[Arc Review] The Prey by Tom Isbell

ARC Reviews, Fry's Reviews, Reviews 0 Comments 20th December, 2014

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This review contains spoilers. Read at your own risk.
[Arc Review] The Prey by Tom IsbellThe Prey by Tom Isbell
Series: The Hatchery #1
Published by HarperTeen on January 20th, 2015
Genres: Thriller, Young Adult
Pages: 416
Source: Edelweiss
A hot debut trilogy and a riveting story of survival, courage, and romance in a future where creating a master civilization is the only thing prized, no matter the method. After the Omega (the end of the end), 16 year old guys known as LTs discover their overseers are raising them not to be soldiers (lieutenants) as promised, but to be sold as bait because of their Less Than status and hunted for sport. They escape and join forces with a girls’ camp, the Sisters, who have been imprisoned and experimented on for the "good of the Republic," by a government eager to use twins in their dark research. In their plight for freedom, these heroes must find the best in themselves to fight against the worst in their enemies.

This book is bad and it should feel bad.

No really, there was nothing worthwhile in this novel, and while I stuck through it for the wtfuckery, I probably should have given it up a long time ago. There’s a dual point of view that I could only distinguish between because one was in third person and the other was in first person.

The characters are stupid, they’re given names like Flush (because he doesn’t), Book and Cat. Despite being handicapped and lacking street smarts, our one point of view, Book, somehow does all the things ever. And when he can’t? He’s rescued by Cat. This is quite often. Cat is a cool guy who causes explosions but doesn’t look at them. Cat can pretty much take on anything ever, including dehydration and sentient wolves.

The lady characters are so one dimensional you almost WISH you could slap them. Hope and Faith are sisters but Hope gives more thoughts and has more feelings about the boys than she ever did about her sister. Who, by the way, dies HORRIBLY. They put her in a vat of ice water for way too long and then proceed to attempt to raise her body heat… for science.

Yeah, I totally didn’t get that whole science thing with the twins. They may be twins, but they’re not physiologically the same person. They’re two different people. What sort of backasswords science facility is this place? It’s awful. Apparently Hope’s dad set it up? They’re supposed to try to learn how to help other people in some war we’ve never seen or heard of except in passing (those on the front lines! What lines!?). But, they’re clearly doing things horrible on purpose. I guess I could see how they’d want to find out how much of a dose they’d need to cure someone. That’ makes sense. But badly reheating someone with hypothermia? Poorly tending to someone with severe burns? How does this help anyone? It’s just straight up torture!

Ugh, anyway. So Hope’s sister dies horribly. And Hope spends more of her time pining over Book. Then Cat rescues her from a wolf who savaged the hell out of her wrist (not ever really mentioned again, like, I’m pretty sure that thing needs to be amputated. Can she even move her hand?) so for a bit she was like, “Well, maybe I like Cat more because he’s the strong gathering type and I could use that out in the wilderness.” Sadly, she remembers how much she likes Book’s arms around her and her fleeting notion that Cat may be a better boyfriend is gone in an instant. Especially after they bond when Hope basically shouts, “SO WHY DID YOU TRY TO KILL YOURSELF!?” at Book.

Book’s group is from another stupid camp. It’s more like a weird orphanage/concentration camp. It’s where the world sends their “Less Thans” and those include the minorities and the handicapped. Yeah, that’s cool. Thanks Hitler. There’s no walls really, they just sort of live there and hang out and think everything is great until they turn a certain age and then get hunted like it’s the most dangerous game. Unfortunately, there are not LASERS involved in this hunting. Why you gotta be such a liar, book cover? D:

So, once they actually get to where they’re going. They have copious adventures along the way, including eating rotten maggot filled meat in the middle of a salt flat? Anyway, they get there and Book decides that he can’t just leave the rest of the camp there to get hunted when the come of age.  So instead of walking into the promised land, he turns around. And, guess what, at least half of the people with him also turn around. I’m sorry. What? You don’t even know if that new territory is safe. Don’t you want to scope it out first before bringing MORE people there?

This book is so bad. Don’t do it. Don’t read it. Unless you want to sob laugh about how bad it is.


Written by Fry


Probably in a dungeon somewhere. Game Master for the D’n’D actual play podcast Roll For Wenches .

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