The Hunt (Hunt Trilogy Series #1)

The Hunt (Hunt Trilogy Series #1)

4.5 128
by Andrew Fukuda
     
 

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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

Overview

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?

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—The human race is almost extinct, replaced by vampirelike monsters. These so-called "people" have superstrength and speed, quickly perish in sunlight, and constantly crave human, or "heper," blood. There are only a few hepers left in captivity, or so they think. In reality, there is at least one living in plain sight: Gene, who conceals his identity by wearing fake fangs, washing constantly to hide his scent, adopting people mannerisms, and hiding his superior intelligence and inferior strength. He lives on the edge, knowing that the smallest mistake could cause him to be torn to pieces by his classmates. Then a Heper Hunt is announced. A few select people will be chosen by lottery to hunt the last hepers; whoever gets the most blood wins. Unlikely as it seems, Gene is chosen for the hunt and is pulled out of his relatively safe existence. The plot is fast paced and gripping, and readers will find themselves quickly turning pages as Gene learns secrets about the government, his fellow hunters, and the remaining hepers, all while struggling for survival. There are some minor inconsistencies. For example, people supposedly have a limited emotional range; however, this idea is belied by relationships and conversation that seem remarkably similar to human society, with popular cliques in the school and traditional family units. Still, strong writing distinguishes The Hunt from the legions of teen dystopian novels and with both a plot twist and a cliff-hanger at the end, readers will be left salivating for the next installment.—Eliza Langhans, Hatfield Public Library, MA
Publishers Weekly
In this terrifying and inventive adventure, Fukuda (Crossing) turns the vampire novel inside out by featuring a protagonist who’s “only human” in a world where bloodthirsty, nocturnal predators reign supreme. Seventeen-year-old Gene is a “heper,” one of a near-extinct breed of humans, forced to maintain an extensive routine (betraying no emotions, avoiding sweating, shunning friendships, etc.) to blend in with his classmates, who would devour him on the spot if they knew the truth. When he’s chosen by lottery to participate in the last great Heper Hunt, his masquerade and very life are at stake. Only unexpected allies, like the beautiful Ashley June and the hepers he’ll be hunting, may give him a chance to survive. The word “vampire” is never used, with the novel’s two races presented as an alternative product of parallel evolution in a blend of science fiction and horror. With an exciting premise fueled by an underlying paranoia, fear of discovery, and social claustrophobia, this thriller lives up to its potential while laying the groundwork for future books. Ages 12–up. Agent: Catherine Drayton, InkWell Management. (May)
From the Publisher

“With razor-sharp prose, a genius plot, and a searing pace that will have you ripping through the pages, Fukuda creates a dark and savage post-apocalyptic world where humans are nearly extinct and love manages to bloom despite all the odds stacked against it. An exceptional novel--I can't wait for the sequel!” —Alyson Noël, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Immortals Series

“One of the most brilliant, original books I've read in a very long time. This is the kind of book you'll want to stay up with all night to finish!” —Richelle Meade, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Vampire Academy series

“A book that grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go. The Hunt is both terrifying and sublime, with every page evoking that fragile, yet unyielding thing we call humanity.” —Andrea Cremer, New York Times bestselling author of the Nightshade Trilogy

“Chilling, inventive, and utterly unputdownable. Readers, proceed…if you dare. This book will bleed into your nightmares.” —Becca Fitzpatrick, New York Times bestselling author of Hush, Hush

“In this terrifying and inventive adventure, Fukuda turns the vampire novel inside out…With an exciting premise fueled by an underlying paranoia, fear of discovery, and social claustrophobia, this thriller lives up to its potential while laying groundwork for future books.” —Publishers Weekly

“The story is bona fide creepy, and as it builds to its cliffhanger ending (which delivers quite a good twist), readers will be torn between hoping Gene can maintain the ruse and that he will take on the bloodsuckers already. As revolutions go, this one is well worth keeping on your radar.” —Booklist

“Fukuda takes the feeling of isolation that dominates adolescence and builds a world around it in a novel where the tension rarely slackens. He turns up the violence a notch from THE HUNGER GAMES with language that is as graphic as it is eloquent. Readers will hanker for answers as they'll discover a kindred spirit in Gene, who so eloquently describes the feeling of being an island in the middle of a vast ocean.” —Maximum Shelf

“I was blown away from the first chapter all the way to the end. Fukuda did an excellent job turning the world of vampirism upside down. Wonderful descriptions, great imagination and very tight characters. If you love vampire worlds, then read this book. You will not want to put this one down!” —Night Owl Reviews (Reviewer Top Pick)

“Utterly disturbing, dark, twisted, but incredibly fascinating at the same time. It was a ride like nothing else I've read before. Gene was a smart and sharp hero I loved to follow! And the ending was incredible with a cliffhanger that will leave you hanging and wanting more - right now! If you are up for a thrilling ride then go and get The Hunt!” —Bewitched Bookworms

The Hunt was fast paced and awesome, propelling me forward with each new twist. It was dark, gritty, and intense. Gene was a dynamic character, while the surrounding characters were insanely creepy. They were ruthless, and it was perfect. And the ending? Just right!” —The Passionate Bookworm

“Action-packed, heart-pounding, page-flipping action. I’m thoroughly in love. The Hunt is a riveting, thrilling read — definitely one of my favorite books of 2012 so far. I can’t wait to get my hands on a sequel, even if I have to wait a year for it.” —YA Reads

“This book was hard to put down. I kept thinking about it when I wasn't reading it! I just love this new world Mr. Fukuda created.” —Milk and Cookies

“I loved every minute of The Hunt! I couldn't put it down. It's horrific, terrifying, gruesome, and inspiring. A story of survival, loss, and sacrifice that had me reading late into the night and early into the morning. If you haven't already added The Hunt to your TBR I highly recommend it.” —Paperblog

“An insane adventure sure to have your heart racing.” —Page Turners

“Great book. The Hunt is at once intriguing and frightening. It's twisted and dark with just enough hope that it kept me on my toes and turning the page. I can't wait to see what happens in the series because it should be interesting!” —I'm Loving Books

“Andrew Fukuda has given us a vampire version of THE HUNGER GAMES. . . one of the creepiest novels I have ever read. Gene is a beautiful character. Seeing his feelings really made this story for me . . . a must read.” —I Heart YA Books

“I fell in love with this book. I'm just going to say all the huge cliché things right now, because they express my sentiments exactly... ‘I couldn't stop turning the pages,' ‘I was up reading all night,' ‘I didn't want the story to end' and ‘I CANNOT WAIT TO READ THE SEQUEL!'” —Taming the Bookshelf

“Very unique. This book is a standout. Andrew Fukuda has some good and original ideas. This series will only get better with each sequel.” —Poetry to Prose

“The action never stopped! Brilliantly written, the author weaves the story of Gene and his lonely, isolated life, and his desperate fight to blend in that is literally a fight for survival. The book ends with an interesting puzzler, meaning much more to come in the next installment. Highly recommended.” —YA Lit Ramblings

“With a last line that will leave you stunned you will immediately want to hunt down Andrew Fukuda and demand to know what happens next. This book definitely deserves four stars!” —The Book Vortex

“An intense ride and an exciting start to a new series.” —Love YA Lit

“Violent, intense and absolutely captivating. I highly recommend this. I will definitely be reading the sequels!” —Rex Robot Reviews

“One of the best vampire books I've ever read! This is a breath of fresh air within the genre…. Definitely makes my best of 2012 so far list. If you're looking for something fresh to read within the paranormal and dystopian genres, The Hunt is for you.” —Birth of a New Witch

“Fast-paced and exciting...Andrew Fukuda does a wonderful job of blending traditional vampire lore with cool and new ideas. Even if you aren't a fan of vampire stories, you should give this a try. The Hunt is definitely unique.” —Karin's Book Nook

“This book was fascinating. . . you'll want to read Gene's story.” —This Blonde Reads

“If the Hunger Games were taken over by vampires, this would be the result. A perfect blend of horror and YA fantasy, The Hunt sets a whole new bar for vampire novels. With incredible suspense, drama, ethical dilemmas, and a bit of romance – it's completely riveting. I loved every minute of this fast-paced, thrill ride. Don't miss this one.” —SciFiChick.com

“One heck of a rollercoaster ride. So good!” —Good Choice Reading

“A fascinating thriller starring two fabulous protagonists...fast-paced and filled with chilling action. Fans will appreciate joining Gene as he tries to avoid becoming the prey of The Hunt.” —Alternate Worlds

The Hunt keeps you in your seat and demands you stay there. With the constant threat of heart-pumping danger and imminent death, the characters only grow closer and stronger. Shining like a beacon of humanity in a very dark and scary world, I highly recommend this book.” —Teen Librarian's Toolbox

“Andrew Fukuda managed to surprise me. I can't wait to see how it continues in the next book.” —Fighting Dreamer

“Fast paced, horrifying and delicious! The Hunt is a brilliant new series…steeped in horror and riddled with tension and fear that left me spent and wanting more. I highly recommend. One of my favorite reads for 2012.” —Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda was completely out of this world! One of the best novels I've had the pleasure to read in a long time.” —The Book Faery

“… the perfect blend of the Hunger Games and vampires, and that ending just begs for a sequel!” —Reading, Writing, Breathing

“A thrilling, nonstop ride that I couldn't set down. The Hunt for sure is my favorite vampire novel this year.” —Tina's Book Reviews

“This dystopian stands out from the rest. The reader will be thrown into the story from page one and unable to put the book down…one of the best male characters I have had the chance to read about. A refreshing change.” —Live to Read

“Excellent…fantastic and truly top-notch. I highly recommend checking The Hunt out!” —Hippies, Beauty and Books, Oh My!

“Intense, violent, and captivating…Gripping right from the very start…a refreshing approach to the already familiar vampire genre. Readers will instantly be hooked and they'll devour it no time.” —JeanBookNerd.com

“Fukuda is a master of mental fear and he truly wrote a story that will scare you deep to your core.” —Books and Beyond

#1 New York Times bestselling author of the Immort Alyson Noël

With razor-sharp prose, a genius plot, and a searing pace that will have you ripping through the pages, Fukuda creates a dark and savage post-apocalyptic world where humans are nearly extinct and love manages to bloom despite all the odds stacked against it. An exceptional novel--I can't wait for the sequel!
#1 New York Times bestselling author of the Vampir Richelle Meade

One of the most brilliant, original books I've read in a very long time. This is the kind of book you'll want to stay up with all night to finish!
New York Times bestselling author of the Nightshad Andrea Cremer

A book that grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go. The Hunt is both terrifying and sublime, with every page evoking that fragile, yet unyielding thing we call humanity.
VOYA - Johanna Nation-Vallee
Gene lives in constant fear for his life. One slip in his carefully maintained facade and the high school student will be devoured. Gene is a "Heper" among "normal" people: he does not drink blood or sleep hanging from the ceiling. He can go outside in the daylight. Every day he struggles to hide his humanity and deflect attention from himself. When chosen by lottery to join a special "hunt" for the few remaining Hepers, Gene finds himself torn between his instinct for survival and his yearning for true friendship and love. From page one, Fukuda draws the reader into a fast-paced, suspenseful narrative of suspicious coincidences, unanswered questions, and building action. Clearly, there is more to the hunt than meets the eye, but the reader is as much in the dark as Gene. As The Hunt is to be the first installment in a series, few of the novel's mysteries are solved by the final chapter; however, readers will enjoy a twist revealed in the concluding paragraphs that likely will lay the groundwork for Fukuda's next book. In addition to fans of vampire fiction, this book will appeal to readers who enjoy survivalist stories, as well as a broader population of students drawn to action and adventure. Boys in particular will enjoy The Hunt and look forward to the next installment in Fukuda's series. Reviewer: Johanna Nation-Vallee
Kirkus Reviews
If the world is full of vampires, how do the humans survive? Gene's a heper: one of the disgusting endangered species that sweats, can't see in the dark and don't have fangs. He's lived this long by disguising himself as a real person, never smiling or laughing or napping where he can be seen; gobbling bloody raw meat with his classmates; showing a stoic, expressionless face at all times. Appearing emotionless is trickier than usual when the nation announces a Heper Hunt. Every citizen of the nation will be entered into a lottery, and a lucky few will be selected to hunt the last remaining hepers to the death. When Gene is selected (of course Gene is selected), he's terrified: Training with the other lottery winners at the Heper Institute, he'll have no opportunity to scrub off the sweat, body hair, plaque and other evidence of his vile human nature. If the vampires realize there is a human among them, he'll be torn to pieces before he can blink. Luckily, Gene seems to have an unlikely ally at the Institute: Ashley June, a classmate of his who has secrets of her own. While the worldbuilding is thin and frequently nonsensical, this grotesque and bloody construction of a vampire world will appeal to readers who've been craving gore over romance with their vampires. Perhaps the sequel will bring the illogical parts together. An attempted twist on The Hunger Games. (Paranormal adventure. 13-15)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781250008565
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
05/08/2012
Series:
Hunt Trilogy Series , #1
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
367,232
File size:
305 KB
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

The Hunt


By Andrew Fukuda

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2012 Andrew Fukuda
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-250-00856-5



CHAPTER 1

There used to be more of us. I'm certain of this. Not enough to fill a sports stadium or even a movie theater, but certainly more than what's left today. Truth is, I don't think there's any of us left. Except me. It's what happens when you're a delicacy. When you're craved. You go extinct.

Eleven years ago, one was discovered in my school. A kindergarten student, on her first day. She was devoured almost immediately. What was she thinking? Maybe the sudden (and it's always sudden) loneliness at home drove her to school under some misbegotten idea that she'd find companionship. The teacher announced nap time, and the little tyke was left standing alone on the floor clutching her teddy bear as her classmates leaped feetfirst toward the ceiling. At that point, it was over for her. Over. She might as well have taken out her fake fangs and prostrated herself for the inevitable feasting. Her classmates stared down wide-eyed from above: Hello, what have we here? She started to cry, they tell me, bawl her eyes out. The teacher was the first to get to her.

After kindergarten, when you're free and clear of naps, that's when you show up at school. Although you can still get caught by surprise. One time, my swimming coach was so enraged by the team's lethargic performance at a school meet, he forced all of us to take a nap in the changing room. He was only making a point, of course, but that point near did me in. By the way, swimming is fine, but don't do any other sport if you can help it. Because sweat is a dead giveaway. Sweat is what happens when we get hot; water droplets leak out like a baby drooling. I know, gross. Everyone else remains cool, clean, dry. Me? I'm a leaky faucet. So forget about cross-country, forget about tennis, forget about even competitive chess. But swimming is fine, because it hides the sweat.

That's just one of the rules. There're many others, all of them indoctrinated into me by my father from the time I was born. Never smile or laugh or giggle, never cry or get teary-eyed. At all times, carry a bland, stoic expression; the only emotions that ever crack the surface of people's faces are heper-cravings and romantic-lust, and I am obviously to have nothing to do with either. Never forget to apply butter liberally all over your body when venturing out in the daytime. Because in a world like this, it's a tough task explaining a sunburn, or even a suntan. So many other rules, enough to fill a notebook, not that I ever felt inclined to write them down. Being caught with a "rulebook" would be just as damning as a sunburn.

Besides, my father reminded me of the rules every day. As the sun was going down, over breakfast, he'd go over a few of the many rules. Like: Don't make friends; don't inadvertently fall asleep in class (boring classes and long bus rides were especially dangerous); don't clear your throat; don't ace your exams, even though they insult your intelligence; don't let your good looks get the better of you; no matter how the girls might throw their hearts and bodies at you, never give in to that temptation. Because you must always remember that your looks are a curse, not a blessing. Never forget that. He'd say all this while giving my nails a quick once-over, making sure that they weren't chipped or scratched. The rules are now so ingrained in me, they're as unbendable as the rules of nature. I've never been tempted to break any of them.

Except one. When I first started taking the horse-drawn school bus, my father forbade me from looking back at him to wave good-bye. Because people never do that. That was a hard rule for me, initially. For the first few nights of school, as I stepped onto the bus, it took everything in me to freeze myself, to not look back and wave good-bye. It was like a reflex, an insuppressible cough. I was just a kid back then, too, which made it doubly hard.

I broke that rule only one time, seven years ago. It was the night after my father staggered into the house, his clothes disheveled as if he'd been in a tussle, his neck punctured. He'd gotten careless, just a momentary lapse, and now he had two clear incisions in his neck. Sweat poured down his face, staining his shirt. You could see he already knew. A frenzied look in his eyes, panic running up his arms as he gripped me tight. "You're alone now, my son," he said through clenched teeth, spasms starting to ripple across his chest. Minutes later, when he started to shiver, his face shockingly cold to the touch, he stood up. He rushed out the door into the dawn light. I locked the door as he'd instructed me to do and ran to my room. I stuffed my face into the pillow and screamed and screamed. I knew what he was doing at that very moment: running, as far away from the house before he transformed and the rays of sunlight became like waterfalls of acid burning through his hair, his muscles, his bones, his kidney, lungs, heart.

The next night, as the school bus pulled up in front of my house, steam gushing from the horses' wide and wet nostrils, I broke the rule. I couldn't help myself: I turned around as I stepped onto the bus. But by then, it didn't matter. The driveway was empty in the dark birth of night. My father was not there. Not then or ever again.

My father was right. I became alone that day. We were once a family of four, but that was a long time ago. Then it was just my father and me, and it was enough. I missed my mother and sister, but I was too young to form any real attachments with them. They are vague shapes in my memory. Sometimes, though, even now, I hear the voice of a woman singing and it always catches me off guard. I hear it and I think: Mother had a really pretty voice. My father, though. He missed them terribly. I never saw him cry, not even after we had to burn all the photos and notebooks. But I'd wake up in the middle of the day and find him staring out the unshuttered window, a beam of sunshine plunging down on his heavy face, his broad shoulders shaking.

My father had prepared me to be alone. He knew that day would eventually come, although I think deep down he believed it was he who would be the last one left, not me. He spent years drilling the rules into me so I knew them better than my own self. Even now, as I get ready for school at dusk, that laborious process of washing, filing my nails, shaving my arms and legs (and recently, even a few chest hairs), rubbing ointment (to mask the odor), polishing my fake fangs, I hear his voice in my head, going over the rules.

Like today. Just as I'm slipping on my socks, I hear his voice. The usual warnings: Don't go to sleepovers; don't hum or whistle. But then I hear this rule he'd say maybe just once or twice a year. He said it so infrequently, maybe it wasn't a rule but something else, like a life motto. Never forget who you are. I never knew why my father would say that. Because it's like saying don't forget water is wet, the sun is bright, snow is cold. It's redundant. There's no way I could ever forget who I am. I'm reminded every moment of every day. Every time I shave my legs or hold in a sneeze or stifle a laugh or pretend to flinch at a slip of stray light, I am reminded of who I am.

A fake person.

CHAPTER 2

The Heper Lottery


Because I turned seventeen this year, I'm no longer mandated to ride the school bus. I walk now, gladly. The horses — dark, gargantuan brutes that came into favor long ago for their game-finding ability but are now consigned to pulling carriages and buses — can detect my unique odor. More than once they've swung their noses in my direction, singling me out, their nostrils gaping wide, like a wet, silent scream. I much prefer the solitude of walking under the darkening dusk sky.

I leave home early, as I do every night. By the time I walk through the front gates, students and teachers are already streaming in on horseback and carriages, gray shapes in a murky blackness.

It is cloudy tonight and especially dark. "Dark" is this term my father used to describe the nighttime, when things get covered over in blackness. Darkness makes me squint, which is one reason it's so dangerous. Everyone else squints only when eating something sour or smelling something putrid. Nobody ever squints just because it's dark; it's a dead giveaway, so I never let so much as a crease cross my brow. In every class, I sit near the mercurial lamps that emit the barest suggestion of light (most people prefer gray-dark over pitch-black). That cuts down on the risk of an inadvertent squint. People hate those seats near the lamps — too much glare — so I can always find a seat by one.

I also hate getting called on in class. I've survived by blending in, deflecting attention. Getting called on in class puts the spotlight solely on me. Like this morning, when I get called on by the teacher in trig class. He calls on students more than anyone else, which is why I detest the man. He also has the puniest handwriting ever, and his faint scribbles on the board are near impossible to see in the gray-dark.

"Well, H6? What do you think?"

H6 is my designation. I'm in row H, seat 6: thus my designation. My designation changes depending on where I am. In my social studies class, for example, I'm known as D4. "Mind if I pass on this one?" I say.

He stares blankly at me. "Actually, I do. This is the second time in a week you've done this."

I look at the blackboard. "It's got me stumped." I resist trying to make out the numbers on the blackboard, afraid I might accidentally squint.

He closes his eyelids lightly. "No, no, I won't accept that. I know you can do it. You always ace the exams. You can do this equation in your sleep."

Students are now turning to look at me. Only a few, but enough to make me nervous. Including the person in front of me, Ashley June. Her designation in this class is actually G6, but in my mind I've always called her Ashley June. From the first time I saw her years ago, that designation has stuck.

She turns around, looks at me with her opulent green eyes. They seem comprehending, as if she's at last caught on: that I've often gazed longingly from behind at her lush auburn hair (the magnificent, dazzling color!), wistfully recalling its silky feel in my hands so many moons ago. She holds my gaze, surprise lighting in them when I don't flick my eyes away the way I've been doing for years now. Ever since I sensed her interest in me, ever since I felt a pull in my own heart tugging toward her.

"H6?" The teacher starts tapping the chalk on the board. "Give it a shot, come on now."

"I really don't know."

"What's gotten into you? This is basic stuff for you." He peers at me. I'm one of the smarter students in school, and he knows that. Truth is, I could easily be the top student if I wanted to — grades come that easily to me, I don't even have to study — but I deliberately dumb down. There'd be too much attention at the top. "Look here. Let's work together on this. Just read the question first."

Suddenly the situation has intensified. But nothing to panic over. Yet.

"Guess my brain's not quite awake yet."

"But just read the question. That's all." His voice now holds an edge of sternness.

Suddenly I don't like this at all. He's beginning to take it personally.

More eyes start to peer back at me.

Out of nervousness, I begin to clear my throat. Then catch myself. Just in time. People never clear their throats. I breathe in, forcing myself to slow down time. I resist the urge to wipe my upper lip where I suspect small beads of sweat are starting to form.

"Do I need to ask you again?"

In front of me, Ashley June is staring more intently at me. For a moment, I wonder if she's staring at my upper lip. Does she see a slight glisten of sweat there? Did I miss shaving a hair? Then she puts up an arm, a long slender pale arm like a swan's neck arising out of the water.

"I think I know," she says, and gets up from her seat. She takes the chalk from the teacher, who is taken aback by her forthrightness. Students don't usually approach the board uninvited. But then again, this is Ashley June, who pretty much gets away with whatever she wants. She gazes up at the equation, then writes with a quick flourish in large letters and numbers. Moments later, she's done and adds her own check mark and an "A+" at the end. Dusting off her hands, she sits back down. Some of the students start scratching their wrists, as does the teacher. "That was pretty funny," he says. "I like that." He scratches his wrist faster, demonstrably, and more students join him. I hear the rasp rasp rasp of nails scratching against wrists.

I join them, scratching my wrists with my long nails, hating it. Because my wrists are defective. They don't itch when I find something humorous. My natural instinct is to smile — smiling is this thing I do by widening my mouth and exposing my teeth — and not to scratch my wrist. I have sensitive nerve endings there, not a funny bone.

A message on the PA system suddenly sounds over the loudspeakers. Instantly, everyone stops scratching and sits up. The voice is robotic, man-female, authoritative.

"An important announcement," it blares. "Tonight, in just three hours at two A.M., there will be a nationwide Declaration made by the Ruler. All citizens are required to participate. Accordingly, all classes held at that time will be canceled. Teachers, students, and all administrative staff will gather in the assembly hall to watch the live broadcast from our beloved Ruler."

And that's it. After the sign-off chimes, nobody speaks. We're stunned by this news. The Ruler — who hasn't been seen in public in decades — almost never makes a TV appearance. He usually leaves Palatial and other administrative announcements to the four Ministers under him (Science, Education, Food, Law) or the fifteen Directors (Horse Engineering, City Infrastructure, Heper Studies, and so on) under them.

And the fact that he is making a Declaration is missed by no one. Everyone starts speculating about the Declaration. A nationwide Declaration is reserved for only the rarest of occasions. Over the past fifteen years, it's happened only twice. Once to announce the Ruler's marriage. And second, most famously, to announce the Heper Hunt.

Although the last Heper Hunt occurred ten years ago, people still talk about it. The Palace surprised the public when it announced it had been secretly harboring eight hepers. Eight living, blood-filled hepers. To lift morale during a time of economic depression, the Ruler decided to release the hepers into the wild. These hepers, kept under confinement for years, were fattened and slow, bewildered and frightened. Cast out into the wild like lambs to the slaughter, they never had a chance. They were given a twelve-hour head start. Then, a lucky group chosen by lottery were permitted to give chase after them. The Hunt was over in two hours. The event generated a surge in popularity for the Ruler.

As I walk to the cafeteria for lunch, I hear the buzz of excitement. Many are hoping for an announcement of another Heper Hunt. There is talk of a lottery for citizens again. Others are skeptical — haven't hepers become extinct? But even the doubters are drooling at the possibility, lines of saliva dripping down their chins and under their shirts. Nobody has tasted a heper, drunken its blood, feasted on its flesh, for years now. To think that the government might be harboring some hepers, to think that every citizen might have a shot at winning the lottery for the Hunt ... it sends the school into a tizzy.

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 imagined 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. I'd wake up screaming, inconsolable even as my father wrapped his arms protectively around me in a strong hug. He'd tell me everything was all right, that it was just a dream, that it wasn't real; but what he didn't know was that even as he spoke, I'd hear the lingering sounds of my sister's and mother's wretched screams echoing in my ears, spilling out of my nightmares and into the darkness of my all-too-real world.

* * *

The cafeteria is packed and boisterous. Even the kitchen staff are discussing the Declaration as they scoop food — synthetic meats — onto plates. Lunchtime has always been a challenge for me because I don't have any friends. I'm a loner, partly because it's safer — less interaction, less chance of being found out. Mostly, though, it's the prospect of being eaten alive by your so-called friend that kills any possibility of shared intimacy. Call me picky, but imminent death at the hands (or teeth) of a friend who would suckle blood out of you at the drop of a hat ... that throws a monkey wrench into friendship building.

So I eat lunch alone most of the time. But today, by the time I pay for my food at the cash register, there's barely a seat left. Then I spot F5 and F19 from math class sitting together, and I join them. They're both idiots, F19 slightly more so. In my mind, I call them Idiot and Doofus.

"Guys," I say.

"Hey," Idiot replies, barely looking up.

"Everyone's talking about the Declaration," I say.

"Yes," Doofus says, stuffing his mouth. We eat silently for a while. That's the way it is with Idiot and Doofus. They are computer geeks, staying up into the wee hours of the day. When I eat with them — maybe once a week — sometimes we don't say anything at all. That's when I feel closest to them.

"I've been noticing something," Doofus says after a while.

I glance up at him. "What's that?"

"Somebody's been paying quite a bit of attention to you." He takes another bite into the meat, raw and bloody. It dribbles down his chin, plopping into his bowl.

"You mean the math teacher? I know what you mean, the guy won't leave me alone in trig —"

"No, I meant somebody else. A girl."

This time, both Idiot and I look up.

"For real?" Idiot asks.

Doofus nods. "She's been looking at you for the past few minutes."

"Not me." I take another sip. "She's probably staring at one of you."

Idiot and Doofus look at each other. Idiot scratches his wrist a few times.

"Funny, that," Doofus says. "I swear she's been eyeing you for a while now. Not just today. But every lunchtime for the past few weeks, I see her watching you."

"Whatever," I say, feigning disinterest.

"No, look, she's staring at you right now. Behind you at the table by the window."

Idiot spins around to look. When he turns back around, he's scratching his wrist hard and fast.

"What's so funny?" I ask, taking another sip, resisting the urge to turn around.

Idiot only scratches his wrist harder and faster. "You should take a look. He's not kidding."


(Continues...)

Excerpted from The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda. Copyright © 2012 Andrew Fukuda. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Meet the Author

Born in Manhattan and raised in Hong Kong, ANDREW FUKUDA currently resides on Long Island, New York. After earning a bachelor's degree in history from Cornell University, Fukuda went on to work as a criminal prosecutor in New York City. He now writes full time.


Born in Manhattan and raised in Hong Kong, ANDREW FUKUDA currently resides on Long Island, New York. After earning a bachelor's degree in history from Cornell University, Fukuda went on to work as a criminal prosecutor in New York City. He now writes full time. He is the author of The Hunt, The Prey, and The Trap.

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The Hunt 4.5 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 128 reviews.
kimba88 More than 1 year ago
The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda is the first in a brilliant new series. Fukuda has created a terrifying world in which vampires rule and humans are almost extinct. I consumed this dark tale in a few hours and it quickly became one of my favorite reads for 2012. Gone are the vampires that sparkle! In Fukuda’s dystopian world we hide among these vicious killers. This tale was fast paced, horrifying and delicious! When the tale begins we meet seventeen year old, human protagonist Gene. He is in high school and trying to blend in. He knows the rules, his father taught him well. One slip and he will be devoured. Gene lives in a vampire world, where the day begins at dusk and ends at sunrise. He has been on his own since his father was bitten years ago. He is brilliant, but is careful not to stand out. Everyday is a challenge and only during daylight hours can he be himself. While at school it is announced that the ruler will address the nation. This causes immediate salivating and mass speculation amount the vampire students. The last time the ruler address the nation was ten years ago, when he announced a Heper Hunt. This is a huge event. Several heper’s (humans) are released into the wild, and a select few chosen by lottery get to hunt and devour them. *Gulp* You guessed it, there will be a new Heper Hunt and Gene as well as Ashley a young girl from his school are chosen to participate. Before Gene can even think, he is whisked away and taken along with seven others to the Heper Institute. Here they go through training, attend galas and prepare for the hunt. The tale that unfolds is splendid, steeped in horror and riddled with tension and fear. I was captivated from page one, quoting the book by chapter three and running to the computer to check for book two’s release date by the end. The ending wasn’t really a cliff-hanger but the last sentence just about blew my friggin mind. I absolutely without a doubt loved the human characters. Fukuda does an extraordinary job of giving them depth and believability. The complications that arise from living in a vampire world are astronomical and his attention to all these quirks was quite enthralling. His depiction of this particular species of vampires and their habits was entrancing. The scene where an adolescent vampire gets her first kiss was both creepy and mind-boggling. Fukuda created a complete language for the vampires. The way they expressed emotions and communicated with each other was fascinating. The vampires themselves are incredibly creepy and at times behaved in an animalist way that I found terrifying. The romance that develops is secondary to the tale, but sweet and genuine. I really connected with these characters. Their hopes, fears and desires became mine. We are giving very little detail about how the world came to be populated almost entirely by vampires and quite frankly I didn’t really care. The world Fukuda creates is unique, original and detailed. Parts of it were horrifying and others made me laugh. I found the education on why Heper’s sing absolutely hilarious. His perception of how another species would perceive us was totally amazing. The Heper’s in captivity emulate humanities ability to survive and adapt. The choices Gene and Ashley must face are extraordinary and kept me completely engrossed. I love when a book consumes you, and this one left me spent and wanting more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got the sample and I loved it. If you love the Hunger Games and Twilight, you will love The Hunt.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well, i got the sample, and it is awrsome! Get the sample from how to survive the hunger games. If you like the hunger games, then this book is perfect.
ClaireFrith More than 1 year ago
The Hunt - dubbed the next big thing for fans of Hunger Games. Perhaps it will be, it has had many a 5 star review. For me, however, it is not. After I finished reading, I went onto Goodreads and read some of the 5 star reviews, and some of the 2 star reviews. As it turns out, all the people who posted 2 and 3 star reviews had the exact same problems with the novel as I did. Vampires dominating a human world. This is not a story about romance, this is a story about survival. But holy smokes, it is ridiculously unrealistic. Now that may sound silly, considering it is a novel about vampires but here is why. Gene, the main character, has been hiding all his life in among the vampires. He can't sweat, he can't clear his throat, he can't get smelly, he can't even have hair on his body or the vampires will discover he is human. How on earth, would anyone be able to pull that off for 17 odd years of their life? I really think that isn't humanly possible. Put that aside, I felt there were so many question left unanswered. Are these vampires dead or alive? They must have a heart-beat or they would have noticed Gene's straight away. They must age right? Do they reproduce? Or did I miss all these important points in my skimming of the seemingly boring parts? Then there are the super weird bits - don't get me wrong, I love to seem how authors portray things differently, but this just seemed even too weird for me. Scratching your wrist instead of laughing? Yeah, maybe. Armpit/Elbow sex? That is just too weird for words. Plus the vampire drool A LOT. Like every other page. That's just gross. But don't take my word for it. I seem to be part of the minority that just didn't enjoy it as much as I should have. Check it out for yourself, and then let me know your thoughts!
epicrat More than 1 year ago
Oh, holy butter, THE HUNT is such a smooth and unputdownable read that I hardly know where to begin with this review. If our world was set in THE HUNT, Andrew Fukuda is like the master of all vampires, and I would gladly crack my neck with excitement because I am absolutely salivating for the next installment! I had said earlier this year that DRINK, SLAY, LOVE was absolute love-at-first-sight, and comparitively THE HUNT rises up to the challenge and proves to be true-love-at-first-bite. Vampires, your comeback is nigh – and I totally LOVE what these authors have done with them! THE HUNT will immediately suck readers into a world where vampires come out on top in regards to survival of the fittest, and Gene may be the last free-roaming human left - although he cannot exactly announce that to the world. The vampires may love humans, but their love is not strictly in the platonic sense. I cannot imagine how hard it is for Gene to hide his humanity and train himself to be unnoticeable among his predators. Gene is quite the intelligent young man, but he realizes that any misstep means certain and unpleasant death. As a person who tends to wear her emotions on her sleeve, I would probably fail epicly in maintaining a cool façade. I do wonder what exactly Gene expects for his life since it seems that he may have a lonely future ahead of him with no particular desire to stir any trouble. Until he gets selected to join the Hunt and comes into contact with the human captives. What Andrew Fukuda brings to the table is a strong and cohesive world where night becomes the new day, and all the characters definitely help to create such an interesting dilemma where readers constantly wonder if there are others like Gene who have lived under the radar and also if higher powers DO know about Gene but choose to keep it quiet. Who exactly is the man behind the curtain? Who is vampire, and who is human? Who can be trusted, and who will stake you in the back? THE HUNT deftly buildS up the suspense into a satisfying yet game-changing conclusion that will leave readers anxious to find out where the series will go in Book 2 – and who will prove fit enough to survive. Deliciously innovative, wholly addictive, and solidly dystopic, fans of LEGEND, The Hunger Games, and DIVERGENT are sure to devour THE HUNT in one sitting, drool to the point of embarrassment, and immediately demand seconds. NOW. Andrew Fukuda has delivered an impressive debut that brings all the tricks to the table, and something tells me that the next installment will be just as well-crafted to perfection.
Leps1824 More than 1 year ago
wish it started a wee bit better however... So The Hunt. The story itself was engaging and at times peaked my interest. However, those times were in the minority. I struggled to get through this book, which I did not expect going in. The Hunt is basically about a teenager (Gene), who has to pretend to be one of these "vampire" like things in order to survive. He believes he may be the last human or "Heper" as they call them, remaining on Earth. Gene has to do remarkable things like not show any facial expressions, not sweat, and not laugh in order to fit in. Things I could never dream of not doing. Eventually Gene gets thrown into this "hunt" where the vamp like things are supposed to chase down some Hepers and devour them for national TV. Gene who is a part of the vamp side, has many issues trying to fit in and keep himself concealed before this event. More things happen and Gene is left to decide to survive or help his own kind. One thing I noticed about the book, that mysteriously annoyed me was how there just weren't exciting characters. By far the characters I was most interested in were "The Hepers" and they were hardly in the book,and when they were, it felt rushed. I had a hard time cheering for Gene or anybody else because they just weren't the type of characters I normally feel anything towards. For books to be successful for me, they need to have at least one character (normally the main one) to either: cheer for, relate to, try and understand, or thoroughly love. I didn't necessarily feel any of that for Gene, and at times cheered against him, based on what he wanted to do. He even disregarded the Hepers as savage like creatures...which didn't make sense to me since he WAS a Heper..I think he was having an identity crisis or something. I know this book is a series so next time around, I'm hoping to meet characters that spark my interest and make me care for the book. Because of Gene's "situation" there was a lot of built in suspense however. I mean I did feel bad for him at times. (There's no way I could not sweat or laugh in some situations). It was just his way of thinking and his mind frame at times that utterly annoyed me. I HATE when books put on their covers things like, "The Hunger Games meets Twilight," or other phrases using other popular books. This book does not have that, but it does have eerily similar paths to some other books. The whole concept of "The Hunt" reminded me of a "Hunger Games" for vampires. Of course in reality, it didn't end up anything like it, just the idea kept popping in my head while reading. At one time, I asked my friend, when are the "games" going to start...so it was clearly messing with me. Thank goodness for the action and the suspense though, without it, I'm not sure I would have made it through the book. This really felt like a "boy book." I say that because it was less romantically inclined, and the characters were very ruthless. I'm sure the hunt would make a great movie, so they probably should of just done that instead, I mean I'd see that movie. I'm not the most critical person when it comes to reviews, and I wasn't exactly feeling this one, so take that in mind if you decide to pick it up when it comes out in May. One more note, there is this really weird sexual technique used once or twice in the book,and it REALLY creeped me out. Like creeped out as in, if that's the way we did things I would avoid pretty much all contact with anyone and anything. Ick.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I heart it if u liked the hunger games u will love the hunt
Truly_Bookish More than 1 year ago
While I know that unputdownable is not a real word, it pretty much describes The Hunt. This book is compulsively readable from the very first page and never slows down. There are so many things to love about The Hunt, I will mention a few of them here: World building: In this dystopian future, vampires rule the world and consider themselves people. Humans, or hepers, are a vampire delicacy and are thought to be extinct except for a few that the government keeps in a facility to study. While some of the vampires mannerisms and lifestyle are familiar (sleeping during the day and awake at night, super fast and strong), Fukuda introduces some charcteristics that are completely different from what readers are familiar with and takes the time to really highlight their behavior (drooling and salivating excessively, scratching their wrists instead of laughing, making out by rubbing their elbows into each other’s armpits). These strange behaviors are one of the reasons that this book is so unique. Well developed characters: Gene is smart and strong but in his need to stay under the radar and blend in with the vamps, he under achieves in school. His real genius is living among the predators without being detected and it is really interesting to see the lengths he goes through to stay safe. While I liked Gene a lot, the most intriguing character is Ashley June, the gorgeous and popular vampire girl at Gene’s school that he has always been attracted to but smart enough to know to stay away from. The vampires: These vampires are the most vicious I have ever seen, working themselves into a slobbering frenzy at the mere mention of human flesh and blood. Yes guys, they eat flesh too and they attack like crazed animals in the wild. These are the scariest vamps I have ever read about. The suspense!: I cannot emphasize how much of a nail biting, edge of your seat read this is. I’m a squeamish reader and honestly, I was creeped out, grossed out and yet I could not put The Hunt down because I HAD to know what happened next. Despite my squeamishness, I raced through the book and am so ready for more! If you like horror, adventure, suspense, tons of action or just highly original and entertaining books, The Hunt is for you. There are some fantastic plot twists and a killer of a cliffhanger ending. I highly recommend it and cannot wait to read the sequel. Content: Kissing and violence
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All in all it was an okay book. Not a big fan of vampires and all. But it sort of seemed like she copied from the Hunger Games with the whole Lottery and hunt. Just my opinion here.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an amazing novel about the challenges of living in a world full of people that could kill you in the blink of an eye. It is full of surprises and will keep you "hungry" for more. A great read. If you like romance, action, adventure, and/or mild violence (not terrible or really all that graphic), then you will love this book! Highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read trilogy on paperbook. AMAZING!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Get the book called "How to survive the hunger games". It comes with an 80 page preview.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put it down
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What ages should be able to read this book?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There were too many inconsistencies and not enough world building/ explaining to get interested while reading this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mythicalreader More than 1 year ago
Wonderful new series. Many twists with a new creative plot. Unusual take on the supernatural world. Can't wait to read the next two books in the series. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DO NOT THINK ABOUT TWILIGHT!!!!!!! IT RUINS EVERYONES PERSPECTIVE OF VAMPIRES!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok here i go! Well this is going ti be weird. So here i go there are many people that needs our help so please help those people stop from bully today . You tell a teacher or an adult that you see aomeone getting bullyed so plaese speak up help those people who are getting hurt today!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
will this book turn into a movie? i think it should because it will do as good as the hunger games and divergent.  if it came out in the theaters, i will go see it. pls make it into a movie.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
GREAT BOOK! BEST VAMPIRE BOOK WITHIN THE LAST THREE YEARS!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really unique story line, it was a little slow at times I thought but over all I enjoyed the book