The hunt by Andrew Fukuda

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Simon and Schuster, 2012. ISBN 9780857075413.
(Age: 14+) Recommended. Reluctant readers. 17 year old Gene has survived against all odds in a world where humans are regarded as prey to be eaten. Known as hepers, the humans are on the verge of extinction and Gene has had to use all his ingenuity and intellect to stay alive. Forced to hide his emotions and his scent, he has hidden himself in plain sight, going to school and pretending to fit in. But when a heper hunt is organised and he is selected to be one of the hunters, things begin to fall apart. He has to hide his true nature and pretend to be part of the hunt.
This was a really exciting, original and thrilling story, that kept me on the edge of my seat for the whole book, one which I devoured in almost one sitting. Fukuda built up the suspense to an almost unbearable pitch, moving Gene from one danger to another as he grappled with the horror of the Hunt. The thought of humans being eaten almost to extinction is an appalling one, but one that kept me thinking as well.
Although it is an action driven story, at the same time, the author was able to give the reader an insight into the feelings of a young man who for the first time since the death of his father, begins to interact with other humans, and who realises that he may have to take some responsibility for other people. Two strong young women, Ashley June and Sissy, are exceptionally competent and their depth of character adds greatly to the story.
A sticker on the cover states, 'If you love The Hunger games, you'll love this' and that is certainly true. Fans of the Maze runner series will also enjoy it. It is sure to appeal to both boys and girls for its unique story line and brilliant plot . I can't wait for the second in the series. A book trailer is available.
Pat Pledger