Review copy provided by publisher
Simon & Schuster, February 2013
Synopsis- For Gene and the remaining humans—or hepers—death is just a heartbeat away. On the run and hunted by society, they must find a way to survive in The Vast… and avoid the hungry predators tracking them in the dark. But they’re not the only things following Gene. He’s haunted by the girl he left behind and his burgeoning feelings for Sissy, the human girl at his side.
When they discover a refuge of exiled humans living high in the mountains, Gene and his friends think they’re finally safe. Led by a group of intensely secretive elders, the civilisation begins to raise more questions than answers. A strict code of behaviour is the rule, harsh punishments are meted out, young men are nowhere to be found—and Gene begins to wonder if the world they’ve entered is just as evil as the one they left behind. As life at the refuge grows more perilous, he and Sissy only grow closer. In an increasingly violent world, all they have is each other… if they can only stay alive.
Review- The Prey is the second dystopian novel in The Hunt trilogy by Andrew Fukuda. I really enjoyed the first novel, The Hunt because it was written from a male perspective and I really liked the world the author created and the challenges the characters faced. Unfortunately, The Prey didn’t have the same impact on me.
After escaping the ‘duskers’ or vamps or zombies or whatever they are called, Gene is on the run… well on the water… with fellow ‘hepers’ (a.k.a humans) Sissy, Epap, Jacob and Ben and are fighting to stay alive. They have to be smarter and faster than the duskers who are evolving and becoming more audacious in their hunt for human blood.
Following the vague messages left by the Scientist, Gene and the gang stumble into a village they hope to be the Land of Milk and Honey- the paradise the Scientist talked about. But the village is actually a mission and has very unusual regulations that begin to unnerve the newcomers. Firstly, the mission is predominantly female, many of the young women are pregnant, they have small feet and the men running the place give out ‘merit points’ for good citizens. Once five merit points are received the lucky person gets put on the next train to “Civilisation.”
Gene and Sissy are suspicious of the mission and seek to uncover what’s really going on and what their purpose is. When they discover their group will be setting off on the next day’s train to this so-called civilisation they plan their escape. But their plan is interrupted by a kidnapping, the revelation of the Origin and the impending herd of duskers closing in on the mission. Gene must decide whether to leave his friends behind and follow the path that leads to his father or help Sissy save the innocents of the mission.
Fukuda certainly creates an interesting world and a notable writing style… but The Prey almost felt like it was a completely separate book to The Hunt with a different setting, less appearances by duskers and the absence of Ashley June.
I’m not always a fan of first viewpoint, but I think it works in this series because it amps up the immediacy of the situation by placing the reader in the present moment as the challenges unfold for Gene. However, it means that it’s difficult to connect with the secondary characters as we only know as much as Gene does. I wanted to connect with Sissy and I liked that she was determined and passionate, but I couldn’t really picture her and I didn’t think the relationship development between her and Gene was very believable. I just didn’t get the chemistry like I did with him and Ashley Gene. She seemed a bit too much like a sister- pun intended.
I liked the world Fukuda created and after the first book I wasn’t too fussed about the lack of explanation for how it came about, I’m not really a details-oriented person but I’m sure for other readers this is of great importance. Fukuda takes to explaining the origin of the world and the dusker species through a lot of dialogue and information dumping and I felt it slowed down the pace of the story at times. In fact there was too much dialogue and strategising and not enough action- something the first book had in abundance.
The Prey was a letdown for me in some of the aspects mentioned above but I am still curious enough about what will happen next to read the final book in the trilogy- especially since there’s a bit of a cliff-hanger. I’d like the Scientist to finally reveal himself, I’d like Ashley June to re-enter the story, I want the group to get the hell away from that creepy mission and not return and I’d like more action! The Prey isn’t a brilliant sequel but it’s enough to whet the appetite for an anticipated finale.
“It was okay”
The Prey can be purchased from Fishpond and other leading book retailers.