Somewhere in the backwoods, a lab assistant named Curtis is working at a government laboratory called SERU. His job is to take care of the lab rats and make sure they don't kill each other. These are not your common variety lab rats; they were bred to be ruthless predators. There is one particular rat called General, a white rodent with an extra large brain that is smarter and more dangerous than it first seems. Curtis realizes that there are "experiments" that are far more disturbing than killer rats, but knows that it's better to pretend not to notice and stay out of trouble.
One evening, during a routine feeding, Curtis hears something seeking attention from another lab. He decides to ignore the noise at first, but is startled when the mysterious creature asks for food and starts shrieking. This makes the lab rats restless and Curtis curious. He decides to find out what is hidden in the other room. What, or rather who, he finds is nothing like he has ever met before or will ever meet again.
At first, all Curtis sees is a distressed young girl with white blond hair, but then he notices the brilliant orange eyes that are the reason for her trapped existence. Dusk is the product of a military experiment gone wrong. Many years before, the army wanted to see if soldiers could have night vision. A human embryo was injected with hawk genes, and Dusk was born. They found that she was more than they could handle, so they have kept her sedated and locked in a cage during most of her young life.
While Curtis is trying to make sense of the shocking discovery, a fire accidentally breaks out and burns down the military facility. Curtis manages to rescue Dusk and himself from being victims of the deadly blaze, but loses sight of Dusk as she escapes to the nearby ghost town of Prospect. Dusk isn't the only "experiment" to survive, as General, along with some of his followers, and Wolf --- a killer guard dog --- also flee to Prospect.
Two years go by, and Curtis's son Jay shows up from the city to stay with his dad in the backwoods for the summer. Jay is going through some tough times and doesn't understand his religious mother or his father, who turns to drinking to drown out his pain. One day, he decides to run errands and goes by Prospect. Meanwhile, Dusk keeps watch from the steeple of a church as the mutant survivors take turns during the day ruling the ghost town. Little do Jay and Dusk know that their very different worlds are about to collide and be turned upside down.
DUSK is a stunning work of science fiction that is interesting and disturbing at the same time. It reminds readers just how far we've come from the early days of sci-fi, when ideas like computers and space age were thought to be unrealistic and impossible. Hopefully, combining animal and human genes together in freak experiments won't happen anytime soon. One thing is for sure though: readers will find this book hard to put down.