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'The Trap' by Andrew Fukuda: The last in the YA fantasy series about vampires

Ending to the thrilling vampire series
courtesy of St. Martin's Griffin

The Trap by Andrew Fukuda

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"The Trap" by Andrew Fukuda is the last in "The Hunt" series about a time when humans are rare. The vampire-like creatures who largely inhabit the town the protagonist, Gene, lives in are eager to find humans and eat them. To pass unnoticed, Gene must bathe, shave his legs, and put in his fake fangs every day so that he can live.

In the second book, Gene leaves the city as part of a "heper" (the word for the humans) hunt, and in the process he gets caught up with some hepers who have escaped from a holding facility. Thanks to clues from his father (who inexplicably disappeared years before) they manage to get to a town filled with humans. But at the end of book two, "The Prey," Gene and his friends realize that all is not as it seems.

Each book ends with a cliffhanger. And this book, like the others, is filled with scenes of danger from which it seems impossible that Gene and Sissy (the other protagonist in this book) will escape. But thanks to Gene's quick intellect and his experience living among the vampires, he is able to extricate them from near-impossible situations.

Fukuda's writing is lovely, and he doesn't shy away from "S.A.T." style words like "sacrosanct" and "transgressed." He doesn't write down to the young adults who will be reading this trilogy. His dialogue rings true and the first person narrative is beautifully done. To allow for other points of view, Fukuda occasionally titles a chapter "Sissy" or "Ashley June," two of the important people in Gene's life.

Adding to the novel's realistic tone, none of the characters is perfect -- all have flaws. And what is discovered over the course of the third book (at the end, really) is a great twist to get readers thinking about viewpoint. What is evil to one group of people may be perfectly acceptable to another -- and who is to say which is right?

It's a series that will get reluctant readers reading, especially if the first chapter is read aloud.

Please note: This review is based on the final hardcover book provided by the publisher, St. Martin's Griffin, for review purposes.

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