Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Inhuman by Kat Falls

Inhuman by Kat Falls
Release Date: September 24, 2013
Publisher: Scholastic

America has been ravaged by a war that has left the eastern half of the country riddled with mutation. Many of the people there exhibit varying degrees of animal traits. Even the plantlife has gone feral.  Crossing from west to east is supposed to be forbidden, but sometimes it’s necessary. Some enter the Savage Zone to provide humanitarian relief. Sixteen-year-old Lane’s father goes there to retrieve lost artifacts—he is a Fetch. It’s a dangerous life, but rewarding—until he’s caught.  Desperate to save her father, Lane agrees to complete his latest job. That means leaving behind her life of comfort and risking life and limb—and her very DNA—in the Savage Zone. But she’s not alone. In order to complete her objective, Lane strikes a deal with handsome, roguish Rafe. In exchange for his help as a guide, Lane is supposed to sneak him back west. But though Rafe doesn’t exhibit any signs of “manimal” mutation, he’s hardly civilized . . . and he may not be trustworthy.  - Goodreads.com

Inhuman was definitely one of the more interesting dystopians I've read in a while.  It really gives a unique twist on the whole world-in-apocalypse type story.  I've read quite a few of these where some disease or engineered, viral sickness has swept the world and devastated it, but nothing quite like this.  So definite props for invention here.  In this story, an engineered sickness has swept the world, yes, but it doesn't cause zombies or killing illnesses, but rather, it creates genetic mutations that turn people into a mixture of human and animal.  There are multiple strands of this disease sweeping the world outside the wall, and the results are that people are mutating into a variety of animals.

The same thing that made the story very inventive also made me a bit skeptical.  I wasn't sure that I bought the whole concept that people could mutate into animals.  However, that being said, for some reason I still liked it, despite my skepticism.  The story was just so well done and the characters so engaging that I was able to suspend disbelief enough to really enjoy it.

There was some very good character development in this book, especially on the part of Lane.  This is a girl who has lived a very sheltered life behind the safety of the wall, taken care of by her father.  So having her thrown into a situation where she must leave the protection of those walls and not have the benefit of her father's care and safety around her definitely caused her personality to shift and change.  It was that change which made her a very interesting character.  She gradually evolves into a more brave girl willing to put herself into danger and chase it even in order to save her father.  I loved this about her.  You could still see her vulnerabilities though... so she was a well-rounded character.

I loved both of the guys in this story also.  They are polar opposites.  One is kind, brave, and sacrificing, and the other is cocky, brave, and mysterious.  It was very difficult to come down on one side of the fence or the other when it came to these guys because they are both great, and they both interact differently with Lane.  Their is potential romance with both.  I'm really not sure who I would want her to be with in the end, but I have time to figure it out.

This was a really great start to a new series.  It ended with a cliffhanger that made me want to read on, so I'd definitely say this was a winner.


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