Devolution by Max Brooks

An experimental community in the woods of the Pacific Northwest. The eruption of Mt. Rainer and the ecological and societal fallout. A lost species that becomes caught in the middle of the run to survive. Max Brooks proves again that an epistolary novel can be just as nerve-wracking and character-driven as any other text.

Focusing primarily of the diary entries of Kate, one of the members of the community, the book is a slow burn at first. The reader learns all the personalities from of the small core of people who have chosen to rid themselves of pull of the city. From Tony the slightly-arrogant, ideologue Silicon-Valley transplant who is the leader of the camp… to the Mostar, the badass leader who emerges as the one who may have what it takes to care protect the isolated group.

Brooks does an excellent job shifting the documents to create both an intricate story of the core participants as well as provide the important historical information so we understand the misshapen America he has created. But there’s also the scientific evidence connected to the beast, and how professional pride may have hindered further research into the creatures. It is a complex multilayer anxiety-ridden ride that Brooks puts forth for the reader to sift through.  I enjoyed every freaking second of it!

In this book you’re going to find intense group dynamics that are constantly threatening to fall apart, a fast slip into nonstop action, and different perspectives that will make your head spin. This ain’t Harry and the Hendersons… these descriptions are in the moonlight, up close, and scary. The tension will rise and fall… Who will survive the eruption? Will these marriages last? And what will happen when they come face to face with the legend of Bigfoot?

Highly recommended. A 5-star read.

Thank you to NetGalley, Del Rey Books, and the author for an advanced copy for review.

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