From the Publisher
Praise for The Hunt series by Andrew Fukuda
“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
“Full of suspense and intrigue…the combination of postapocalyptic/dystopian setting and vampires is fresh and gripping. The characters are well developed, and Fukuda captures Gene's struggle to determine his sense of worth and identity after leaving his vampire life behind.” – School Library Journal
“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)
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—A sequel to The Hunt (St. Martin's Griffin, 2012). After narrowly escaping from the Dome/Heper Institute, Gene, Sissy, and the gang are fighting to survive on the river while being pursued by vampire hunters. Guided by directions from the Scientist, they are hoping to reach "The Land of Milk and Honey, Fruit and Sunshine." Making their way into the mountains, the group discovers a solitary settlement, a sort of utopia called "The Mission." Governed by the elders, life at the Mission is regimented and controlled, especially for girls, but everyone appears happy and content. This regulated society and a nonexistent threat from duskers cause Gene and Sissy to realize that things are not what they seem. Looking for the truth puts them at risk and their lives are again in danger. The action-packed plot is full of suspense and intrigue. The combination of postapocalyptic/dystopian setting and vampires is fresh and gripping. The characters are well developed, and Fukuda captures well Gene's struggle to determine his sense of worth and identity after leaving his vampire life behind.—Donna Rosenblum, Floral Park Memorial High School, NY
Out of the vampire-hunting-ground frying pan into the freakish-religious-cult fire. Gene, Sissy and the boys aren't free of the bloodsuckers yet. Their thrilling escape from the hunting compound at the conclusion of The Hunt (2012) brought them to a serendipitous boat; now they rocket down the river as the monstrously strong vampires pursue them by night. Will their quest lead them to the promised Land of Milk and Honey, Fruit and Sunshine? A hidden village of generous, well-fed, happily singing villagers seems to glow with all the hope of their promised paradise. But all is not well in this compound: Gene worries that Sissy is forced to stay apart from both the boys and the village's eerily cheerful and heavily pregnant girls. As further evidence of wrongness, the village's charismatic leader has "smooth, effeminate" skin, and he and his henchmen are "all blubber and liquid fat"—clear indicators of his untrustworthiness and the general air of sexual violence. The standard creepy-cult-compound chapter of many a dystopian series is enhanced by a fast-paced escape sequence, peppered with the grotesqueries that mark Fukuda's vampire mythos. A few mysteries are solved, only to reveal further puzzles, and it all wraps up with a cinematic cliffhanger. A lengthy interlude in creepsterville, with the promise of a return to gory thrills. (Science fiction. 14-16)
Read an Excerpt
WE THOUGHT WE were finally free of them but we were wrong. That very night, they come at us.
We hear the pack of hunters mere minutes before they reach the riverbank: gritty cries flung into the night sky, coarse and sharp like glass shards crushed underfoot. The horse, nostrils flaring and eyes rolling back, rises from the ground with a start. Muscles fused together, it gallops away with ears pulled back, the whites of its eyes shining like demented moons, into the vast darkness of the land.
We grab our bags, the six of us, flee to the docked boat on legs that judder under us. The anchoring ropes are taut, and our shaking fingers are unable to loosen them. Ben trying to quiet his own whimpers, Epap already standing on the boat frozen with fear, head tilted toward the sound of their approach. Tufts of his hair stick up like surrendering arms, mussed from a slumber into which he was never supposed to slip.
Sissy hacks away at the ropes. Sparks fly off the blade as her strokes become swifter, more urgent with every passing second. She stops suddenly, blade held aloft. She’s staring into the distance. She sees them: ten silver dots, racing toward us down a distant meadow before disappearing behind the rise of a closer hill. The hairs on my neck freeze into icicles, snap and break in the wind.
They reappear, ten mercury beads cresting the hill with unflinching purpose. Silver dots, mercury beads, such quaint terms, my futile attempt to render the horrific into the innocuous, into jewelry accessories. But these are people. These are hunters. Coming to sink fangs into my flesh, to ravage me, to devour and savage my organs.
I grab the younger boys, push them aboard the boat. Sissy is hacking at the last rope, trying to ignore the wails screeching toward us, slippery and wet with saliva. I grab a pole, ready to start pushing off as soon as Sissy’s cut the rope. With only seconds to spare, she saws through the rope, and I push the boat into the river’s current. Sissy leaps on. The river wraps around us, draws us away from the bank.
The hunters gather on the riverbank, ten-strong, grotesque spillages of melted flesh and matted hair. I don’t recognize a single one of them—no sign of Crimson Lips, Abs, Gaunt Man, the Director—but the desire in their eyes is all too familiar. It is the impulse more powerful than lust, an all-consuming desire to devour and consume heper flesh and blood. Three hunters leap headlong into the swift river in a futile effort to reach us. Their heads bob once, twice, then sink harmlessly away.
For hours the remaining hunters follow us along the banks. We try not to look at them, affixing our eyes on the river and the wooden planks of the deck. But there’s no escaping their screams: full of unrequited lust, a keening despair. The four Dome boys—Ben, David, Jacob, and Epap—huddle in the cabin for most of the night. Sissy and I stay at the stern, guiding the boat with the long poles, keeping well away from the bank. As dawn approaches, the cloudy sky grows lighter in slow degrees. The remaining hunters, instead of becoming more languid with the approach of sunrise and the inevitability of death, only scream louder, their rage intensifying.
The sun rises slowly and glows dully from behind black clouds. A filtered, diffused burn. So the hunters die gradually, in degrees, horrendously. It takes almost an hour before the last bubbled scream gurgles away and there is nothing left of them to see or hear or smell.
Sissy speaks for the first time in hours. “I thought we’d journeyed far enough. Thought we’d seen the last of them.” It is only morning, and her voice is already spent.
“It’s been sunny,” I say. “Until the storm yesterday.” The rain and clouds had turned the day as dark as night and allowed the hunters to set off hours before dusk and reach us.
Sissy’s jaw juts out. “Better not rain today, then,” she says and walks into the cabin to check on the boys.
The river surges forward with propulsive insistence. I stare down its length until it fades into the distant darkness. I don’t know what lies ahead, and the uncertainty numbs me with fear. A raindrop lands on my forehead, then another, and another, until rainwater lines down my neck and along my goose-pimpled arms like protruding veins. I gaze up. Dark, turgid clouds shift, then rip open. Rain buckets down in dark, slanted bands. The skies are coated as black as a murder of crows at midnight.
The hunt has only begun. The hunt will never end.
Copyright © 2013 by Andrew Fukuda