The Hunt – Andrew Fukuda

Instead of the traditional humans turning into zombies storyline that wipes out humanity, humans are facing extinction from a vampire-ish majority that crave a diet of the few remaining true humans called hepers.  The story opens with Gene, a heper doing his best to blend in at school by adopting the habits of the perverse form of humans.  Heper scent is enough to cause his classmates to salivate uncontrollably while the smell of human blood makes them frenetic.  One wrong step and he’d be eaten alive.  There are very few hepers left.  The few in captivity will be released in a Hunt, where seven lottery winners will get the honor of chasing the hepers down and devouring them.  Wouldn’t you know, Gene and his girl crush, Ashley June, are among the lucky few chosen to go on the Hunt.  Disguising his heper identity will be impossible as the lottery winners are confined to the Heper Institute for training in the days before the Hunt.

The action never stopped!  Brilliantly written, opening with the story of a kindergarten girl who made the mistake of attending school only to be discovered on her first day and devoured by classmates.  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.  This will be a huge hit – several copies will be needed in school libraries to meet demand.  Highly recommended.

NetGalley review    Publication date  5.8.12

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