It feels like I have been reading a lot of books this year about viruses that have accidentally or deliberately been released which has resulted in zombie type creatures. Nothing wrong with that, there have been some great books written from various angles on this theme. At first I thought that Inhuman by Kat Falls was another of the same type. The West has been walled off from the Eastern half of the country where an infection started that caused people to go ‘feral’ and bite and infect others. Most of the infected died pretty quickly, but some survived, though the infection caused some interesting mutations to develop.
Lane McEvoy doesn’t know about those special survivors though. In fact, she has led a very sheltered life behind the Wall. She has friends, goes to school and attends parties pretty much like all the other teens she knows. Her mother died several years ago and she lives with her art dealer father, though he is often away on business trips buying art, or so she has always believed until an incident happens and she is confronted with the knowledge that she there is much she doesn’t really know about her Dad and his business, though she loves him deeply.
It’s that love that will find her crossing the Wall on a desperate mission where she will find the characters that were part of her Dad’s regular bedtime stories aren’t make believe. Lane’s trip into the unknown is a bit reminiscent of the Wizard of Oz as she is joined by some fantastical companions on the way. This is where the book crosses over from a post-apocalyptic genre to one mashed with a bit of sci-fi, which is normally not my taste, but Kat Falls makes it work. It works because it includes the elements of a good story, a quest, heroes and heroines, action and a love triangle. Yes, you can guess at some of the upcoming plot points from a mile off, but that’s OK as it’s still an entertaining read. Yes, there are also a number of clichés too. However, it does also does raise some deeper classic questions such as the good of the many vs. the few, do the ends justify the means and what does it mean to be human, although those questions are explored in a more brief and unsophisticated way than in books like the Rot & Ruin series . My only warning is that this is the first book and it may be awhile before the next one is finished for those who chafe when they have to wait to find out what has happened to the characters to which they have become attached.