Cover Image: Devolution

Devolution

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Member Reviews

This was an interesting little story about the speculation that Bigfoot is real and lives near human populations. It's also an interesting take on society and who we trust and why. The asides from experts are entertaining as you try to decipher what could be real or not.
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I really wanted to love this book as the premise sounded intriguing. I did not however realize that it was told in journals etc much like World War Z. I didn't much like that and I didn't much like this. That's not the author's fault but my own shortcoming.
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Brooks's take on Bigfoot is a refreshing character study mixed with his trademark flair for action and well-timed violence. Very enjoyable.
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I wasn't sure that I would like this format since I was not a fan of World War Z, but this format was perfect for this story.  Devolution tells the story of the massacre of the small community of Greenloop after the eruption of Mt. Rainier.  In the aftermath, the entire region around the Cascades is left cut off from civilization. The story of what happened in Greenloop in the days and weeks following the eruption are told through the journal of Kate Holland.  She tells of the horrors faced by her and the other residents when a group of what must have been Bigfoot began a series of attacks on the community.  

Kate's journal entries are mixed with interviews with primate experts and Max Brooks' imagination, to provide a well-rounded study into how a Sasquatch troop would behave and a vivid picture into what it might be like to be the object of their attack.
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You gotta love a well done Big Foot story.  Brooks has wisely invested as much in his human characters as in the monster.  it's a fun read that would be good for travel.  Might make a good movie too!
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I will read everything that Max Brooks writes!  Devolution was brilliant, gripping, and a little bit scary.  Will be purchasing for library and personal collections.
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One of the best books I've read in a while. Max Brooks never fails. The background and research of bigfoot, mixed with the community's story was a thoughtful mix, one complimented the other.  A pack if bigfoot is a vicious,  horrible thing.
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Great read. Great author. You can never go wrong with Max Brooks, and I’m glad to see a good Bigfoot novel!
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Creepy and disturbing (but in the best way possible!) I was really pulled into the story and thoroughly enjoyed it. I recommended this to my aunt and she said it scared her half to death. Clearly, Mr Brooks has inherited his father's talent, just in a different direction.
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I thought this book was pretty good, but maybe not the right fit for ME. I think I hyped it up too much in my mind as a page turner and it wasn't. That's on me, but to the book's credit I enjoyed the unique perspective and overall themes--Definitely worth a read for anyone who enjoys this sort of story, but an appreciation for journal entry type-formatting is a must.
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I really wanted to love this as much as the previous author's book, but I found myself skimming parts and didn't really connect with the characters. My spoiler-free review is that the ending really picked things up for me, but it took a while to get there.
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This book was very fun to read, I preferred it to his other novel, World War Z.  The format is easy to follow with the story told as a journal, not numerous narrators from around the globe.  It is suspenseful and stressful, not a great choice for bedtime reading, but very entertaining and engrossing.
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This is my first cryptid novel. I'll admit I wasn't sure if I could get into a book about Bigfoot, but this was a great surprise for me. I didn't expect this to also be written so similarly to World War Z but it works for this story.  Great cast of characters(although I found some of the names to be weird). Fearsome monsters....much scarier than I had expected. The mysterious ending....great fantastic read.
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This was a fun eco-thriller/horror novel about Sasquatch that was a perfect switch-up from some lighter fare I had been reading at the time. Max Brooks does horror extremely well, pacing his novels perfectly and take the reader on a wild ride. I look forward to his next release.
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I enjoy the crap out of Max Brooks's books. He is amazing at breaking down disasters and hypothesizing how society would react. I never would have thought that a zombie book would be one of my all-time favorites yet here we are. Reading a book about bigfoots (bigfeet?)

There were so many parts of this book that were amazing. I especially liked how realistic the reaction was to the Mount Rainier eruption. There were a lot of parallels to the California wildfires this past summer. The part about the fragility of our food infrastructure is alarming and also incredibly topical.

Spoilers ahead!
My main (tiny!) beef with this story is that it didn't actually need the sasquatch portion to be scary. A group of privileged people trying to survive the wilderness over the winter is a terrifying story in and of itself. In fact, a modernized Donner Party scenario would have been scarier and I'm sad that Brooks didn't at least utilize it a bit more in the story.

In fact, the timeline of this story is the most unrealistic part. The eruption is at the beginning of October and the last journal entry is October 27th. The first sighting was a week after the eruption. So it only took a week after a disaster for a bigfoot tribe to escalate from fishing to deer to people? Even less believable, it took two weeks to turn a bunch of privileged wealthy people into doomsday preppers? I think it would take a fair amount of time for people to come to terms with not being rescued right away, even with a person like Mostar there. Even longer for them to start trying to ration their food or garden.

I wish that the story had stretched into the middle of November or the beginning of December when it started to get a lot colder and the food was starting to run out. It would have created more desperation both with the humans and the sasquatch tribe. I thought the mention of the veganism was foreshadowing to cannibalism later on and I'm almost sad that it didn't happen.

Yep, this book has me saying I'm sad cannibalism didn't happen.

So good.

Also, that epilogue is bananas on a I Am Legend scale.
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Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre by Max Brooks is a novel of terror and horror and the hubris of man that is so long overdue. The fact that he chooses the somewhat comical pop culture icon of Bigfoot to do it with only shows you the courage and wit of the author who is willing to take such monumental risks. Take them, own them, and succeed with them!

"...Those poor bastards didn't want a rural life. They expected an urban life in a rural setting. They tried to adapt their environment instead of adapting to it. And I really can sympathize. Who doesn't want to break from the herd? I get why you'd want to keep the comforts of city life while leaving the city behind. Crowds, crime, filth, noise. Even in the burbs. So many rules, neighbors all up in your business. It's kind of a catch-22, especially in the United States, a society that values freedom, when society, by nature, forces you to compromise that freedom. I get how the hyper-connectivity of Greenloop gave the illusion of zero compromise.
But that's all it was, an illusion.
Her eyes wander to the vast expanse of empty map behind the volcano.
It's great to live free of the other sheep until you hear the wolves howl..."

As the ash and chaos from Mount Rainier's eruption began to clear, the small tech driven community of Greenloop found themselves cut off from the rest of the world. They had moved to this remote location in hopes of a better and cleaner life. Only they found that their sense of self-sufficiency was no more than a façade. They were only playing at living off the land and getting back to nature, for when nature turned on them; they learned the truth about mother nature. Her reality and her cruelty. They also learned that there are things that live in the remote wilderness, creatures who are myth and legend. Creatures who are nothing like their pop culture figures. Creatures who see them as only prey.

The massacre at Greenloop after the eruption of Mount Rainer would have become the stuff of urban legend had it not been for the journals of resident Kate Holland. The carnage of Greenloop told of in the pages of Holland's journal is one of a town cut off from civilization and of creatures whose hunger and bloodlust the resident's of Greenloop were not prepared to battle. Creatures we refer to as Sasquatch and Bigfoot. A tale of horror and bloodshed that cannot be verified and one we don't want to believe. Because its author, Kate Holland, is missing.

Max Brooks is an original. He takes characters and locations and he just twists the tale enough that it becomes a rather believable horror story. He did it with Zombies in World War Z and he does an amazing job of it here with Bigfoot. These creatures are not your fun Harry and the Hendersons furballs, these are more like the second coming of the Wendigo. Massive predators that think and kill and have a taste for human flesh.

Devolution reads as part documentary and part horror story and all around fun.

A terrific read you don't want to miss!
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Max Brooks never disappoints. I wasn't sure how an author would go about tackling a book about Bigfoot in a not hokey way. Afterall, Bigfoot is...Bigfoot. Often a man in a suit, a blurry video, or probably a hungry skinny bear. If you can't tell, I'm not a believer. 
However, Devolution was still a wild, fascinating ride. The story begins with a tech guru and his wife setting up a small, isolated commune type village. Everyone has moved there to disconnect from city life and be one with nature. They get all the convenience of the modern world with a beautiful panoramic view, and very few neighbors. Our main character moves there with her husband, their marriage troubled. Her husband is unemployed and aimless, and she's desperately trying to reconnect with nature, herself, or really anything to figure out a solution for everything that seems wrong in her life. 
Things start to go downhill when a natural disaster occurs, cutting the group off from civilization. There are several truly interesting characters in the book, and I loved reading as the dynamics between them unfold. 
And that's before Bigfoot shows up.
Devolution's story is not entirely unexpected or a twist, but I was still left a little stunned by it. I was left wanting to follow our characters, wherever their path led. That factor is what truly made this book a great read. And Brooks continues with his characteristic epistolary style, if that is something you enjoyed from World War Z. If you like Max Brooks, but weren't sure about whether you wanted to read a novel about bigfoot, trust me. You won't regret picking up this book.
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While I was skeptical about the premise, Brooks delivers a taut and harrowing horror story. Yes, it's about Bigfoot. It is also a frightening page turner and indictment of contemporary society, as all good horror should be. I highly recommend this book for horror fans who hold old-school King and Koontz in high esteem.
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Devolution
By Max Brooks

Devolution is a fantastic story told through the eyes of Kate Holland's journals and the Greenloop massacre. Strange occurrences are happening after Mount Rainier's eruption. The writing by Max Brooks was incredible! The character development and the way the story was told in this part horror, scifi, thriller and mystery in one that I could not get enough of. This is such an addictive read that you will not be able to put down or turn the pages fast enough! I adored this book and highly recommend. Fantastic read not to be missed.
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Kate Holland and her husband, Dan, moved to the eco-community, Greenloop seeking a different life. Kate's therapist suggested that she keep a journal documenting their experiences at Greenloop to help her adjust. It was Kate's journal that allowed the authorities to piece together the events that took place at the secluded community.  They were cut off from the rest of the world after the Mt. Rainier eruption, but they were not alone. The little community had to band together in order to protect themselves for what lurked in the forest. It is because of Kate's journal that they know what happened.  And it is something out of a horror movie, but is it possible that Kate survived?

I think that Devolution goes on the top of the "favorites" list this year.  The book is told mostly as the reading of Kate's journal. In between journal entries, there are interviews and excerpts from things written by Jane Goodall and Charles Darwin.   You know how I love a good "end of the world" story and there is an element of that with Greenloop being cut off from civilization and forced to fend for themselves. Kate is a great main character because she is not the kind of person you would expect to step up and take control. Her early journal entries make her seem a little scattered and flighty. By the end of the journal, I envision her a warrior. The end of the book left me with some unanswered questions, but it makes me wonder if the author is setting up a sequel. -CLICK HERE FOR SPOILERS 

Bottom Line - Devolution read like the script of a blockbuster movie. I suspect it won't be long before the movie rights are sold and the cast is revealed.  And I can't wait. 

Details:
Devolution by Max Brooks
On Twitter
Pages:304
Publisher: Del Rey 
Publication Date: 6/16/2020
Buy it Here!       
Thank you to NetGalley for the book in exchange for a review.
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