Hunting for a Story|Review of “The Hunt”

While my review of The Hunt is my opinion (they don’t reflect the views of any person or organization) and I didn’t receive anything in return (except a “Thank you”), Seb Jenkins did request a review.

Fair warning: There may be spoilers.

The Hunt a Wattpad story by SebJenkins and ShaunAllan (and a few surprise authors) takes the reader into a near future world where fox hunting has been banned. In its place, people (that’s right, humans) can volunteer to be the “fox” while hunters aim to kill them. The volunteers, whether they win or not, receive a money prize.

What makes The Hunt different from other collaborations is that the authors switch each chapter with no foreordained story. The two do not discuss plot or anything with each other; each must pick up where the other left off–sort of like those old campfire games.

At first, I was a bit skeptical about this story. I’ve read my fair share of stories written by multiple authors. They can either be very bad or very good. In a lot of cases, even though both writers work on the story, there is usually a “lead” author who after the story is complete edits the story so that it sounds more like one voice.

In the case of The Hunt, the authors have no idea what’ll happen until the chapter is published. I was a bit worried that the story would at worst be a patchwork of confusing tone and plot; or at best, flow like someone learning how to drive a stick shift filled with stop-and-go jerks as the authors flipped writing duties.

So, to be honest, I started reading because I was bored; I had some extra time and nothing else to do. Nothing seemed interesting.

I took a chance on the first chapter and found it promising. Then, came the second chapter. I was pleased to see that the chapters did flow into each other. The tone and voice seemed to match the pervious chapter. And the trend continued.

One problem I came across is that the plot twists are a little too unexpected. Normally, authors will leave clues to a twist well before the actual event. For instance, in a mystery, the author leaves clues to the perpetrator’s identity so that when the reveal happens the reader feels like it made sense. Also, the reader wants to guess at the criminal’s identity so that they can feel like they are part of the story. In the case of The Hunt there isn’t a lead up because the authors themselves don’t know what’ll happen. So when a twist does happen, it can feel like you got sideswiped by a train.

But, sometimes these shocking twists can work to the story’s advantage. If done right, such as the shock characters Marcus and James receive, it can also shock the audience and make them feel part of the story (or even feel like they are the characters). However, it can cause the reader to become confused; such as if someone that seems like a main antagonist (or at least a possibly recurring one) is suddenly dealt with early on, it can make the reader feel as if the story ended. Or they are left feeling unsatisfied. Kind of like if Batman stopped the Joker in the first panel and the rest of the comic was just scenes of Batman polishing the Batmobile.

But, at the moment, the story is unfinished, so it gets a pass on the antagonist issue. Maybe what happens next is the equivalent of Batman stopping Joker then going home to the Batcave to polish the Batmobile only to have the Riddler, Two-Face, and Penguin announce to the world that they will set off a nuclear bomb unless Batman surrenders. You don’t know what’ll happen; and that is the beauty of The Hunt. Anyone can die at any moment; alliances can change; and secrets can be revealed. At any moment, you can step on a bear trap.

To conclude (because this review is getting way too long), if you’re hunting for a story with twists, suspense, and moments that’ll blow your mind because you’re not expecting them…try a Batman comic. No, I’m kidding; though Batman comics are enjoyable. But, they are planned out (and thus can be predictable), unlike The Hunt which offers a read where the unpredictable can and probably will happen.

4.7/5 (as of this moment)

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