The Hunt (The Hunt #1)
St Martin's Griffin
May 8, 2012
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There used to be more like him, but now, he seems to be the only one left.
Following his father's rules and a set of careful daily grooming rituals he's been able to avoid detection, but when the ruler calls another Heper Hunt - where the people hunt a captive, bred and raised group of those who, like him bleed, and need water to survive it's all put in danger His elaborately constructed charade is in danger of collapsing after he's chosen to be a hunter.
Can he make it through this alive?
The Hunt twists the usual idea of a vampire story on its head. Instead of the vampires hiding in the shadows and being the outcasts of society, their lives in danger if people ever found them out, it's other way round. There's even more of a twist in The Hunt, actually, in that the creatures we would think of as vampires - those with fangs who can't go out in daylight, drink blood are referred to as people and those who we'd think of as the people are instead the 'other,' the minority and are called hepers.
(I think it's worth noting that while the general 'vampires are in charge, people are in danger - the old idea is flipped' premise might be similar to The Immortal Rules, the two stories are very different and whether you liked one, didn't or never heard of it, consider the other separately. Though, I love that they are both breathing some new life into YA vampire tales.)
The main character has been working his whole life to fit in, to not stand out, not to draw attention to himself. His father hammered a set of rules into his head over and over while he was still there - what not to do (things that the 'people' don't) and what to do (Never forget who you are) and taught him things to do that would keep him looking - and smelling (or not smelling) like them. We get to see the struggles he has through routine things because of the differences in how the world is not set up - how dark it always is even inside, for instance. But, we also learn a lot about the people and how they function, what they're like through observation, casual remarks about his life.
Once the hunt - and preparation for it - get started we learn more about the society and not only how things are but how they view hepers. A lot of humor comes into play here as well as some potential romance. With the plot being what it is, there's always, at least, some underlying tension - is he going to be found out, isn't he? What about now?
While I absolutely enjoyed learning about the people (vampires) and the hepers (people) and how that current world seems to be, I really would have liked some more character development. Not necessarily for secondary characters (though I did, oddly, find myself feeling more sympathetic towards one of the characters I don't believe was supposed to be that sympathetic), but at least for the main few. The plot seemed to be much stronger than the characters and when the ending was coming up it was hard to connect that much with two of the characters or care.
The ending was quite brilliant and left me so, so anxious to know when the second book in this series!
(And with Darren Shan's vampire series ending with the last The Saga of Larten Crepsley book out - I'll have a review this week or early next - I know someone else I'm going to try to get to read The Hunt.)
Other Books You Might Enjoy: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion and Infinity (Chronicles of Nick #1) by Sherrilyn Kenyon
advance copy received from LibraryThing's Early Reviewers - thank you :)