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  • Writer's pictureJessica

Book Review: Devolution by Max Brooks

Love spooky mythology? Did you read and love World War Z? Author Max Brooks is back with Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre, a horror tale about survival and the unpredictable nature of human beings. Thank you to Del Rey/Ballantine Books for providing me with a free ebook copy!

Synopsis from the publisher

The #1 bestselling author of World War Z returns with a horror tale that blurs the lines between human and beast, and asks, What are we capable of when we’re cut off from society?

Set in the wilds of Washington State, Greenloop was once a model eco-community—until nature’s wrath made it a tragic object lesson in civilization’s fragility. 

Offering a glorious back-to-nature experience with all the comforts of high-speed Internet, solar smart houses, and the assurance of being mere hours from Seattle by highway, Greenloop was indeed a paradise—until Mount Rainier erupted, leaving its residents truly cut off from the world, and utterly unprepared for the consequences. With no weapons and their food supplies dwindling, Greenloop’s residents slowly realized that they were in a fight for survival. And as the ash swirled and finally settled, they found themselves facing a specter none of them could have predicted—or even thought possible. . . .

In these pages, Max Brooks brings to light the journals of resident Kate Holland, recovered from the town’s bloody wreckage, faithfully reproducing her words alongside his own investigations into the massacre that followed and the legendary beasts behind it. If what Kate saw in those days is real, then we must accept the impossible. We must accept that the creature known as Bigfoot walks among us—and that it is a beast of terrible strength and ferocity.

Part survival narrative, part bloody horror tale, part scientific journey into the boundaries between truth and fiction, this is a Bigfoot story as only Max Brooks could chronicle it—and like none you’ve ever read before.

My thoughts on Devolution

I'm not much of a horror fan in general, but I LOVED World War Z and it's ultra-realistic take on the zombie apocalypse scenario. You can imagine my excitement when I found out Max Brooks was doing something similar with Sasquatch.

However...Sasquatch? Really? I had some doubts when I noticed he was taking on the big, furry, elusive myth. Zombies are inherently scary, but I wasn't so sure how scary he'd make Bigfoot. Of course, I was wrong. There were definitely scary monster parts in this book regarding Bigfoot, but much of the horror came from the humans.

What you can expect:

  • graphic violence and gore (be forewarned)

  • a narrative format that uses individual "accounts" and "interviews" from various sources

  • creepy survival horror and monster horror

  • discussions with your partner, kids, friends, or family of what you'd all do in this survival situation

Devolution made for a quick and addictive read. However, I thought the overall story was missing something. Some of the characters didn't feel as fleshed out as they could be. And admittedly, the protagonist Kate was annoying at times, but her voice and actions made the story all the more realistic.

If you like realistic horror, survivalism, and Brooks' other work, you'll probably like Devolution.

Rating: 4/5 stars

Devolution by Max Brooks releases on June 16, 2020!

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