The Cavies are a group of ten sixteen- to seventeen-year-olds with genetic anomalies that give each of them a special power, such as invisibility, super-hearing, telekinesis, or the ability to teleport. The Cavies live in the slave quarters of Darley, an old plantation home in South Carolina, under the care of the Professor, the Philosopher, and the Philanthropist, who are supposedly seeking ways to control the mutant genes.
The Cavies are each named according to their power and are categorized according to their level of usefulness. Gypsy's power is considered Inconsequential; just by touching someone, she can see the age at which they will die, and she is so named because of this ability to somewhat see into the future. Gypsy dreams of living in the real world, but what will happen when the Cavies are finally "rescued", and her wish actually comes true? While she may go unnoticed in the normal world, what about her fellow Cavies, including the Unstables and those with lethal powers?
How will Gypsy cope when she is separated from her lifelong friends, given the new name of "Norah", and thrust into the unfamiliar world of a real father, high school, and cute boys? What happens when she falls for the guy she knows will die when he's eighteen? When the Cavies find out that one of their own is in trouble, will they be able to help her? How is it that the Cavies were all born and given up in the same place? Are their genetic mutations really an accident of nature? Are they all part of some giant government conspiracy? And just what is the true meaning of "Cavy"?
The author switches between using the Cavies' old and new names, a habit which I found annoying and confusing. The writing also suffers from the overuse of (usually bad) similes and metaphors; I found it hard to tell if this was a quirk of Gypsy as the narrator, or if it was simply poor style. Be warned, the book ends on a cliffhanger and leaves many of the above questions unanswered. On the plus side, the story is interesting (if somewhat reminiscent of the television show Heroes
), and I look forward to finding out what happens in the rest of this series.
I received this book in return for an honest review.