@Janiera: No nothing in a fantasy world is realistic to ours, but you have to make your world realistic in itself. This one isn't.

Kristin (Blood,Sweat and Books) I can understand that.

Giselle Kristin (Blood,Sweat and Books) wrote: "I can understand that."

I'm glad that you liked it. Really I don't wish a bad reading experience on anybody. This just wasn't the book for me at this point.

message 23: by Kay (new)

Kay Now reading your full review, I'm really convinced I'll be waiting a little to read this one, IF I do read it. I think originality is like everything : too much is as bad as not enough. Complex characters, great writing, logical worldbuilding can do a lot for a book!

message 22: by ♥Rachel♥ (new)

♥Rachel♥ Eeeek!!! And elbow sex?!! What in the flipping heck?! Nicely reviewed, Giselle, and sorry you didn't like it. At least you gave it a try. :)

Giselle @Kay: I felt like he tried too hard to be different and it just came off as weird. Some people loved it though so to each its own.

@Rachel: Yeah, elbow and armpit sex with lots of drooling and bizarre grunts.

message 20: by ♥Rachel♥ (new)

♥Rachel♥ *runs away scared*

Kristin (Blood,Sweat and Books) It definitely seems like a book your either going to hate or like. Seems to have no real middle ground.

Mitch I thought the book addressed your main criticism very well, if Gene tried to become a vampire by revealing himself odds are he'd be eaten first. And his father taught him too well, how to survive, what it means to be human versus vampire for me to believe he'd even want to. But I agree with the world building stuff, although I think Fukuda's doing it intentionally. Or else I'm seeing a deeper plot to this that nobody else is, I dunno.

Giselle "As for the book being unrealistic. Well, it is fantasy. What do you expect?"

I expect a world to be logical. Even in fantasy it needs to make sense, the world needs to make sense under its own confines. That's how you get a reader to suspend disbelief. If you world doesn't have magic, don't just tell me cows can fly. I'm not that type of reader who will just shrug and say "meh it's fantasy I'll roll with it" No... Sorry.

message 16: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Really? I'm just here for the armpit sex. Can someone please tell my why?!? ;-)

message 15: by Giselle (last edited May 10, 2012 12:36PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Giselle Here's an article on it.

Fantasy needs to be realistic in its own world.

Giselle Andrea wrote: "Really? I'm just here for the armpit sex. Can someone please tell my why?!? ;-)"

Lol. Armpit and elbow sex, with lots of drool and grunts. Wonder if hubs would be up for it.

 ☆∞Love Frances∞☆ I loved the book & i must agree there were a lot of silly things. the armpit/elbow sex was ridiculous! u were right, I thought the SAME thing "why not become a vampire?" there was NADA to make staying human worth it. So I am hoping book 2 will show us something to retain humanity for.

Marla I think I struck the weird sex methods from my memory. LOL! Now I remember that, at the time, I had a distinct WTF? look on my face. You bring up some very good points, though, and I am in agreement with you on several of them. Great review. :-)

Marla Another thing that bothered me is that there is no explanation as to how the vampire populace came to be. Are they an evolutionary byproduct? Result of a virus? Were they all bitten in the traditional vampire way? If so, how are there so many since they can't control themselves and devour all humans on sight/smell? I had to stop thinking about it while reading lest I drive myself nuts with it, but I really do wonder.

Giselle Marla (Starting the Next Chapter) wrote: "Another thing that bothered me is that there is no explanation as to how the vampire populace came to be. Are they an evolutionary byproduct? Result of a virus? Were they all bitten in the tradi..."

That's part of why I couldn't believe this world. There wasn't enough information to make it make sense.

Marla Giselle wrote: "Marla (Starting the Next Chapter) wrote: "Another thing that bothered me is that there is no explanation as to how the vampire populace came to be. Are they an evolutionary byproduct? Result of a..."

If I didn't round my reviews up, this one would have been a 2.5 for me. It's books like this, though, that have me considering checking into getting a 2nd set of raters made to go with my design.

Nirunrid Dorndeelerd I completely agreed with your review. I just couldn't bring myself to believe anything at all. Realism is the key to world creating. This is not one bit realistic. Disappointed.

Shaheen Awesome review Giselle :-) I just read this book, and I can't figure out whether Fukuda has set this in OUR world but in the future, or in another world where vampires evolved as the dominant predator. If it's the latter, then assuming that Gene can turn at all may be wrong, just like me wanting to be a dolphin (I wish, but not going to happen).

I also feel that there isn't a lot of sympathy there for humans, it seems all that humanity stands for has been forgotten. I loved the little stupid theories about how humans live and behave though. Makes me think maybe we have some really stupid theories about the creatures in our world.

I'm actually looking forward to book II, but mostly because I want the world history to be clarified.

message 6: by Katie (new)

Katie You had me at armpit/elbow sex.

Quartknee Marla (Starting the Next Chapter) wrote: "Another thing that bothered me is that there is no explanation as to how the vampire populace came to be. Are they an evolutionary byproduct? Result of a virus? Were they all bitten in the tradi..."

I don't understand why you're so obsessed with their origins to the point where it would ruin the story for you. We get fed bits of their history as the plot unfolds and I'm excited to go along with Gene and find that out. These aren't "vampires" as you know them from other stories. They don't need humans to reproduce. They have successive generations that are educated in schools and we get a glimpse of their courtship & mating rituals as the relationship between Gene and Ashley-June is revealed. They are "like us" but so not like us and to me that is intriguing, interesting and compelling enough to enjoy the story on its own terms.

message 4: by Giselle (last edited Jan 30, 2013 10:08AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Giselle Glad you enjoyed it Quartknee. IMO, however, a good book shouldn't need defending, especially when it comes to non existent world building. A good author would have made sure it was conveyed in the book if that was his intended world, in this case it is not, thus it's a lack of world building and/or good writing. Plus the characters were so fucking dumb. He was almost DYING of thirst, never realizing he had a freaking river next to his cottage. #Headdesk

And elbow sex... ELBOW. SEX!

Quartknee Perhaps I just have a lower threshold for world building because I think the world in The Hunt is well crafted for it's target audience. As an adult reader I need more but I don't expect it from things written for teens or children. I often found myself thinking about their society throughout my day as I was away from my reading. I found myself reflecting on how things are different for Gene and how I would act on a bus or train if I were him. To me, that's a sign of good world building and compelling writing. Sure it has its limitations but you take them for what they are and go along with the story. I value intelligence and can't abide by stupid people but I understand that just as there is a range of smarts IRL, there's also a range represented in a story. Hermione Granger's always being right and always knowing things bugged me just as much as Ron Weasley's always being slow and forgetful.

You have to realize this is a first time author of juvenile literature. The offspring in a school setting is easy to relate to for the target audience and a trope that is often employed. I think the nap time incident with the Heper girl and the elbow sex do a lot to "world build" an understanding that these creatures aren't like the humans reading the novel and they aren't creatures like any of the vampires we've come to know before. For me, that's enough to pique my interest about them and I want to know more.

Aidan How do you become a vampire? Didn't look like the predators in this book had any notion of converting the Hepers. I thought the choice was to hide your humanity or be devoured.

Giselle So then where did the vampires come from? If humans can't be turned, where did they come from? It's one question or the other.

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