The Prey by Andrew Fukuda
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.
*Scratches wrist* I absolutely loved The Hunt book one in this trilogy and was excited to begin The Prey. My plan was to read a few chapters and then continue with another ARC I was reading. Not! Fukuda plunges us right back into the tale and the pacing and world building held me captive and I literally consumed this in a few hours. This is such a terrifying and original tale. Fukuda is brilliant and I can barely wait for the final book.
The tale begins exactly where the Hunt ended and we are on the river with Gene, Sissy and the other hepers. They travel in search of the “Land of Milk and Honey” that the scientist; Gene’s father described to them. These six become a family and look out for each other. They find clues left for them by the scientists, and make their way into the mountains where they discover a utopia of sorts, led by a group of elders. Together Gene and Sissy try to discover more about Gene’s father and the “origin” everyone is so insistent they have. They quickly discover all is not what it seems and the tale that unfolds is absolutely riveting.
We really get to know Gene and the other six in this tale now that they are away from the Hunters. Sissy is strong, firm in her conviction and mother to the other boys from the Dome. I loved her leave no man behind philosophy. Each of the six draws on and uses lessons that were taught to them by Gene’s father, “the scientist”. Gene struggles to come to terms with his father’s abandonment and his loss of Ashley Lynn. Fukuda really captured Gene’s struggle to acclimate to both the verbal and emotional expressions of the others. For years he learned to show no emotions and a few times he expressed himself by scratching his wrists. At times he struggled with their noise levels and sought solitude. The Elders and townsfolk were fascinating right down to their laws. Some of the character’s had a creepy robotic feel to them and it was fascinating getting to the underbelly of this community and its inhabitants. There is love, loss and sacrifice and Fukuda makes us feel all of it through these fleshed out characters.
I love world-building and my only complaint for book one was that I wanted to know more of how and why. Fukuda satisfied my quench in this middle book as he deliciously delivers the how and why and it felt genuine and downright creepy. We are provided clues as to direction this tale will take, and a horrifying glimpse of the dangers we will face as they journey on their quest. The tale flowed wonderfully with twists and turns that kept me from setting the book down. Sissy and Gene are very important to this tale, and I found their relationship to be sweet and endearing. We learn what the “origin” is and I cannot wait to see how he ties everything together in the final book. The tale leaves us on edge with another tremendous cliffhanger and startling revelation. I screamed and shouted why and then squealed with delightful in anticipation of the outcome. Thankfully the final book will be released in Sept of 2013 and I have every confidence that it will be epic.
Five cups of Colombian roasted coffee out of five
Today’s Stops on the Fiery Hot Reads for Ice Cold Nights Hop