HORROR

Devolution: A Firsthand ­Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre

Del Rey: Ballantine. May 2020. 304p. ISBN 9781984826787. $28. HORROR
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Brooks, back with his first novel since his seminal World War Z, employs a similar style here, but the scope—and resulting terror—is significantly more concentrated and immediate. The narrative is framed as an investigation by Brooks into what transpired in the isolated, high-end, high-tech fictional “eco-community” of Greenloop, WA, after Mount Rainier suddenly erupted. The brother of a woman whose journal was found after the disastrous events reaches out to narrator Brooks, asking him to look into the journal’s claims of the residents’ demise at the hands of a hungry Sasquatch clan. Piecing together the journal with interviews, transcripts, newspaper clippings, and historical documents, Brooks crafts a terrifying tale that reads like a “true” crime novel. Set in the very near future, with stellar worldbuilding, a claustrophobic atmosphere, an inclusive and fascinating cast of characters, and plenty of bloody action, this inventive story will keep readers’ heart rates high.
VERDICT Brooks’s creative and well-executed conceit will have readers searching Wikipedia to look up names and events, even the parts they know are not based on reality. An obvious choice for Bigfoot fans, also suggest this to readers who enjoyed Alma Katsu’s The Hunger and those who appreciate nonfiction survival stories such as Hampton Sides’s In the Kingdom of Ice.

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