This is a wonderful post-apocalyptic novel about what it means to be human and how people are defined by the way they treat others. Before you start to think it’s preachy, though, understand this underlying theme is brought to life in a crazy adventure. Delaney Park, a sheltered daughter, goes into the wilds to save her father from arrest and a firing squad armed only with fairy tales. We’re thrust into a world where human arrogance has transformed most of North America into a nightmare zone of human and animal hybrids who live day by day until the last of their humanity is stripped from them and they go feral.
Most of the United States has been taken over by normal wildlife, hybrid wildlife, and these human hybrids. But Kat Falls does not go the way of the common presentation of were-humans, nor does she lean on the bestial to give easy answers for what Lane, with her two companions Rafe and Everson, must face and overcome. There is nothing simple about this exploration, and the reader is brought in on the questions of humanity, and how people are both defined and treated as well.
Nor is the story itself a smooth run with the three of them overcoming obstacles and making their way with only moments of fear like a jump out and get you horror movie. This book offers connections to the people around them, connections that are not always what they seem, and don’t all have a happy ending. At the same time, some of the points that appear fixed as unhappy end up with additional layers that might continue to play out in future books in the series.
The teenage hormones are a little overdone at times as Lane craves the attention of both young men, or at least needs to know they think she’s pretty. Also, I’m not enough of a geneticist to know why another path to a cure that seems plausible wasn’t plausible, nor whether the quasi-science behind the story is viable. However these are minor quibbles in a story that kept me reading for the characters who were both flawed and complex, and who learned and changed through the course of the story.
My timing on this review ended up tighter than I’d have preferred, but rather than choose to review something else after I started reading, I came up with more time I could devote to the book. Without spoiling anything, I can say Inhuman ends at a satisfying point, but at the same time there are aspects left open that, coming to know Lane as I have, there’s little doubt the next tale will be just as entertaining. It’s a solid, thoughtful, and fun read.
P.S. I received this title through Netgalley from the publisher.