What if the world isn’t dominated by humans?
I guess that’s the initial question the author asked himself before writing this intense and gripping novel. In almost all paranormal books humans are the common species and then there are other being around, knowingly or not. Very often these “others” have to hide from humans or at least blend in. The world created by Andrew Fukuda in Hunt differs tremendously from these common settings as the vampires rule society and human beings are all but extinct. I guess that happens if you smell compellingly like the best food ever invented.
I loved that this book is written out of a teenage boy’s point of view. It was interesting getting to see his thoughts and how he approached problems. The boy’s name is Gene, although this isn’t revealed until very late into book as he had nearly forgotten his own name. Individuals in his society have assigned numbers instead of a personal name. In contrast to everyone else Gene is human and he has to hide this fact otherwise he will end up as someone’s snack faster than you can say vampire. Also, Gene is completely on his own. His family is gone, presumably dead. This is the situation at the beginning of the book and I was glued to the pages. It’s enthralling to read about this strange world, what the rules are and how a teenager is trying to survive in very hostile environment. By the way, I couldn’t actually figure out if the setting is on Earth in a dystopian-like scenario or if it’s actually a place somewhere else. Which also brings me to point out that I would have liked some more world-building in general. You get an idea of the society and how it’s structured but a lot of things stay unclear and I think the story would benefit from some more details.
Vampire hunts humans – but what if you are human yourself … and hiding it?
Gene is casted for an official hunt on humans and in contrast to all the vampires he, obviously, doesn’t want to hunt humans! Not only doesn’t he want to kill anybody but most likely he will also reveal his own human status throughout the hunt. That’s the whole dilemma. To me this is a fascinating premise.But how human is Gene still? He didn’t have any contact with humans in years. He almost forgot his own name. Actually when he finally comes in contact with human beings, he kind of treats them quite badly. The whole part about getting ready to hunt with the other participants was a bit tedious to read, a lot of details about all the other hunters but little action itself.
Being human or survival – or both?
There is the additional challenge of Gene being fascinated by another hunter. I liked this story line. He is interacting with somebody and for the first time behaves almost like a normal teenage boy. But suddenly a lot of things happen and the pace picks up immensely. There is so much happening at the end of the book that I was once again glued to the story. There is also a fascinating titbit of information right at the end, a real cliff-hanger. Well placed. And though the book isn’t perfect, I will so pick up the sequel. I want to know what will happen to Gene and … I can’t tell you whom else I’m curious about, but there are others. I also hope that the vampires will be characterised more differentiated in the next book as this part felt a bit flat here. Otherwise a well done start to a new paranormal/dystopian/fiction series.