on 13 January 2014
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Scholastic and Netgalley.)
16-year-old Lane lives in a dystopian society, where beyond the boundary wall live people who are known as `feral' - part-human, part-animal hybrids.
When Lane is picked up for possibly being infected (having the disease that turns people feral), she soon learns that the reason is that her father has been going across the boundary to the old city of Chicago to bring back priceless art works. One woman has evidence of him crossing the boundary, and offers Lane a deal - get her father to retrieve something for her from Chicago, and she'll make the evidence go away.
Given only 5 days to find her father, get the item, and get back behind the boundary wall, Lane is on a tight schedule.
Can she find the scientist who supposedly knows where her father is? Can she find the item the woman has asked for? And can she do it without becoming infected herself?
This was an okay dystopian novel, but it felt like a bit like a fairy-tale-mash-up.
Lane was an okay character, although I did think she was maybe a little dumb at times. I didn't quite get how she could figure out that the stories her father had told her, were really about what was on the other side of the wall, but then not figure out that the strange creatures he'd talked about where also real and on the other side of the wall. Logic missing.
The storyline in this book was a bit of a strange one. At times it felt like we really were in some kind of a dystopian future, and then at other times it felt like some kind of fairy-tale world. At times I got hints of `The Wizard of Oz' - a tiger-man who is going around searching for a heart (the tin-man), and a girl who is looking for a scientist who will tell her what she needs to get home (Dorothy), never mind that they were traveling along a road (admittedly it wasn't made of yellow bricks but we can't be too literal). Not forgetting the feral and very vicious monkey type things, which reminded me of the Wicked Witch's flying monkeys.
Then there were hints of `Alice in Wonderland' - Lane having to crawl through small spaces, and then a very self-important, and nasty-piece-of-work Queen, who kept ordering people killed (I was waiting for the `Off with their heads!' line!), who reminded me of the Queen of Hearts.
There was even a `Beauty and the Beast' angle worked in there - `the beast has to win her heart', which was unexpected and quite clever.
I did feel that this book lost its way a little in the middle, and I did find some of the middle bits a little boring, but thankfully it picked up a bit at the end. The ending was then alright, but again, I thought that Lane had been exceptionally stupid as it turned out. There was quite a lot not wrapped up at the end, leaving more to be explored in further books, but I wouldn't want to read these back-to-back. That boring part in the middle stopped this from being anything more than an okay read for me.
Overall; and okay dystopian fairy-tale-esque story.
6.5 out of 10.
on 8 October 2013
When I heard of this I knew Id read it because it sounds so different.
Lane lives behind the wall. She has heard the tales of the East. She has heard about the Feral Zones and like everyone else, to her its just a story. She knows the history of why the wall was there but it still doesn't prepare her for whats outside.
The Fereae virus has decimated the world. It caused animals to go feral and turns people into savage animals, literally! The wall in the West was built, by the same company who created the virus, to keep out the ferals.
When Lane finds out that her father is a fetch (someone who illegally goes into the zones to fetch items and sell) and is now on the run from the government she is shocked. She is told that unless her father fetches a certain something he will be killed. She has no choice but to go into the heart of the feral zone to try and find him.
Ok, this book was awesome!! The idea that the people are actually turning into different animals is so unique. Also the virus is mutating people into different mixtures of animals. When lane sees her first Manimal she is shocked. She knows now that the "fariytales" her father told her every night are true and he was secretly preparing her in case she ever had to go there. She sees people with tails and fur and different animal parts on them.
I loved Lane. Her character starts out so afraid of dirt and infection that she has hand sanitizer on hand at all times but soon realises that that's the least of her worries. Her father made her take all kind of survival classes when she was growing up and she is so thankful for them but will they really help her survive, especially when she is up against cunning, vicious animals.
Everson and Rafe were another thing I loved. Everson is a soldier who patrols the border between the Wall and the Feral Zone. He finds Lane trying to cross and instead of turning her in he tries to help. Rafe is at the total opposite of Everson, he is rough and wild and grew up in the zone. Everyday for him is a struggle to survive. He is hunting a vicious rogue Manimal,that is ripping out the hearts of his victims, when he comes across Lane. He knows he father so decides to help her locate him.
What follows is an action packed, fight for survival, fast paced book. The world Kat Falls has created is unique and dangerous. I love the concept of the people being bitten and turning into mishmash animals. The author draws you in with her descriptive writing. It had plenty of twists and enough mystery to keep me satisfied. When I read the ending though I was so sad but hopeful they can fix it. I definitely cant wait for book 2 to see where the author will take it.
on 18 October 2013
I really enjoyed Inhuman. At a time when we're being saturated with zombie fiction, Kat Falls manages to give us something that's just as nasty, but different enough to be slightly more realistic. It kind of reminded me of two of my favourite movies, 28 Days Later/ 28 Weeks Later as the horror was all down to a virus rather than the undead (it does tend to get lumped into the zombie movie category and really shouldn't be)
The world she lays out to the reader is both compelling, and a little disconcerting, I've quite often said that this is the kind of end of the world that could actually happen. Lane is a cool protagonist and has a strong story arc and character development throughout the book. I also completely agree with her hand sanitizer issues! Germs, germs everywhere and all that! Although, she certainly doesn't beat The Hunger Game's Katniss in the survival skills stakes.
From a writer's perspective, it does have the A-typical love triangle that we've come to expect for YA fiction, which made it slightly cliché for me, however the fact that one of them (Rafe) comes across as a bit of a knob for most of the book, separates it nicely from the likes of Twilight.
The book was fast paced, which kept me reading well into the wee hours of the night, and it's pretty obvious that this will be a series.
Overall I've give Inhuman 4 out 5 stars, bring on book 2 Kat!