book review, horror

Devolution by Max Brooks

Man and nature collide in this chilling book by the author of World War Z.

Following in the tradition of adventure novellists such as H Rider Haggard, and horror authors such as H P Lovecraft, Max Brooks crafts his new epistolary novel around the framework of the diary of Kate Holland, supplemented by various interviews, including her brother Frank McCray, and Senior Ranger Josephine Schell.

The story concerns the denizens of a eco friendly community called Greenloop, of which Kate Holland is a member, and what happens to them when they lose technology and are stranded by an explosion of Mount Rainier.

A lot of the same themes as World War Z are present in this novel. A brutal force of nature pushing humanity to its limit. Mortal peril revealing the individual’s true strengths and weaknesses. The surprise of who actually thrives under such pressure.

While this is a horror novel, with some real chills because of how realistically the scenario is portrayed, the extra layers to the plot are what make it extremely satisfying. Kate, and the others who dwell in Greenloop, are believable characters with strong story arcs. Every aspect of life is up for discussion in this novel, from special snowflakes, helicopter parents, technology dependent living, to God, War, peace and a Lord of the Flies like examination of what we become once stripped of the trappings of civilization.

While this depth feeds the intellect, the presence of Bigfoot is most satisfying to the imagination. Meticulously researched and documented, this depiction of the big man is a cryptozoologists dream, and is a plausible portrayal of a large bipedal ape living in North America.

I’ve been on a Bigfoot kick this year after reading a novel that mentioned mysterious tree knocking sounds at night, and I hoped that it would be Sasquatch. This is certainly my favorite Bigfoot book so far, and it’s set the bar high for all that follow.

I award Devolution

Devolution is available for $11.46 ebook and $21.87 print book on Amazon.

8 thoughts on “Devolution by Max Brooks”

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