Pub. Date: September 24th, 2013
Synopsis from Goodreads:
In a world ravaged by mutation, a teenage girl must travel into the forbidden Savage Zone to recover lost artifacts 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 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.
I’ve been dystopia/ post apocalyptic storied out recently because nothing felt fresh. That was before Inhuman. From the beginning the premise really intrigued me. The twist of human error causing the apocalyptic event – and the apocalyptic event itself – is different. Avarice and vanity have lead to death and destruction, which makes it all the more horrifying. Because the apocalyptic element is so different, there’s a level of unpredictability to the story. You never know if there will be a happy ending, which characters will survive, or what’s going to happen. There’s a huge shocking reveal, and so many little twists and turns, all of which keep you on the edge of your seat while reading.
I really loved that there is no doubt that Lane, her intelligence and her experience are 100% essential to the story. This isn’t a case where a heroine falls into a position of action. Without Lane, the story could not happen. I found Lane to be fascinating. As the story progresses, the more aware she becomes of just how much her father prepared her for the Savage Zone. The little puzzles/stories that Lane was told as a child, meant to protect her, need smarts and logic to be interpreted correctly. I really liked how much strength and intelligence Lane finds within. She goes from a hand sanitizer, germ obsessed girl – which is actually hilarious – to someone who acknowledges, and uses her strengths to her benefit.
I typically avoid love triangles like the plague. But, the triangle in Inhuman is so secondary, the guys so endearing, and Lane so oblivious to it all, that it was a point for a lot of humor. I loved how unique and how purposeful Everson and Rafe, as well as all of the secondary characters, are to the story. Both guys are entirely likeable, funny, interesting, and so well developed, that they could easily be narrators themselves. You really can’t root for one guy over the other because they are awesome in their own ways. As part of the triangle, I loved that the guys are the emotionally driven ones, pining for the girl. Lane’s obliviousness to the whole thing, contrasted with how ridiculous aware Everson and Rafe are that they’re competing for her, adds a level of funny that really added to the story overall. The entire triangle element is so different from any I’ve read before, that an overused element became new and refreshing.
I really loved Inhuman. The pacing is quick, the story consistently shocking and thrilling, and the characters well developed and unique. The added benefit of having the perfect a balanced blend of funny and serious is icing on the cake. I definitely recommend this novel, and I cannot wait for Book #2!
** I received a copy of the novel from the publisher to read and honestly review. I was in no way compensated.