Review: ‘Devolution’ by Max Brooks

Book review by Aric Bishop, Director, Gibson Memorial Library

Nature is beautiful. We love to see the many animals as we drive pass or when we set up our camping gear. Nature is also survival at any cost.

It all starts with a small village of Greenloop that is established in an isolated area within the mountains not far from Tacoma, Washington. The reason for this community is to prove that technology and nature can work together. Until nature decides otherwise — an unexpected volcanic eruption.

One of the residents of Greenloop, Kate Holland, keeps a journal that records her first impressions of this small and tranquil village. Then the volcanic ash hits the fan. She writes a tale of human survival against nature in its most horrific form. The people must ban together and accept that legends are true. Their goal is survival against what has lived in the Washington mountains for generations. Kate becomes a well of unexpected strength and resilience dealing with a terrible predator whose only goal is survival. Survival is life. Survival is food.

This book addresses the simple question, “What if ...?” What if a myth becomes the truth? Could humans survive that truth? Can we depend on our instincts or has that all been replaced with a culture that relies on technology?

This is not only a survival tale but of horror as well. A horror that is very bloody and violent. After you read this well-told story you may think twice about coaxing a chipmunk to eat from your hand. He may have brought along a bigger and hungrier friend.