Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Book Review - The Hunt by Tim Lebbon

Amazon UK
Title: The Hunt
Author: Tim Lebbon
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: 16th July 2015 
Rating: 5 Stars

Escape and they’ll kill your family.

The cruellest game. The highest stakes. Only she can bring his family back alive …

Rose is the one that got away. She was the prey in a human trophy hunt organised by an elite secret organisation for super-rich clients seeking a unique thrill. She paid a terrible price. Every moment since she has been planning her revenge … And now her day has come.

Chris returns from his morning run to find his wife and children missing and a stranger in his kitchen.

He’s told to run.

If he’s caught and killed, his family go free. If he escapes, they die.

Rose is the only one who can help him, but Rose only has her sights on one conclusion. For her, Chris is bait. But The Trail have not forgotten the woman who tried to outwit them.

The Trail want Rose. The hunters want Chris’s corpse. Rose wants revenge, and Chris just wants his family back.

The hunt is on …

I have completely mixed feelings about this book. The main subject matter is completely sickening to think about, and shows a side of humanity that I really hope never becomes a reality (and hope it doesn't really happen), but yet it is a book that drew me in from the first few chapters, had my adrenalin pumping, and is clearly a fantastic story and brilliant piece of writing. 

The blurb sums up the basic story perfectly, at the heart of the action is Chris's family is being held captive. Chris is the human prize in a hunt, where rich people can take part in the "ultimate bloodsport" to take another person's life. If Chris is caught he dies, if he escapes from the hunt, his family will die. It is your classic catch 22 situation, but the stakes are the highest they can be. 

Rose appears to be a woman who can help Chris, but she has her own agenda. She escaped her hunt, and her family were killed, and since then she has barely been living. But what has been spurring her on is the chance for revenge, and she needs Chris to stay alive long enough as bait, so she can kill as many of The Trail members as possible. The Trail being the organisation that organizes these hunts. 

The book changes between Chris and Rose's viewpoints, and in Rose's sections we have the flashbacks which explain her years between escaping her hunt, and what she is now doing, I found the sections where she was training and learning various techniques incredibly fascinating, 

What I also loved were the descriptions of the Welsh mountains that this Hunt is taking place on. You can really see the action, and the mountains and valleys, and all the action with the scree was nerve-wracking. During some sections my heart was in my mouth, as I felt the fear Chris was feeling, and by the middle of the book, I was as exhausted as him. 

I did find the mid-section of the book dragged slightly, but then another twist was revealed and the pace picked back up instantly. What amazed me so much was that with everyone taking part in this hunt, how you can overcome exhaustion and injury, to keep on running, and how the adrenalin must have been surging and urging the least fit of the people that paid to take part in the hunt, to carry on going. 

It is Chris's 15 year old daughter Gemma, that I have the most respect for out of all the characters featured. She from the sections we see from her point of view, has a very mature head on her shoulders, and out of her family members that had been taken, she was the one most willing to challenge the situation, and try her hardest to protect her sister and mother. 

I have no idea how Tim Lebbon came up with the idea of humans hunting humans for sport, but I suppose his horror writing past may have had a hand in this. This was his first thriller, and I will definitely keep my eyes open for future releases by him. 

I would have loved to have known more about The Trail, I understand why very little is known about them, or revealed, but I would have been very interested in the motivations behind the organisation, and just why they exist.

Overall I was intrigued by this story, and although I hesitate to use the word enjoy when there is so much death about, yes I enjoyed The Hunt. There are a lot of powerful thoughts and messages you can get from this story, especially about overcoming the odds and revenge. 

Thank you so much to Avon and Netgalley for this review copy. This was my honest review. 

The Hunt is out now in Ebook and published tomorrow in paperback. 

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