The Hunt, by Chuck Wendig


It’s Atlanta’s senior year of high school, and she is officially infamous. Not only has she saved herself from a predator, brought down an untouchable dogfighting ring, and battled a pack of high-school bullies, but she’s also proclaimed to the Internet her willingness to fight for anyone who needs help. And Atlanta can’t believe what’s coming out of the woodwork. From an old friend to a troop of troubled girls with connections to a local fracking company, there’s definitely fire in the water. As always, the girl with the unforgettable name is not afraid to burn it all down if it means making things right. But as high school races toward its inevitable end and the hornets begin to swarm from all directions, Atlanta must decide how much of herself and her growing group of friends she is willing to risk … before it’s too late.

We’ve all felt the sting of betrayal. Some of us have reconciled. We often forgive, but we never forget. I mentioned in my review of Atlanta Burns that at one time we either knew or needed someone like her. Most of us have done something that we regret later, and Atlanta Burns and her friend are no exception.

Wendig writes compelling characters that are believable. I grew up part-time in western Pennsylvania with family in central PA. I was never aware that events described by Wendig could have happened. Whether that was youthful naïveté, a world separated by two decades, or the vivid imaginings of a talented author, I’ll never know.

I felt that The Hunt had been toned down a bit. The grittiness that I enjoyed in the first book seemed missing from this one. I wasn’t expecting just a younger version of Miriam Black, but I’d hoped that the ‘feel’ of the first book kept on trucking. The story moved on as expected, and I wanted to be disappointed that Atlanta hadn’t learned from book one, but that wouldn’t have worked for the story.

The Hunt is still in your face, with subtlety pitched out the window and continues to chronicle the misadventures of a very broken young woman. Whereas the first book was Atlanta versus a world occupied by uncaring adults, this one seems to have at least a few grown-ups that want to do what is right. While the latter appears to be more in line with reality, it just doesn’t make for the “me versus an uncaring world” adrenaline rush the first book had.

The Hunt is still an exciting read, and I look forward to another outing with Atlanta before she outgrows the genre. The Hunt is a four-star read and a must-have for any fan of Chuck Wendig.

Chuck Wendig

Chuck Wendig is a novelist, screenwriter and game designer. He’s the author of many published novels, including but not limited to: Blackbirds, The Blue Blazes, and the YA Heartland series. He is co-writer of the short film Pandemic and the Emmy-nominated digital narrative Collapsus. Wendig has contributed over two million words to the game industry. He is also well known for his profane-yet-practical advice to writers, which he dispenses at his blog,, and through several popular e-books, including The Kick-Ass Writer, published by Writers Digest. He currently lives in the forests of Pennsyltucky with wife, tiny human, and red dog.


About Mark Gardner

Mark Gardner lives in northern Arizona with his wife, three children and a pair of spoiled dogs. Mark holds a degrees in Computer Systems and Applications and Applied Human Behavior. View all posts by Mark Gardner

2 responses to “The Hunt, by Chuck Wendig

  • ron877

    I followed up on your “Atlanta Burns” recommendation a couple of days ago. Finishing it today, and my teenage son (13) is beginning it. Thanks for the recommendation of a book that will help my son get off the computer (OK, ebooks are fine) and into books. Later today, I will start “The Hunt.”

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