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The Hunt
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About the Author

Andrew Fukuda works as a criminal lawyer in New York. His first adult novel, Crossing, was selected by Booklist in 2010 as a Top Ten First Novel. The Hunt was his first YA novel, and has been widely-acclaimed.

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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) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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 (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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