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The Hunt – Andrew Fukuda

Against all odds, 17-year-old Gene has survived in a world where the general population has eaten humans to near extinction. The only remaining humans, or hepers as they are known, are housed in domes on the savannah and studied at the nearby Heper Institute. Every decade there is a government sponsored hunt.
When Gene is selected to be one of the combatants he must learn the art of the hunt – but also elude his fellow competitors as suspicions about his true nature grow…

My copy of The Hunt was an early Christmas present from Simon and Schuster at their December blogger event. To be honest it was the book I was most excited about, but cruel and lovely people that they are, they waited until the very end of the talk and presentation about their upcoming books to give each of us a carefully wrapped package containing one copy each of The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda.

This book will grab you by the throat on the first page with the monstrousness that happens – I will not tell you what it is but it is heart-breaking and wonderful in its savagery. Chapter one will hook you and you will not want to put this book down until you have read every page. I can tell you this because I know it to be true as I started the book on the bus way back in December as I was going to meet friends for a movie and dinner, I can remember everything about that evening as the book was in my pocket, and desire to run home and read it was nigh irresistible! Fortunately I was able to resist this need.
In the world of the Hunt the vampires are humanity’s appetites unleashed – all the things that make us human – restraint, consideration for others, overcoming the desire to have another morsel once our hunger is sated – all those controls are absent. No sparkly, tortured souls that exist in the night these vampires – they are hunger and desire for human blood and flesh unrestrained.

I have heard people I know describe The Hunt as The Hunger Games with fangs – and it is not an inaccurate description, but for me the closest novel that I can compare it to is my favourite vampire novel of all time. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson. Forget the movie versions starring Charlton Heston (The Omega man) and the newer flashier version with Will Smith, which up until the end was not too bad but they bowdlerised the ending – unforgiveable as I Am Legend is a timeless horror classic and now – in my mind at least it has a sequel.

A world where normal means fangs, an aversion to light and an unquenching thirst for the taste of Heper flesh and blood. A world where the few, uninfected that manage to live hidden amongst their predators must deny and hide their humanity to just survive.
For too long vampires have been the pop stars of the literary world, bright, beautiful and desirable. With The Hunt Andrew Fukuda takes them back to their bloody roots as hungry, monstrous beings – humanity’s apex predator! For that I thank him!

If I scored the books I read The Hunt would get a bloody 10 out of 10.

Buy it, read it and then tell your friends and like me you can wait, hungry for the sequel!

Teen Librarian Monthly: April 2012

The April edition of Teen Librarian Monthly is now available to download: click here: tlmapril2012

Prop Competition: Win a Mockingjay Pin

To enter leave a comment about what you enjoy or have enjoyed most about working with young people in your library!


  • This competition is International
  • One entry per person
  • The competition is only open to librarians (in the interests of avoiding confusion: ANYONE that does paid or voluntary work in a library will be classed as a librarian, anybody saying something along the lines of “Only a person with a MA in X can be called a librarian!” will be unceremoniously shushed
  • The Mockingjay Pin will be a putterfly pin version
  • The competition will run until midnight UK time on the 6th May
  • The winner will be chosen with
  • Aimée Carter Interview

    Hi Aimée! For those of us who have not met you would you be willing to give us a short introduction?

    Hi! I’m Aimée, and I wrote the Goddess Test series.

    The Goddess Test is not quite a retelling of Greek myth but rather extending the cycle in a new story that has echoes of the original (which I particularly enjoyed) was it tough to update the gods & goddesses

    Thank you! One of my favourite things to do while writing The Goddess Test was updating the gods and goddesses. While in some ways it was difficult to fit them into our current culture, at the same time I believe they’re universal, which made it easier. I kept their original personalities from the myths as much as I could, and then I thought about how they would need to adapt to modern times.

    Is the world you are building home to other classical pantheons or are your deities the same but reflected differently in other cultures?

    I love this question. In my head, it’s the latter – they have different names throughout history and different cultures, but they’re more or less the same beings. Some of the minor gods in Greek mythology are considered almighty in others, and they’re reflected differently between, say, Roman and Norse mythology. But they’re more or less the same. This is just in the Goddess Test world, of course, but it’s interesting to study the different kinds of mythology in the world and see where they intersect.

    I had a thought that the river that Kate & Ava crossed to get onto Henry’s property was the Styx – am I right and if yes are there any other mythological easter eggs scattered in your story that I may have missed?

    You’re totally right! I believe Chapter 16 is called The River Styx, and while it’s not explicitly stated in the text, that was definitely my intention. There are several mythology Easter eggs scattered throughout the trilogy, little throwaway things that might not mean much to the casual reader, but someone more familiar with mythology might get a grin or a little piece of insight into the story.

    Henry is described as dark, tortured and mesmerising (considering that he is Hades he has good reason to be) – do you think that emo boys are the new objects of attraction in YA lit?

    To be honest, I never really intended for him to be considered emo. He’s really the opposite of emo – very unemotional, at least outwardly. Stoic, quiet, keeps his thoughts and feelings to himself. A lot of times, Kate is the one to hurl emotions at him to try to get something to stick, but Henry has a lot of trouble acknowledging how he feels. And with good reason, for sure.

    I don’t think emo is anything too new on the scene, really, but there is definitely a variety of YA love interests who exhibit classic emo traits. And that’s what I love about YA – there’s something for everyone!

    Tips on Working with Teens: Props are Important

    Props can be broken down into three categories:

    Active, Passive and Inbetween/Interactive props

    Active Props

    Active props are those that you can use to initiate conversation with a teen or group of teens, these can be books, magazines or things as simple as a sign up sheet for a group activity.

    A book is perhaps the easiest and simplest prop to use. If you are new to the library you do not want to go out brandishing a book; the first thing to do is find out where the teens lurk in your library. These days it is usually the Teen/YA area. You need to be in that area before the teens arrive, working not just loitering as (unless you are a teen yourself) hanging around a teen area can give the wrong impression. Once they have gotten used to your presence and started treating yu like part of the furniture you may be able to pick up on their interests and reading habits. The next time they come in to the library you can have a book in your hand that tallies with what you gleaned from their activities previously and when they start chatting you could insert yourself into their conversation with a “If you like that then you may enjoy this!” and showcase the book. Even if they do not take the book you will at least have been able to initiate conversation which can make things easier in future.

    A piece of paper can have many uses, firstly it can be used to take notes after you have said something along the lines of: “Hi I am [insert name here] and I am the new Teen/Youth Services/ Young Adult Librarian and I am hoping to run clubs and activities for young people in the library, what sort of groups would you like to see here?” Then you could either jot down what they say, or give each of them a sheet clearly marked with a space for names and ideas.

    Passive props

    These are generally things that you wear or can have on your desk or around you if you are working in the Teen Area.  They can also be more exciting and in some cases unique.

    The most successful passive prop I own is a Domo-kun lanyard that I used to use to hold my library name badge, there was a massive manga reading group of young people that used to come in and when they saw it they invariably asked where I got it, and, could they have it?







    More recently I have become the proud owner of a Mockingjay pin; now that gets a lot of attention – from teens as well as adults who are in the know, I have received the usual questions as to where I got it and can they have it, not only that but I have created a dystopia novel conversation group in my library based on a single pin (and the multimillion advertising for the movie and the books).
    Hats can work as props, but are more limiting indoors, clothing can also be used but depending on the dress code where you work your mileage may vary!



    In-between or Interactive props

    These are props that fall somewhere between Active and Passive ones, they can include musical instruments, games consoles and even plush furry toys.

    The furry beast is a prop that I used infrequently and mostly when one or more of the kids I worked with were upset – giving I teen a hug is just about acceptable for a female librarian but for a male member of staff it is the sort of thing that can get you reported for improper behaviour, but having something plush for them to cuddle until they feel better is a lot safer all round.


    My ukulele has attracted a lot of attention in my current library as I take it in to practice during my lunch break but games consoles will give you an automatic audience no matter where you are!














    Any number of props can be used to engage with young people, especially if it is something that you are personally interested in or know a lot about.  They do not have to be big or expensive – cheap and cheerful items work just a swell as long as they are eye catching then that is all you need.

    I Hunt Killers – Barry Lyga

    Jasper (Jazz) Dent is a likable teenager. A charmer, one might say.
    But he’s also the son of the world’s most infamous serial killer and for Dear Old Dad, Take Your Son to Work Day was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could – from the criminal’s point of view.
    And now bodies are piling up in Lobo’s Nod. In an effort to clear his name, Jazz joins the police in a hunt for a new serial killer but Jazz has a secret–could he be more like his father than anyone knows?

    I started reading I Hunt Killers on the train home this evening, as the train pulled in to London Bridge Station and a young family walked past my seat I heard a little girl say “Mummy, Daddy I want to hunt killers! I… want… to… hunt… killers!” Her parents glanced at me sideways and carried on off the train taking the future detective with them.

    I Hunt Killers as one of the best covers I have seen this year, well the American version does anyway, the British edition is not out yet. A black and white dust jacket the only colour provided by spots of blood, the cover itself is splashed with blood outlining a white silhouette lightly splashed with directional splatter, it is a thing of gory beauty to behold.

    The true marvel lies within it’s pages, Barry Lyga has crafted a compelling tale of a boy who lives in fear that he may be just like his Dear Old Dad, one of the 21st century’s most prolific and horrific serial killers. Forget Hannibal Lecter and Dexter Morgan, Billy Dent is one of the most terrifying killers I have encountered in literary fictionover the past few years! He is notable by his absence throughout most of the book, but his malevolent influence is felt in every chapter.

    Jazz is a likeable and sympathetic protagonist and we see the story unfolding through his eyes and thoughts. He is kept grounded through the loyalty and humour his best friend Howie and his girlfriend Connie – one of the few people who actually calls him out on often melodramatic and obsessive behaviour. The supporting cast is brilliant, his unpleasant grandmother – made worse by her creeping dementia, the town sherriff who captured Billy several years before, a social worker determined to do what is best for Jazxz whether he wants her to or not and a selection of suspects all mesh together perfectly.

    I Hunt Killers is a brilliant beginning to what I hope is going to be a series of novels, I want to find out more about Jazz’s childhood and tutelage under Billy, and slowly unwrap the layers of mystery that were only hinted at in the pages of I Hunt Killers.

    Crave – Melissa Darnell

    Savannah Colbert is back at Taylorsville High after a life-threatening illness, feeling more like a freak than ever. People are looking at her differently, staring and giggling. Except golden boy Tristan Coleman, who suddenly can’t keep away. Savannah’s falling under his spell.
    But the mysterious Clann, a group of witches with unknowable power and an unbreakable bond to Tristan, are watching.
    Star-crossed by history, Savannah and Tristan have been forbidden since birth. Their love could endanger everyone and everything they know. But the craving has started and can’t be denied…

    Teen angst, unrequited love Shakespearean allusions, secret societies magic and politics wrapped up in a world where the masquerade still holds sway.
    As a straightforward teen romance this tale would still be excellent, but it is so much more. Savannah is a child of two worlds, literally, her parents from opposite sides in a war that has consumed centuries, her very existence could threaten the fragile peace that exists.
    The major players are the next generation of witches who will lead the Clann in the future, but not everybody wants the status quo to be maintained, allegiances are shifting, jealousies are splitting old friendships and there are some who want to break free from the roles that seem preordained for them while others want to reveal themselves and ride roughshod over common humanity.
    In Crave – the first book in a trilogy we only get a taste of this world that Melissa has created, we touch on some of the edges of Witch society and its structures and get a taste of the Vampire Court. Mention is made of other supernatural races and beings.
    This is above all a love story and Savannah and Tristan are written with an electrifying chemistry, but also with the fears and neuroses that all teens have when it comes to love – especially those brought on by secret knowledge and the fact they have a history and different groups of friends who hate each other.

    I enjoyed the teen angsty parts (because I am a sucker for those kinds of stories and always loved high school teen movies), Savannah’s parents had the whole Romeo & Juliet romance story going but I felt Savannah and Tristan were more along the lines of the Taming of the Shrew channelled through 10 Things I Hate About You. What made the story really fly for me were the insights into the secret world of the Clann and the Vampires, those touches were artfully done giving enough information to get an idea of the shapes of the society but not enough to see or understand everything.

    I am now eagerly awaiting Covet and Consume to find out more about Savannah and Tristan and hopefully more about their parents who… wait I did not mention the parents, their roles are small but no less important – a Vampire and a Witch in love and on the lam until their lives are changed by a miracle – Savannah and the future leader of the clan who rejected his heritage but ultimately had to take up the mantle he denied.
    I need to know more and hope that in the next two volumes Melissa will elaborate on this brilliant world she has created!

    Boy Kills Man by Matt Whyman Reissued, and available for the first time as an ebook

    In 2004, I wrote a novel that was very different from anything I had done before. A story about Colombian child assassins, Boy Kills Man paid no heed to happy endings. I didn’t see why I should sugar a very real, raw and shocking reality for kids caught up in gang culture. My editor, who was expecting a follow up to a teen comedy about skateboarding, took a deep breath and got behind it.

    Close to publication, a report that an early reader of the book had been left traumatised made the pages of the Times Educational Supplement. This was mostly because I’d been quoted as saying that I was pleased. I felt it was better that the book provoked a reaction rather than be forgotten, and also served as a springboard for a conversation about violence and its impact on young people. Despite a slightly scary start – I worried it would be pulled – the book went on to be shortlisted for the BookTrust Teenage Book Award, and featured on various picks of the year.

    I remain very proud of this book. A film is in development from the makers of Kidulthood and Wild Bill, while readers still get in touch with questions and comments.

    Now, eight years after first publication, Boy Kills Man is available as an ebook. It’s downloadable from all the usual outlets, as well as a paperback reissue.

    ~ Matt Whyman

    To mark publication, the ebook is priced at 99p for two weeks beginning on Friday 6th April.

    Bold, chilling and beautifully written . . . it really left an ache behind.
    Melvin Burgess

    “Stunning . . . all that is left is a feeling of sadness and loss. . . A fine achievement.”
    The Independent

    “A powerful, affecting novel about lost youth, and a sharp evocation of one boy’s terrible passage from innocence to experience . . . a book we could all do with reading.”
    The Guardian

    Shortlisted for the 2007 De Jong Jury (Netherlands)
    ALA Top Ten Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers 2006 (USA)
    Shortlisted for the 2006 Wirral Paperback of the Year
    Shortlisted for the 2005 Stockport Schools Book Award
    Shortlisted for the 2004 Booktrust Teenage Prize
    The Scotsman: Top Ten Teen Novels 2004
    The Times: 2004 Picks
    The Guardian 2004 Triumphs feature
    Time Out: 2004 Critics’ Choice
    RTE Rattlebag: Books of the Year 2004
    BBC Radio 4 Front Row: Teen Books of the Year

    UKYA: A New Blog About British Young Adult Books

    UK YA, the showcase for the best teen fiction set in the UK.

    We want to shout about books which are set in the UK, for the benefit of readers all over the world.

    Search our booklists by genre or by setting, from the Highlands of Scotland to the Cornish coast.

    Check out our helpful glossary of Brit-speak slang.

    And watch out for our special features, new releases, interviews and news.

    This site is run and maintained by Keris Stainton, Susie Day and Keren David.

    You're Invited to a… Creepover: Truth or Dare by P.J. Night

    During a round of Truth or Dare, Abby Miller confesses her crush on Jake Chilson. The only people who know her secret are her friends at the sleepover – and whoever sent her a text message in the middle of the night warning her to stay away from Jake…or else!

    But Abby isn’t going to stay away from Jake, especially not after he asks her to the school dance.

    As the night of the dance comes closer, some very creepy things start happening to Abby. Someone definitely wants to keep her away from Jake. Is it a jealous classmate or, as Abby begins to suspect, could it be a ghost?

    Truth or Dare is the first novel in the Creepover series by P.J. Night, aimed at the tween or Middle Grade (MG) segment of the reading population. Truth or Dare is 160 pages in length, but don’t let the slenderness of the volume fool you, for it contains a wealth of jumps and creepy occurrences that kept me guessing until the end.

    Truth or Dare twists like a serpent, from the genuinely spooky prologue to the final confrontation in a cemetery and a promise of more chills in the epilogue.

    It put me in mind of some of the spooky films I watched as a child/early teen – creepy without being outright scary or terrifying but no less satisfying.

    It is possible that the Creepover series is being written with an eye to a television series as I think it would work in a visual medium, in terms of spookiness is more John Carpenter than Wes Craven with flashes of spookiness rather than full on horror.

    Based on this book, I can see the series being extremely popular. Spooky enough to keep younger readers enaged but without being scary enough to upset parents or more sensitive readers.

    I already have a plan to use Truth or Dare as my spooky read for Hallowe’en in my library. I will read two chapters a day during lunch break or after school for the year 7 & 8 reading groups with added special effects starting with the prologue & chapter one on Monday 22nd October I will finish with chapter 14 & the epilogue on All Hallows Eve.