by Kate Rowland
When posters for the World’s Largest Collegiate Puzzle Scavenger Hunt pop up on campus, Lila’s roommate Rachel signs her and their friends Mike and York up immediately. On a campus known for killing fun, Rachel reminds the team, they don’t have anything better to do. And who can pass up a chance to solve brainteasers and race around campus and the neighborhood in pursuit of obscure items, pictures, and points?
Round one of the Hunt is a hilarious mess of puzzles, games, obstacles, and a triumphant scoring of enough points to move the team to round two. As round two begins, though, Lila solves a darkly ominous puzzle that uncovers a math professor’s desperate plot to keep a seventy-year-old secret hidden. Soon, the team is solving much more serious puzzles as they try to uncover and stop his misguided scheme to cover up an old crime. If they can’t figure it out before the Hunt is over, lives could be at risk—their own, and those of all the students on the Hunt.
Inspired by the Manhattan Project with tones of Dan Brown, The Hunt is hide-and-seek for young adults and grown-ups alike.
Arielle: As a puzzle/scavenger hunt lover, this book sounds like a whole lot of fun to me! And, in general, the pitch is interesting and engaging. When you first mention the darkly ominous puzzle, however, I want to know more. And when I find out at the end that this is inspired by the Manhattan Project, then I REALLY want to know more. Give us a little taste so we know just how good the book is going to be.
David: It’s great how this story starts as a silly lark, and then gets very dark and ominous. I also like that it’s about puzzles and games. So I think you’re gonna take me into an interesting world, and from the perspective of a book publisher, I know that there are tons and tons of people who love this kind of stuff, and that you already have a built-in audience. With great crossover potential. I like the elevator pitch, Manhattan Project/Dan Brown. Very well done. I think you could have a better tagline. “Hide-and-seek for young adults and grown-ups alike.” It needs to be something that combines the silliness of hide-and-seek with the seriousness of murder. I also think that the beginning of the pitch is a little awkward. “signs her and their friends Mike and York up immediately.” Just doesn’t feel like a beautifully written sentence to me. A pitch is like a poem, every word has to count. I think you could tighten up the beginning of a little bit. And maybe give us a more details of cool brainteasers, puzzles games and obstacles.