Review- Devolution

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Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainer Sasquatch Massacre by Max Brooks

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As the ash and chaos from Mount Rainier’s eruption swirled and finally settled, the story of the Greenloop massacre has passed unnoticed, unexamined . . . until now.

But the journals of resident Kate Holland, recovered from the town’s bloody wreckage, capture a tale too harrowing–and too earth-shattering in its implications–to be forgotten.

In these pages, Max Brooks brings Kate’s extraordinary account to light for the first time, faithfully reproducing her words alongside his own extensive investigations into the massacre and the legendary beasts behind it.

Kate’s is a tale of unexpected strength and resilience, of humanity’s defiance in the face of a terrible predator’s gaze, and inevitably, of savagery and death.

Yet it is also far more than that.

Because if what Kate Holland saw in those days is real, then we must accept the impossible. We must accept that the creature known as Bigfoot walks among us–and that it is a beast of terrible strength and ferocity.

Part survival narrative, part bloody horror tale, part scientific journey into the boundaries between truth and fiction, this is a Bigfoot story as only Max Brooks could chronicle it–and like none you’ve ever read before.

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Bigfoot destroys town.

If you are already a fan of World War Z, I think that Devolution will live up to your expectations. I have read both Devolution and World War Z in the last couple months, and I have fallen in love with Max Brooks’ storytelling. I feel as though his books are meant to be listened to on audio, if possible. It sounds like you are listening to a nonfiction podcast or a true crime documentary, which makes for a completely unique reading experience. The audiobook is a full cast, but the majority of the book is told through journals written by one character, with Judy Greer being that narrator. She also was one of the narrators in Daisy Jones and the Six, which is one of my favourite audiobooks in large part because of her. Voice acting is definitely her calling- she is so good!

I never thought that I would read or would ever been interested in a book about Bigfoot, but this book was so compelling and intense! If you are looking for a creepy book to read in October that is unique and unlike anything you have read, Devolution is the book for you. Reading Kate’s journal entries makes you feel so uncomfortable and you know that something terrible is eventually going to happen and you are just waiting for it. I have seen some reviewers say that they found Kate annoying and irrational, and I agree that there were definitely moments where I felt the same way, but I was able to put myself in her situation and I am not sure I would have acted any differently. That is what made this story feel so authentic to me! These character read like real human beings with real emotions in real situations.

Devolution has gone a long way in solidifying my love of horror. I have come to realize just how layered the genre can be! The character development in this book is what really shines. The relationships between the characters is actually more interesting than the monsters themselves. Human behaviour can be more horrifying than anything!

  • Characters: 8
  • Atmosphere/Setting: 9
  • Writing Style:  8
  • Plot: 8
  • Intrigue: 10
  • Logic/Relationships: 9
  • Enjoyment: 9

Overall CAWPILE score: 61/7=8.7

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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10 thoughts on “Review- Devolution

  1. My husband is an absolute fanatic when it comes to Mount Rainier. He has backpacked there nearly every summer since 1993–even drove there from Michigan this year with Covid. This is a must read for several in my family. Thanks for your review!

  2. I’ve been thinking about using the CAWPILE rating system for a while now. It’s awesome to see people using it outside of YouTube.
    Also, I think I’m going to add this book to my tbr. You really sold it!

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