Don’t sweat. Don’t laugh. Don’t draw attention to yourself. And most of all, whatever you do, do not fall in love with one of them.
Gene is different from everyone else around him. He can’t run with lightning speed, sunlight doesn’t hurt him, and he doesn’t have an unquenchable lust for blood. Gene is a human, and he knows the rules. Keep the truth a secret. It’s the only way to stay alive in a world of night - a world where humans are considered a delicacy and hunted for their blood.
When he’s chosen for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hunt the last remaining humans, Gene’s carefully constructed life begins to crumble around him. He’s thrust into the path of a girl who makes him feel things he never thought possible - and into a ruthless pack of hunters whose suspicions about his true nature are growing. Now that Gene has finally found something worth fighting for, his need to survive is stronger than ever - but is it worth the cost of his humanity?
Cover Review: I love the cover. If you look really closely, you can see a little village in the distance. The people running at the bottom is pretty cool too, as well as the rip in the cover (it’s not really a rip, just meant to look like a rip…)
Main Character: Gene
Story: First things first. This novel is told in a boy’s perspective, which I find to be quite uncommon in most YA books. I really enjoyed seeing the world through Gene’s eyes.
Long ago, Gene’s mother and sister disappeared. Now, he lives with his father. The world is run by vampires. Not many humans are left. The ones that are left are saved in a dome for a heper hunt or are saved underground. We’ll get more into that later.
One day, Gene’s father comes home with blood on himself. Gene knows automatically that he is now going to have to survive all alone. His father is going to become a vampire. His father taught him many things about pretending to be a vampire. He must wear fake fangs and sharpen them every night. He must always take a shower-he can’t smell of a human at all. That’s why he only does swimming. Otherwise, the vampires would smell sweat. He must also shave… vampires have no hair besides the hair on their heads.
Since everyone is a vampire, school runs at night. At school, Gene is an excellent student. He just can’t see the board since it’s too dark. He doesn’t have the eyes of a vampire. There is this girl at his school that he has a huge crush on. The only thing is his father taught him not to become close to anyone. Closeness could mean death.
In this world, every once in a while there is this huge event called a “Heper Hunt.” Heper as in humans. During the Heper Hunt, humans are given a map and are told to go to the appointed area. They are told that their dome is not going to shut the next day, that it is broken. *The dome that the humans live in closes at night and is open during the day. That way, vampires can’t get to them.*
One day at school, an announcement is made saying that the Director has some important news. Everyone later meets and we find that there is going to be another Heper Hunt… possibly the last. Supposedly this is the last of the humans left.
Everyone is sent a code for the lottery which is used for picking the contestants. It just so happens that Gene and the other girl at his school, Ashley June, both won. They are both taken immediately for training.
Training never really happens. Other things go on. Once all the contestants arrive at the center, everyone is given rooms. It just so happens that Gene’s room is in the library, which is farther away than everyone else. He is also closer to the Heper dome. While in his room one night, Gene finds a book with a blank page in the middle.
As the story goes on, we find many things we didn’t expect. There were so many twists and turns in this novel. I absolutely LOVED it. I was always on the edge of my seat waiting to see what would happen. I was constantly asking myself questions, such as “Is anyone going to find out that Gene is a human?”, “How is Gene going to possibly hunt humans and keep up with the running vampires if he is a human himself?”, or even “Is anyone else a human under disguise?” It was just so good. I was really scared for Gene everytime any of the vampires smelled Heper. I was just hoping that nobody noticed that it was him.
Characters: I really enjoyed seeing this story through Gene’s eyes, as he was pretending to be a vampire. He had to follow so many strict rules. He can’t blush, scrunch his face, raise his eyebrows, sweat, laugh, or smile. Instead of laughing, vampires scratch their wrists. Ouch! He must always have a poker face. I know I wouldn’t survive in a world like this.
I loved the many things that we learned about Ashley June. Their were many unexpected things that we didn’t know. She was one of the populars at school, and her boyfriend died a while back. Since then, she hasn’t dated anyone else. I could definitely tell that she had a thing for Gene. She was kind of mysterious, especially when she kept asking about the dome and when it closes.
Sissy, the head heper in the dome, was interesting. I like how she saw the world differently since she was raised in the dome. She was very adventurous and I felt as if she did everything for her village. She wanted everyone to be safe.
All in All: I’d definitely suggest this novel. It was full of twists and turns and kept you guessing as to what was going to happen next. It was quite the ride and I enjoyed every second of it. I’m eagerly awaiting the sequel.
Have you read this novel? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Photo, summary, and info at top were all found on Goodreads.