Release Date: 24th September 2013
Edition: e-proof, review copy
In a world ravaged by mutation, a teenage girl must travel into the forbidden Savage Zone to recover lost artefacts or her father’s life is forfeit.
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 artefacts – 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 last 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 civilised...and he may not be trustworthy.
I absolutely loved Kat Falls’ debut Dark Life from a couple of years ago, and the sequel too, so I was really excited to hear about Inhuman.
Once again, I was blown away by Kat Falls’ original and fantastic world-building. I think it’s quite difficult to be individual in a sub-genre so saturated like dystopia is, but Inhuman did it effortlessly. Eighteen years ago, a company accidentally released a plague upon North America causing genetic mutations in humans and animals (that remind me of the creatures of The Island of Doctor Moreau) and both to go feral and attack uninfected people. Within days, the population was halved and the infected East was cut off from the West. Cool, right?
I was utterly captivated by the Feral Zone (the area of the East away from the protection of the Western line guards). Hardy people surviving against all the odds and making up communities again; horrifying, cute, dangerous and downright ugly mixtures of animal and human roam the wild East; ridiculous danger and some of the bravest people Lane had ever met – a perfect setting for a novel. I kind of want to go there if I’m honest; Kat Falls seems to have that effect on me with her novels...
As well as a stunning set-up, Inhuman really delivered on the characters as well. I was really unsure at first, but I grew to love Lane. She changed from a prissy, precocious little girl into a brave, loyal and plain good person that I’d genuinely like to be friends with. Rafe and Everson also captured my heart. I love that they were so, so different, but in a way that complemented each other and different aspects of Lane’s personality. They worked really well as a team and I enjoyed the friendship-with-definite-lust-and-potential-for-love triangle. They reminded me of season two/early three Elena, Stefan and Damon from The Vampire Diaries. Whom I love endlessly. I’m a fan of the fact that I can’t predict what will happen between them; it’s refreshing.
Inhuman is a fast-paced, addictive novel that I didn’t want to end. Next book please!
Received via a Catching Fire promotional selection from Scholastic/NetGalley.