The Hunt

Andrew Fukuda (The Crossing) takes the feeling of isolation that dominates adolescence and builds a world around it in a novel where the tension rarely slackens.

Seventeen-year-old narrator Gene dares not laugh or cry, or walk into the sunlight. If he did, his secret would be out, and he would be devoured by his neighbors and classmates--literally. Gene is the last heper--human--left in a world of vampire-like carnivores who consider hepers the greatest delicacy. Gene lost his mother and sister when he was too young to remember them. Then his father disappeared. Now Gene must masquerade alone, with only his memories and his father's lessons to sustain him. "Never forget who you are," the man told him. And for Gene, remembering who he is becomes his nightmare: "Every time I... hold in a sneeze or stifle a laugh,... I am reminded of who I am. A fake person." Then the Ruler announces that for the first time in a decade, he will hold a Heper Hunt. Just as Gene discovers there are others like him, he is chosen to be one of the hunters.

Fukuda perfectly captures the excruciating experience of high school, where it feels as if every gesture receives close scrutiny by the entire student body. He turns up the violence a notch from Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games because this society is hardwired to kill the hepers. Since Gene narrates, we know that he must survive, but how he survives is what propels us swiftly through these pages. --Jennifer M. Brown, children's editor, Shelf Awareness

For more on The Hunt, check out our Maximum Shelf.

Powered by: Xtenit