Inhuman by Kat Falls (2 stars)
Kel Sunday, February 28, 2016 reviewThis copy was gifted to me by the lovely Tabitha (Pabkins) of Not Yet Read ages ago. Thank you, Tabitha! I feel bad it took me so long, but I finally got to it. Better late than never?
Inhuman by Kat Falls
Series: Fetch #1
Genres: YA, Dystopian, Action-Adventure, Sci-fi
Published on September 24, 2013
Published by Scholastic
Final Rating: 2 stars
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.
Inhuman has a fun concept and lays some groundwork for interesting ethical issues, moral dilemmas and questions about what makes us human. I finished the book quickly but, like a movie, while it wasn't a bad experience, after the credits rolled, several issues were readily apparent.
The world building is problematic. Cool ideas, but none of it was fleshed out enough to satisfy my curiosity. Especially when the basis is a science experiment gone wrong, I expect a little more information. (Why are the chickens and fish safe?) The plot has similar issues. I wasn't necessarily bored, but it felt like we spent too long on the setup and then crammed the real action and adventure into the last third. And things got a little...convenient.
There is a bit of a love triangle. It doesn't feature heavily, and it didn't even feel like a full-fledged triangle until the very end (which annoyed me), but I would expect to see more of it in the next book. Thankfully, romance was not the main focus of the story, and Lane's observations/tentative feelings seemed authentic.
I'm half-tempted to check out the next book to see if the author expands on the details, but Inhuman can read as a standalone; and I'm not jumping at the chance to reenter Lane's narration.