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Review – Devolution by Max Brooks

Devolution by Max Brooks
Overall
8/10
8/10
  • Writing - 8/10
    8/10
  • Development - 8/10
    8/10
  • Overall - 8/10
    8/10
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Summary

Max Brooks, the author behind World War Z, is back with another novel: Devolution. This time it’s going to be a tale of survival and Sasquatch.

 

Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre

Do you remember the hit novel (or movie, for those that preferred it) World War Z? Well, the author, Max Brooks, is back, and this time he’s providing a story about Sasquatch. Devolution is the name, and it is a tale as bloody and harrowing as the fans could have hoped for.

Max Brooks - Devolution
Max Brooks – Devolution

Devolution is a tale that is one part journal, and one part investigative reporting. Kate Holland had just moved to a quiet (but very technologically advanced) town near Mount Rainier. It was meant to be a fresh start for her…but it turned into a nightmare.

Before I dive into my review, I just want to touch on one thing real quick. Some of the events in Devolution hit home harder than ever, thanks strongly in part to world events at the moment. I think we’re all a bit more sensitive to the idea of being trapped at home (literally), and food shortages right now.

Writing

Max Brooks is back to tell us a horror story through a complex combination of storytelling techniques. If you’ve read World War Z, then you know exactly what I’m talking about here. In this instance, it’s mostly a combination of journal entries (written by Kate Holland), as well as some interviews, newspaper clippings, and the likes.

Unlike World War Z, the novel does follow one main character through to the end. That actually did a lot to add to the impact of what was happening here. One way or the other, we were with her until the end.

Devolution is an interesting story. It isn’t afraid to get dark or graphic, which is good because it frequently does both. It definitely had a slightly stronger impact thanks to current events, but it is still well written and evocative even outside of that context.

The tone of this novel was amazing and is arguably the reason I loved it so much. There was such a strong note of suspense, while also having this air that almost felt like…healing. It was an interesting blend, and not at all what I expected.

Development

Devolution is a horror novel through and through. It starts out slow and steady, but by the end, there’s really no stopping what’s going to happen. It’s tense and terrifying at times, made all the more brutal by the descriptive scenes.

That all actually fit in nicely with Brooks’ general writing style and the idea of following a story long after the events had settled. I won’t say that it felt like we were taking a clinical look at what happened—there’s too much emotion for that—but it was close.

The transition in Kate’s character is arguably one of the highlights of this novel. Though the secondary characters should also get credit for the changes they went through in this novel. It made the conclusion carry more weight, and will probably leave each reader with a slightly different impression.

Conclusion

Devolution is a novel perfect for fans of World War Z, though I should probably clarify that this is mostly the case for fans of the novel (the movie is very different from its source material). Max Brooks has a unique writing style, which some readers may not enjoy.

It is that very writing style that shines through here, making for a strange and horrifying reading experience. This is not a journey I’ll be forgetting anytime soon. And yet, I’m already looking forward to seeing what he comes out with next.

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About the author

Cat Wyatt

Cat Wyatt is an avid comic book reader, as well as a reader of novels. Her favorite genres are science fiction and fantasy, though she's usually willing to try other genres as well. Cat collects Funko Pop figures, Harry Potter books (different editions), and has more bookshelves than she's willing to admit.

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