It has been a long time since I read a book in one night, but Fukuda's "The Hunt" kept me reading into the early hours of the morning, and I didn't resent a single second.
In post-apocalyptic America there are very few humans left and Gene is one of them. He hides openly among the vampires who rule the planet, and with the early help of his father has developed an incredible regime to avoid detection. His routine and survival is threatened however, when he unluckily wins a lottery that places him in a once-in-a-lifetime coveted position as one of the "hunters" of the last remaining hepers (humans). His plan to break his leg just before the hunt doesn't work, and he is forced to train with a bloodthirsty crowd who are growing increasingly suspicious of him.
Readers will love:
The vampires whose characteristics are fresh and intriguing
The fast non-stop action of the story
The twists (and there are a couple)
The (dare I say it?) Hunger Games-like feel when Gene is being pursued and the romance, which I'm not going to tell you about.
Yes, there are a few questions that a critical reader will ask, and a few places where the ability to suspend your disbelief gets stretched a little thin, but overall, I think this is going to be a real winner with my middle school readers. My gut instinct says it will only take one or two signouts before this book is a smoking hot commodity in my library. :-) It's been a while since I felt so certain about a book, and the really surprising thing is that I really, REALLY thought I could not stand yet another book with vampires! I was wrong ... so wrong. Sadly, this is book one but happily, book two is supposed to be out very soon. I'll be in that line-up for sure.
16 year old Gaia Stone lives in a world where some live, as does she, outside the wall, in relative poverty, and some live a privileged existence inside the wall. She has followed in the footsteps of her mother and become a midwife, and is therefore required to "advance" the first three infants she delivers each month, which means take them from their mothers and give them to the Enclave where they will be raised by wealthy families and live a life of luxury. Gaia doesn't question this until her parents are arrested and she must get inside the wall to see her mother. What happens once she is inside the wall makes up the majority of the story.
Birth marked is an exciting read that I will definitely be recommending to some of the grade eights at my school. I think it would be enjoyed by lovers of dystopia as well as those who love a tough female character. Warning: This is not a stand alone story. There are questions left unanswered when this story ends. :-(
Middle School former Teacher Librarian - then MYP math and science. Update... VERY recently retired! Still adjusting that I'm not just on summer vacation!!!
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