The Hunted (The Living, #2)by Matt de la Pena Published 12 May 2015
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When the Big One hit, Shy was at sea in style. The Paradise Cruise luxury liner he worked on was a hulking specimen of the best money could buy. And now it's at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, along with almost all of its passengers.
Shy wasn't the only one to survive, though. Addie, the rich blond daughter of a mysterious businessman, was on the dinghy he pulled himself into. But as soon as they found the rest of the survivors, she disappeared.
The only thing that filled the strange void of losing her was finding Carmen, his hot coworker, and discovering a way to get back home. But Shy's luck hasn't turned. Not yet.
Back on the dinghy, Addie told him a secret. It's a secret that people would kill for-have killed for-and she has the piece that could turn everything on its ear. The problem? Shy has no idea where Addie is. Back home in California seems logical, but there are more ways to die back home then Shy could ever have guessed.
And thanks to what Shy now knows, he's a moving target.
"The Hunted (The Living, #2)" Reviews
*UPDATE!* Release date is May 12, 2015! Can't wait!!
Houston, we have a cover.
And it is awesome.
Why do I love Matt de la Pena? The biggest factor is that he gets my students to read and he does so especially well with post-apocalyptic yarns that examine the socioeconomic implications of natural disasters. While I do not typically go for YA fare, I burned through The Living in couple of days and could not wait to do the same with The Hunted. Unfortunately (well, perhaps not) I'd wait quite a while while this one got tossed around my classroom. Worth the wait?
Firstly, I know it's popular, but post-apocalyptic tales have been wearing me a little thin since Cormac McCarthy's The Road to the point that I refuse to consider watching The Walking Dead within the next decade.
However, dystopian fiction seems to be the more annoying current trend in YA fiction, so I was willing to go along with de la Pena as he led me down a highly entertaining path. The action scenes have been exquisitely detailed throughout the whole tale and while one might complain that he simply lists a bunch of horrible happenings to get accomplish this detail, isn't that kind of the point? Los Angeles is pretty much obliterated in the blink of an eye, so what do you expect?
Shy and the gang arrive at the coast to find the devastation to be nearly as bad I they thought it would be, but the social barriers that have quickly been constructed are another issue entirely. A biker gang has hastily risen to power, ensuring that people stay where they are, killing anyone leaving their assigned sections of the city. This is done to avoid the spreading of the Romero disease which has left the blackened cities riddled with bloated corpses.
The beauty in this YA novel is that it continues the trend of not shying teenagers away from horror. Shy and the gang are forced to camp out in one of the only places the biker gang won't mess with them: an abandoned trailer painted with a sign of the plague. They have to clear out the family, which includes children, that was living there before and give them proper burial before sleeping in the disease-ridden cabin.
So that happened.
Shy's background is fleshed out a bit more with the introduction of his deadbeat father as the group's savior from the biker gang because he is--you guessed it--a member himself. Dear old dad just wants to do right by his son after realizing the mistakes he has made over the years. While this sounds like pretty typical family drama fare, it didn't feel like it would end well.
Perhaps it does, perhaps it doesn't
To be honest, I am really not sure what to make of the ending. I know what literally happens during the final seconds of this novel, and no it does not look like this will become a trilogy, but the ending was lackluster to say the best. It simply kind of ends without much direction for the characters, outside of Shy. While he is the main character, the others have been there long enough to deserve a little bit better. I am all for an open ending, but they are left entirely in the dust.
Speaking of the others, Addie makes her return (like you know she will throughout the entire story) but for being such a key character in The Living, she is not a major character and her inclusion seems to serve mainly as a means for Shy to get to her mad scientist father.
There is also a strange quasi-supernatural occurrence that bridges us into the final act but ultimately falls flat. Its inclusion seems like it is going to have major LOST-like implications, but then nothing becomes of it. Shy mentions it a few times, but it remains dead in the water where it occurs. (I realize I am employing circumlocution, but to mention it would spoil a major plot point. You'll know it when you read it.)
Perhaps I am missing something due to the fact that I read an Advance Reader's Copy, but I am fairly confident based on other reviews that I am not. The Hunted is certainly needed and certainly fitting in a lot of ways, but in others it really misses the mark. I almost hope there is a sequel just to figure out what kind of new adventure some of these "loose ends" might spark, but perhaps it really is time to close the book on these characters.
I have wanted to read THE HUNTED since the moment I finished THE LIVING, and hearing Matt de la Peña read the first chapter at a book signing only whetted my appetite. THE HUNTED starts about a month later, when Shy, Carmen, Marcus, and Shoeshine finally make it to California.
In THE LIVING, they had to mainly survive a fight against nature. Now, they have to mainly escape people. A biker gang is killing travelers to keep them from spreading the Romero virus. And a certain entity wants to kill Shy and his friends because they know too much about the virus. Their only hope is to hike across a picked-over post-apocalyptic California to Arizona. It is a brutal journey.
I don't think THE HUNTED can truly be enjoyed without THE LIVING. De la Peña recaps the bare minimum, particularly when it comes to character relationships. I certainly don't think the passages involving Addie have much meaning if you haven't read the first book. Fortunately, both books in the duology are quick reads. The chapters are short of full of action, which keeps the pages turning.
I felt that Shoeshine was more of a plot mechanism than a character in THE LIVING, so I like that he's a little more fleshed out in THE HUNTED. A former soldier is still an incredibly lucky person to have by your side in a survival situation, but THE HUNTED gives hints of his hobbies and of his past.
I'm also truly thankful that rape isn't used as a threat in THE HUNTED. It is overplayed in dystopian/post-apocalyptic books, like everybody - not just rapists - couldn't resist the urge if civilization collapsed. People are too busy being awful to each other in other ways. (To be fair, a virus with a 100% death rate is scary.)
THE HUNTED is a great survival against the odds story. The protagonist, Shy, is hugely likeable. I could read many more books featuring him. I'm happy to leave it at two, although there are some unanswered questions that de la Peña could answer in a third book. Be sure to read THE LIVING and THE HUNTED if you like quick books about intense journeys and noble causes featuring diverse casts.
Mucho mejor que el primero. Me ha gustado.
"The Hunted" is an excellent action mystery book that continually leaves the reader wonder what will happen next. The book created a well-developed story that questions society and the psychology of people.
The book was published in 2015 by Matt de la Peña as a sequel to "The Living". His style of writing is a continuation of the first book as it constantly rises in action. The book is about how Shy and his friends must survive the catastrophic remains of western civilization to deliver a cure for an epidemic. The characters developed more in this book as Shy became more heroic. Marcus was characterized well despite him have a minor role in the last book, and Shoeshine became increasingly mysterious and resourceful. Carmen, however, became more annoying in this book for small reasons. The plot is similar to other dystopian books but it had a unique flair to it. The story takes place from California to Arizona. The book was a true sequel to "The Living" as it was the same style. This book did not remind me of anything else I have read or watched despite the first one reminded me of many other stories. This book does tackle racism and power of big businesses.
I would recommend this book to anyone who has read the first one. I would recommend it specifically to teens and young adults as it is targeted mostly to them. "The Hunted" is an exceptional book that people should read.
The Hunted by Matt de la Pena is the squeal of The Living. After surviving the tsunami that sank their cruise ship in the first book and, escaping an island with deadly secret and servicing 36 days at sea, three teens and an adult reach what’s left of California a quarantined, anarchic region devastated by earthquakes and a lethal pandemic. Gangs control most of the country and have zones that you can not pass. The teens Shy, Carmen and Marcus suspect their families to be dead. The adult Shoeshine who has been guiding the teens since day one. Shy and Carmen’s mutual attraction grows, but she’s engaged to someone who is missing. There does not seem to be a clear plot to the book, just killing, and devastation everywhere. Goals are lost without resolution like author, lost interest in his story midway. I believe that it is an entertaining story and a lot of action, but does not seem that there is a point to the story, the author just has to end it. I would recommend this book to teens that just want a entertaining story and are not looking for a well writing plot and point to the characters actions.