Published: September 2013
Publisher: Scholastic Inc
In a world ravaged by mutation, a teenage girl must travel into the forbidden Savage Zone to recover lost artifacts or her father’s life is forfeit.
America has been ravaged by a war that has left the eastern half of the country riddled with mutation. Many of the people there exhibit varying degrees of animal traits. Even the plantlife has gone feral.
Crossing from west to east is supposed to be forbidden, but sometimes it’s necessary. Some enter the Savage Zone to provide humanitarian relief. Sixteen-year-old Lane’s father goes there to retrieve lost artifacts—he is a Fetch. It’s a dangerous life, but rewarding—until he’s caught.
Desperate to save her father, Lane agrees to complete his latest job. That means leaving behind her life of comfort and risking life and limb—and her very DNA—in the Savage Zone. But she’s not alone. In order to complete her objective, Lane strikes a deal with handsome, roguish Rafe. In exchange for his help as a guide, Lane is supposed to sneak him back west. But though Rafe doesn’t exhibit any signs of “manimal” mutation, he’s hardly civilized . . . and he may not be trustworthy.
Don't you just love it when a book takes you by surprise? I know I do, and Inhuman did just that. I really hadn't heard anything about it, just saw it at work and thought it looked interesting. Took it home and devoured it in two days.
It was a little different from the usual apocalyptic/dystopian fare in that the plague that caused the problem did not create zombies, but human/animal hybrids. The world building around these 'manimals' was superb and very cleverly done. It was very easy to imagine these creatures.
There is the usual bit of attraction between Lane and Everson (the soldier) and then Lane and Rafe (the rogue), which of course turns into a bit of a triangle, but it wasn't the focus of the story and I enjoyed the differences between the two guys. One of the things I enjoyed was the fact that everyone knew exactly what had happened to cause the 'plague', and people were being held accountable - although perhaps not in any way that I would have expected. There is of course the usual prejudices to be dealt with, but Ms. Falls put everything together into an exciting and mysterious story that kept this reader turning pages without a break.
There was a wonderful twist towards the end that I definitely did not see coming and while the ending was satisfactory in many ways, there was also a bit of a cliffhanger, so I'm waiting patiently for the next book to see what happens. Great fun and well worth reading for apocalyptic fans.