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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda review

So this was one of those books that I read in like a day and a half and my first thoughts on it were "wow, freaking awesome" and then it went to "wait a minute, that would never happen" and then back to "wow, freaking awesome" again.
There are a lot of wtf moments in this book (elbows and armpits anyone?)but overall I really liked it and can't wait to read the next one.
Some things about the book really bothered me, like the fact that our protagonist never figures out his crush is a human until almost the end of the book. Seriously dude? The rest of us knew it the moment she asked them to roll down the car window cuz she couldn't see! 
And don't get me started on the debate I had with myself this morning in the shower....it went a little something like this: "ok, so if he has to hide every human aspect of himself, what does he do if he gets an erection during the day" and "there is no freakin way someone could go their whole life without yawning,coughing, or getting the hiccups or a pimple" and "what the hell does he do if he gets sick when the vamps never do" and then my last thought was "why is he even trying to go to school and blend in with the vamps when he could totally just ditch everybody and chill in his house?"
Okay, so maybe I overthink things, but there were a lot of gaps that should have been filled. Like I said, I still thought the concept was pretty awesome and I can't wait to read the next book, but I think I will go on with my life now and stop trying to dissect every aspect of it's flaws.

My rating: 3.50 out of 5 stars

The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda

The Hunt begins with us learning that Gene is one of the only humans still alive in the world.  We are never taken into how the vampires came to be the majority, but are told that the remaining "hepers" (humans), live in a Dome that is dawn/dusk time controlled to protect them for study, although really it is that they are to be used as a type of vote-getting tool for the Ruler when his approval rating falls and he holds a Heper Hunt.
     Gene's father was bitten 7 years ago and his mother and sibling were killed many years before that.  His father trained him to be like the vampires to blend in: never smile or show emotion, never let them see you sweat, bathe frequently to keep the human stench off you, never show any twitches or yawn, always keep all body hair shaved, keep your "fangs" polished and looking new.  He has succeeded so far, blending into high school and just trying to survive by keeping under the radar, although his very popular classmate Ashley June, has shown interest in him.
     When the Ruler announces a Heper Hunt to take place by a lottery, Gene is announced as one of the winners along with Ashley June.  They are taken to the Institute to be trained for the Hunt, where they meet The Director, Frilly Dress (the Director's backup, kind of reminds me of a chubby Effie Trinket), and the other hunters: Phys Ed and Abs (both students at another school), Gaunt Man, Beefy, and Crimson Lips.  As you can tell we never learn their actual names, but this is what our protagonist calls them throughout the book.
     Gene is made to stay out in the library since it is crowded in the main hall, although we later find out it is because this is all a publicity stunt and he is expected to be the winner since he is one of the only eloquent contestants who can talk to the press afterwards and help write a book about the hunt so he is kept seperate.  He starts to get a human smell because there is no water around, but realizes he can bathe in the pond inside the Dome during daylight hours when no vampires will see him.  He meets the other hepers during this time (although they start to attack him first, thinking he is a weird vamp who can come out in the day).  Their leader is named Sissy, and there are several others including a little boy named Ben, and Sissy's backup, Epap.  Gene chooses to make out like he is just a human who has learned to survive around the vamps and doesn't reveal any facts about the hunt.  After spending the day with them he goes back to the library and discovers a beam of light leading to a book by "The Scientist".  It has one blank page in the middle of the book.
     The Director tells the hunters that the hepers are going to be given weapons to make the hunt more memorable including knives, daggers, and FLUN's (high powered flashlights that can burn the vamps).  It is a  consensus that this will not matter since the vamps are so much faster than humans.  The vamps are also given a few different items to give them advantages over the other hunters, including FLUN guns, sun protective cloaks, and sunscreen.  One of the vamps (Beefy) makes a break for the dome with his sunscreen to try to eat the hepers while the Dome is down, but he is melting and Gene grabs him before he can get to them and then he is just a pile of goop.  Gene also saw Ashley come outside and run toward the Dome but when he finds her suncloak he sees that there is no goop and when he looks toward the library she is standing there exposed in sunlight and they realize they are both humans.
     They become allies to try to figure out a way to get out of the hunt since they will be exposed as hepers (their lack of speed and distaste for human flesh will give them away).  Their plan is to release the autolocks on the Institution where the paparazzi and media are staying so that when the hunt begins all hell will break loose with ALL vamps running after the hepers instead of just the hunters and they will be lost in the midst.  This plan fails miserably when Gene returns to the library on the night before the hunt and realizes it is to begin from the library.  All the hunters and the Director are inside the library, and when the beam of sunlight that leads to the book gets in Gene is exposed as a human.  He manages to get away and runs to the Institute to find Ashley, who is in the process of shutting down the autolocks.  Phys Ed puts on a suncloak and just makes it to the Institute before he becomes a gooey mess, but his screams awaken all the vamps in the building and they smell Gene's blood from a cut and come after him.
     Ashley saves him by cutting her own arm and leading the vamps away so he has a chance to make a break for it, and she jumps into a type of manhole where they first saw a heper emerge when they came to the Institute during a type of desensitizing process where the hunters where tied to posts around an arena while the old male heper ran around the arena and gathered food that had been set out for him (he was killed when Gaunt Man used a hidden knife to saw through his straps and came after him).
     Gene runs to the Dome and finds a note in the food tube from Ashley stating that he must find the other hepers (they have been led to believe the Dome has malfunctioned and they must move to another place that day, although all it's actually to keep them out of the dome before it rises so the hunt can begin) and bring them back as bait so he can come rescue her while the vamps are distracted, so he finds a horse and carriage that was left outside and takes off after them.
     He finds them and starts to bring them back but the hunt has already started and they are forced to stand their ground and try to fight.  The Director has come after them also since he is pissed that he was made out as a fool to believe that Gene was ever a vampire.  They escape by the skin of their teeth using the FLUN guns and knives, but Ashley had already disengaged the autolocks on the Institute before the chaos started so now they have a whole herd of vamps after them.
     They use the map in the scientists book(the blank page was a map revealed only in sunlight so vamps couldn't see it) to find the river a few hours away and make it to the boat on the map.  They are safe in the boat since vamps can't swim and the book ends with Gene feeling heartbroken for leaving Ashley Jude in the manhole and not being able to go back for her.  He also goes to get a sketchbook for one of the people in the group while they are cooking in the daytime and starts flipping through the pages.  It is mostly portraits of all the group members of the hepers, but he stumbles across one labeled "The Scientist" (who the hepers loved dearly since he was human like them and had promised to one day get them out of the Dome).  It turns out the rendering of the scientist is his father.  END OF BOOK 1.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

This book begins with a description of how love has been decided on as a disease, and at everyone's 18th birthday they are forced to undergo a procedure to cure them of the "deliria".  Lena is almost at her 18th birthday and cannot wait to undergo the procedure to prevent the contagion of deliria, since she saw what it did to her sister and mother.  Lena has always been told that her mother killed herself when Lena was 6 by jumping off a cliff near their home due to her strong feelings for Lena's father who passed away.  Her mother underwent 3 different procedures to cure the deliria but they never took hold.  We later find out that Lena's mother is still alive and has been kept imprisoned in the Crypts ( a type of jail/asylum where they keep everyone who is seen as a "sympathizer" to those with deliria or who have it themselves).
     Lena meets a boy by the name of Alex, and begins talking with him because she thinks he is cured. She begins falling in love with him, though she doesn't really realize that's what's happening, and he eventually tells her that he was never cured, and the scars on his neck that represent the procedure were inflicted by the Invalids (ppl who live outside protected cities) so he could come live in the city out of the Wilds.  Lena is angry at him for lying to her and tells him to leave her alone.
     Hana is Lena's best friend who talks Lena into going to a party where Uncured people will be.  There is unapproved music at the party but Lena loves the sound although she won't admit it.  Later Hana tells Lena that she is going to another party but Lena is scared to go and stays home.  There is a raid that night so Lena runs off to warn Hana so she won't get caught and Lena herself is injured at the party by the regulator's, but Alex comes to her rescue and from that point on Lena is hopelessly in love with Alex.
     Lena tells Hana about Alex after Hana discovers him sneaking it to see Lena at her work and Hana becomes an ally to help Lena see Alex from then on.  They find an abandoned house on the outskirts of town and it becomes their meeting place.
     Lena is matched with another boy after her test, and the boy comes by to see her and tells her that he was in love with another at one point in time too but that things will be better and she will forget Alex after the procedure.  Alex is standing nearby and hears this.  He walks away, thinking Lena has chosen to have the procedure after all, but Lena goes after him and finally declares her love. This is the point where Lena describes something her mother had and Alex tells her he thinks she is still alive, although when they go into the Crypts they discover her mother recently escaped. At the abandoned house she is captured and taken hostage in her home.  She finds out they have planned to move the procedure up by a week, and although she had planned to run to the Wilds with Alex, she now can't get word to him that it's planned for sooner than expected so she sends Hana with a message to put in the fist of The Governor (the statue she used to run by in her marathon's with Hana) in hopes that Alex will find it and rescue her.
     He does come to rescue her, and Lena takes off with him on a motorcycle with regulators in pursuit.  The fence Alex and Lena used to go into the Wilds where Lena could see it wasn't bad a couple weeks prior has now been electrified, so Alex tells her to jump at the last second and they are going to ram the bike into the fence to short circuit it.  It works and Alex tells Lena to climb the fence and run, but when she looks behind her he isn't following and she sees that he has blood all over him and has been shot.  The last thing she sees is Alex mouthing the word run and the regulators swarming over him.  END OF BOOK 1

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Fuse by Julianna Baggot

     Fuse begins where Pure, the first novel in the series, left off (see previous blog for summary of that book).  Pressia is with Bradwell and El Capitan, while Partridge is with Lyda being protected by the Mothers.  They are on the run hiding the vials to help with the cure from Willux.  Bradwell has been able to get one of the Black Box machines to become a kind of pet named Fignan, and Fignan gives them facts about anything in the universe they want to know, while also being a secret-keeper with information on how to bring down the Dome and Willux, which they are able to decode by using the names of the Seven.  This gives them the information they need to realize they must get to Ireland to a dome located there. Hastings (one of the Special Forces agents) helps them until they are overtaken by Dusts near an amusement park. The kids living inside the park save Hastings, Pressia, El Capitan, and Bradwell, and they turn out to be the very same kids who Bradwell was trying to help escape the OSR's training program.
     They figure out that there is an airship located in old world Washington DC in the Capitol building and they steal it to make it overseas to Ireland and the Dome there. They are forced to crash land the plane when a tear gets into one of the air valves. Bradwell stays with El Capitan since he has a concussion from the crash, and Pressia continues alone.
     In the meantime, Partridge has turned himself in to the Dome and his father because his father released mechanical type spiders into the wastelands with bombs attached and threatened to kill everyone if he did not return.  Once inside, he is kept hostage by his stepmother Mimi and her daughter Iralene, although Iralene eventually helps him escape, where he takes up residence with his former teacher Mr. Glassings to become the leader of the group known as Cygnus to take down his father. Partridge eventually turns himself in to his father in order to get "in the loop" to figure out a way to destroy him.  When he turns himself in, his father has Arvin Weed (Partridge's old friend but now the resident surgeon) perform a surgery on Partridge's brain which makes him forget everything that happened outside the Dome during his time in the wastes. 
     Lyda has chosen to stay behind in the wasteland to live with the mothers since she feels this is what she was destined for. She later discovers that during their one tryst, she has become pregnant with Partridge's child, and when the mothers find out they are adamant that they believe he raped her, since all men are "deaths" and they storm up to the Dome, determined to kill Partridge. Lyda runs to the front so they will stop and is captured by Special Forces and taken to a holding cell.  Small bits of Partridge's memory has been coming back to him, and when he sees Lyda in the cell he sends Iralene with a paper snowflake to give to her, to let her know he hasn't forgotten her and he still loves her.  Partridge then goes to see his father. Iralene has now told him that his father plans to kill him and have his own mind implanted in Partridge's body, since his own body is disentigrating due to the enhancement drugs (hence why he is after Pressia to try to get the vials and formula to cure himself, but when he realizes he is going to die before he finds her he then chooses to take over Partridge's body).Iralene has given Partridge a poison capsule, and when Partridge pretends to kiss his father goodbye he spits the poison into his dad's mouth.
      Meanwhile, after getting into a tangle (no pun intended) with some Evil Dead type vines, Pressia manages to reach the Dome in Ireland and Fignan shows her that he is indeed a key because he opens up a box with the complete formula for the cure in it.  Pressia then discovers another scientist at this Dome, who turns out to be one of the original Seven.  Since she doesn't know who's side he is on, she runs (finding a horse in the Dome) and goes to find Cap and Bradwell, who are close to death, having become entangled by the evil vines themselves.  Pressia cuts them loose but Bradwell is about to die from blood loss from the thorns in the vines, so she injects part of one of the vials into the birds on his back.  He is healed, but the birds have morphed into giant wings now, so Bradwell is kind of like a giant butterfly,angel, bird thing with six sets of huge wings sticking out of his back, and the airship is still not fixed so we have no idea how they are going to get back home.  END OF BOOK 2