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The Prey (The Hunt Trilogy Book 2) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 337 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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|Age Level: 12 - 18|
|Grade Level: 7 - 12|
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Gene and the other hepers have escaped from the Dome leaving behind Ashley June. They travel down the river. Epap is not happy that Gene is with them. He is obviously jealous of him and the way Sissy keeps coming to his aid. As they travel down the river they discover a tablet hidden in a secret compartment under the boat. It tells them to stay on the river. The flip side tells them not to let Gene die. That is all it takes for Sissy to make it her mission. After several days on the river, and after plummeting over a waterfall they are discovered by a young girl and they are taken to a village called "The Mission". There is excitement at discovering more of their kind. But all is not what it seems. Is this a blessing or a curse and what is the "origin" they are supposed to have brought with them?
The world building in this second book was just as interesting and descriptive as that in the first book. You see a dystopian society that has gone back to where women are nothing more than slaves. Sissy definitely doesn't agree with this. The micro-tension within this book is so strong I read it from beginning to end in one sitting. I honestly felt like I was at "The Mission" with all of them. I could feel the fear they felt. I kept sitting on the edge of my seat whenever the tension would increase. This author definitely knows how to write a book that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Unfortunately, the third book, The Trap, won't be out until September. The book was left in a way that the reader celebrates with the news learned, yet is left wondering if anyone will be alive to celebrate that knowledge. I absolutely loved this book. The first book was given to me to review. I bought the second book as an e-book. I can guarantee you that the second and third book will be purchased in paperback for my classroom shelves. It is an absolutely wonderful dystopian book.
What first drew me to The Hunt was that the story is different to other vampire stories out there: humans (at the time one) trying to pass by vampire in a world ruled by said blood suckers.
In The Prey we don't see that anymore. No more wrist scratching when you something is funny (only once), etc. All of the sudden, Gene has lost his vampire ways. And the tension of Gene trying to pass by a vampire is gone.
In The Prey, Gene and the rest follow the river and arrive to a village called The Mission. Here, things are very odd: most girls are pregnant, they have lotus feet, and adult women shine for their absence.
I was a bit disappointed with The Prey. I did enjoy the weirdness of the village but I was expecting a more of the original concept of the story and less of a typical dystopian village.
But don't get me wrong, The Prey is still very enjoyable and I will definitely read the next book.
I really liked the Gene and Sissy don't keep secrets from each other. Sissy tells Gene that she wants to be with him always and forever. I liked this straightforwardness after beating around the bushes with Ashley June and Gene in the previous book.
Ah! and if you want to know what happened to Ashley June you'll have to read the book because I'm not telling....
Finally, the book is full of excitement and near death scenarios but I still don't understand why Richelle Mead compares it to the Hunger Games.
Gene and the others barely made it out of the Heper Institute alive, but they haven't fully survived just yet. As they flow down the river on the boat, groups of vampires follow them in the darkness, sacrificing being caught in the sun just to enjoy the flesh of a real live person. When the attacks start to thin, the group thinks they have won, but the vampires are getting smarter. Where they used to be slaves to their lust for flesh and unable to refocus long enough to plot and plan, these new groups aren't afraid to work together. But the group just has to make it a little longer and they will find the Sanctuary, the place where humans can live free of the vampires.
When they finally make it to the sanctuary, life isn't all flowers and milk and honey. Women's feet are disfigured and any defiant women are branded and punished. Men, however, live like kings! Gene and Sissy are instantly skeptical about the false utopia, but the leaders of the town squash any chances they have of getting answers, and Gene's hopes of finding his father are dashed when he learns of his suicide. But if the Sanctuary is so wonderful, why would his father take his own life? And where do all the supplies come that keep the town living such a plush life? While Gene and Sissy think there is something more sinister going on in the town, the alternative may be something far worse than they are willing to admit.
OK, I am not a night owl. In fact, if I stay up too late, it takes me days to catch up (my age showing through!). But this book? It was so addicting, I was up ALL NIGHT reading this book! I am suffering this morning for it, but darn it, it was worth it! The Prey is so exciting and terrifying you won't be able to stop reading, so pick it up when you have enough time to read the whole thing!
The idea of a false utopia has always intrigued me because the opposite of a utopia should be a dystopia, but it really isn't. The false nature of a utopia is usually so subversive and hidden, it makes it inherently different from a true dystopia where the world has gone to hell in a handbag and isn't afraid to let that shine. In fact, I think these false utopias (think The Giver or Delirium) are almost scarier than a world where you know to expect awful things around every corner and can prepare for them. That is the beauty of the Sanctuary in The Prey. The answers are never clear, and the next step is always a bigger risk than you can imagine. I loved that Sissy and Gene knew the Sanctuary was false, but the other boys couldn't see through the abundant food and pliant ladies. And when Sissy and Gene tried to make decisions of where to go, no choice was the safe one. They were more than caught between a rock and a hard place. They were caught between a swirling vortex to hell and an erupting volcano full of molten lava- and it was ugly!
This story is exciting, fast-paced, and violent. I can easily get my students (usually boys) who are tough to find a book for to read this book. They scoff and claim they "hate reading", but when given this series, they devour it (pun intended!). This is a series that should grace all library and classroom shelves and be pulled out for those difficult readers. You won't even need to sell them this series. Just read the first chapter and they will be hooked!