Devolution by Max Brooks
My rating: [user 3]
As the ash and chaos from Mount Rainier’s eruption swirled and finally settled, the story of the Greenloop massacre has passed unnoticed, unexamined… until now. But the journals of resident Kate Holland, recovered from the town’s bloody wreckage, capture a tale too harrowing – and too earth-shattering in its implications – to be forgotten.
In these pages, Max Brooks brings Kate’s extraordinary account to light for the first time, faithfully reproducing her words alongside his own extensive investigations into the massacre and the beasts behind it, once thought legendary but now known to be terrifyingly real.
Kate’s is a tale of unexpected strength and resilience, of humanity’s defiance in the face of a terrible predator’s gaze, and inevitably, of savagery and death.
Yet it is also far more than that.
Because if what Kate Holland 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.
[I received a copy through NetGalley and Pigeonhole, in exchange for an honest review.]
Maybe not the best book to read considering the circumstances at the time (and still now), but I guess I can be a glutton for punishment sometimes, and I had liked “World War Z” a few years ago. I liked it for its “cabin fever” atmosphere (a few people completely isolated from the external world, having to survive while contending with themselves and each other), but not as much as I expected.
While the format itself—interviews, excerpts from a journal…—worked well enough for me in general, I found the pacing a little off at times (for instance, I’d expect more action, but get an article instead, which slowed down the narrative). The limits of the journal entries format is reached regularly when it comes to, well, action scenes (would someone really write it down like this in their personal journal?). I was also on the fence regarding another thing that I found interesting, that is, the breaking down of the small Greenloop community: I couldn’t decide if this, or the Bigfoot part, was the more interesting, and I felt that, in a way, the novel would’ve been more powerful if focused on one of the other, but not having both share the screen time, so to speak. Maybe that’s just me, though—and, let’s be honest, at first I had also picked this novel for the Bigfoot part anyway.
I did like the ending. It is a very open one, with several hypotheses as to what happened to the characters in the end, and it may make it or break it for a lot of people… but I liked having such an opening, allowing me to pick an ending, or none.
Conclusion: 3 stars. It was entertaining, but not amazing.
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