May 19, 2013
Review: The Prey
The Prey by Andrew Fukuda
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book is a sequel to The Hunt, which I read a few months ago. The Prey definitely improved on its predecessor; in fact, it is one of the best books I have read so far this year.
The previous book introduced a dark, bloody, dystopian world, where humans are seemingly all but extinct, subsumed by a new breed: a superstrong, superfast cannibalistic "people" who will literally tear you limb from limb, eating your flesh and drinking your blood. The hero, Gene, survives by the use of a brazenly clever "Purloined Human" (or "Heper," what humans are called in this book) technique: he hides in the midst of the monsters, pretending to be one of them (helped along by excessive showering, use of deodorant, and razors, to hide the body hair the monsters apparently do not grow). He has thought like one of them, as a matter of survival, for so long that it is very hard for him to remember that he is, in fact, human, which was one of the first book's major plot points.
This book ups the stakes exponentially, and answers a great many questions. The "duskers," as we learn they are called, are actually genetically engineered supersoldiers gone wrong. They were bred to fight humanity's wars centuries ago and ended up turning on their creations. There is supposedly a cure for this called the "Origin," which the group from the first book spends a great deal of time searching for (and finds in the Very. Last. Sentence. of this book--seriously, I've never seen cliffhangers like Andrew Fukuda writes). Gene and his pals, still being pursued by the duskers, stumble upon a hidden city of humans that is not quite right, to say the least. Either they're watching the desert city where the duskers, still five million strong, are confined, or they're humanity's last stand, products of a devil's bargain with the duskers. That point is not resolved; I trust it will be addressed in the last book of the trilogy.
The hallmarks of the first book remain: the almost unbearable tension and the gripping action scenes that all but explode off the page. If this story ever makes it to the movie screen, it would take a trilogy of films, a la The Hunger Games, to do it justice.
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