Published by Simon & Schuster May 2012
There used to be more of us. I’m certain of this. Not enough to fill a sports arena or even a movie theatre but certainly more than what’s left today. Truth is, I don’t think there’s any of us left. Except me. It’s what happens when you’re a delicacy. When you’re craved. You go extinct.
Good Reads Summary
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?
The central premise of this book inevitably creates tension and is at its most successful where the imaginative world-building is quite distinct from contemporary life. Someone perhaps has suggested to Mr Fukuda that creating similarities to American High School life will make it more ‘relevant’ to his readership. It does not – not for this reader anyway. I found those kinds of references distracting.
Where the narrative is simply told, without explanations or too many similes, the story is fast paced and true to its main themes. There is plenty of movement and conflict, although there were sequences where what was meant to be horrifying, I found funny. That may well be my warped British sense of humour.
This is clearly meant to be the beginning of the series – the book ends with a key character unaccounted for - and there are plenty of narrative possibilities for further adventures. Telling the story from the hunted’s point of view is an appealing notion and leads to plenty of jeopardy for Gene. I am a little disappointed that the cover image is so conventional when the author’s surname suggests a much more interesting Japanese heritage.
There are some pretty gruesome moments, unsurprisingly for a teen dystopian story, so this is more suitable for those with a strong stomach. It would suit those who like paranormal YA fantasy with a touch of romance and plenty of quick-moving action. It wouldn’t suit anyone irritated by Americanisms or wanting a stand-alone novel.