Andrew Fukuda’s sequel to The Hunt is really a lot of fun—well, a dark sort of fun. The Prey, picks up right where The Hunt left off, with Gene, Sissy and the gang on the run from the vampires. Advancing beyond the Hunger Games/vampire story, The Prey, as the title would suggest, is about the chase. Fukuda’s talents as an author have vastly improved between the stories and it makes The Prey a lot more fun and interesting to read.
Gene, Sissy, and the gang are on the run and attempting to find The Scientist when they come across a mysterious village in the mountains called The Mission. As expected, everything seems wonderful at first, but there are some seriously dark undertones and shady behind-the-scenes actions happening. The Mission is run and organized in a very similar method to the Church of Latter-Day Saints. All decisions are made by a group of twelve Elders. They are self-isolated and questions about the nature of The Mission are frowned upon. The citizens of The Mission are all smiles, and the mysteries as to the lack of young men and plethora of pregnant young women raise lots of questions for Gene. The hierarchy and rules placed by the Elders leave the outsiders questioning The Mission’s purpose and the hidden agendas the Elders apparently have.
Fukuda has greatly improved his ability to describe settings without the consistent need of extra-complicated, and sometimes silly, similes and metaphors. Considering this is only Fukuda’s second novel, it’s a treat. Fukuda is still at his best writing action sequences and The Prey has plenty of them. The Prey also does a great job of expanding the world (or perceived world) that Gene and The Mission live in.
The intentions for this story from the beginning were clearly envisioned as a trilogy and this middle chapter fulfills the standard thematically dark segment. Without delving into details, the vampires (who are called “duskers” by those in The Mission), are a constant threat in the background to the unsettling nature of The Mission. That constant and ever-present dread fuels the story, making it a quick and easy read. Leading to an exciting climax, The Prey is a great read, but given the increased clarity of violence and descriptive nature, it walks the fine line between young adult and adult drama. The violence in the story should most likely not be read by anyone below 13 (think of it this way: if it were a film, it would be PG-13 with some graphic moments of an R-rating).
Verdict: Read it!