pub date: May 8, 2012
publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
source: LibraryThings Early Reviewer program
appeals: dystopic of sorts, evil vampires, a little romance, end of the human race, a hunt!
content: some gore and violence
I wish I'd written this review the moment I finished the book. I had some great thoughts about it. But I didn't write this review the moment I finished the book, it's actually been almost two weeks since I reached the last page. So all I have left are some vague thoughts. I'm sorry.
Vague thought #1: I should've liked this book. I should've LOVED this book. The premise (below) sounded exciting and the blurbs from authors were so promising. I should have found it exciting and unputdownable. Let me just say, it did not live up to my expectations. The last thirty pages, the climax of Gene's story, took me five days to finish. When faced with going to bed or finishing, I went to bed. When the choice was between washing dishes or finishing, I washed the dishes. Obviously, it was a struggle to finish. So why did I finish? So that I could write this review.
Vague thought #2: The world building left something to be desired.
In the beginning I was intrigued with the quirky social behavior of the vampires. It was bazaar and original and wierd. Really wierd. Which made it interesting. (Though how they named each other was pretty odd and would be totally confusing outside of school). Gene just accepts their behavior as normal so when he's describing the vampires, it seems normal in this world. Though it really is wierd.
But there were parts of the world that didn't make sense to me. First, a human boy hiding around super fast and strong vampires without getting caught out? I didn't buy it.
Second, where did the vampires come from? Gene had been alone for many years (7?), but before that he had his dad and before that he had his mom and sister. They're gone because the vampires ate them. Gene is the last free human. But his dad remembered a time before the vampires. Or at least the dad understood what being "human" meant, which Gene doesn't understand. I just didn't understand when the world went from human to all vampire, and how.
Aslo, did the humans really give up so easily that they all became meals in less than a generation? Okay, that last question is going to be answered in the next book, I'm sure, but I doubt that the vampires would overcome so many humans in such a short time, even with their uncontrollable bloodlust. We humans are experts at weapons and survival. So what happened?
Vague thought #3: Gene was a very unsympathetic character. He was fine in the beginning because he was all about surviving by not making waves. I found it interesting that he hated being human. He wanted to be "normal." But later, he was rather wimp. He didn't DO anything. He just went a long with the flow until someone else came along and told him what to do. I wanted him to think for himself.
And when he went on the hunt and met the hepers (vampire word for humans) he's just a jerk. I understood why he thought and acted the way he did. It made sense. But it also made me not like him. At all. Which is why the ending drug on and on for me. I didn't like the progagonist, a sure bet that I wasn't so interested in his survival.
Vague thought #4: the romance rather stunk. But that's because I'm a girl that likes girly romance. If you like more manly romance, then you probably wouldn't agree.
Okay, so that wasn't as vague as I expected. I take my apology back.
EDIT 4/11/12: I just reread this review and it is very negative. Which is why I should reread reviews before I post them. But I wanted to point out that there were good things about this book, too. It was well written, there was a lot of suspense, the vampires were interesting. I think it will definitely have an audience who will love it. I enjoyed most of it, up until the part I thought Gene was a jerk and and a wimp didn't care so much for him.
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?