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By Max Brooks
Do you believe that in every myth and legend there is a kernel of truth?
Do you believe that there could be an undiscovered species living today in the rainforests of the Pacific Northwest?
Do you believe in the North American Great Ape?
Max Brooks has forever been associated with Zombies, he has decided to take a step outside his comfort zone and take on a new monster, Sasquatch.
Like Max Brooks, I love the idea that the mythical, mysterious, monstrous Sasquatch could actually exist. And Brooks did his research of the myth, gave compelling arguments for the origins and existence of such a creature. But this isn’t a research paper or science textbook. Brooks is writing a fictional account to force us into meeting them. A fictional story needs more than facts and a compelling argument; it needs a plot that makes you need to go on, despite the improbability; it needs characters that you care about and connect with; it needs to make the reader feel like part of the story. In this, Brooks excelled.
One thing that really caught me off guard was the juxtaposition with reality. Despite the fact that Brooks must have been working on and have more or less completed Devolution long before the current pandemic, the parallels were amazing. How people will react to the lack of resources, clearing the shelves of toilet paper when they only have a week’s worth of food in their house. The denial of reality and fighting amongst ourselves, when the enemy is at the gates. He saw our reaction to catastrophe long before we did; our reliance on convenience makes us vulnerable. We assume that we are safe, and we have lost our respect for nature.
Devolution is part monster story, and part social commentary. Brooks crafted an opportunity to research a favorite myth, tell a captivating story and make his readers take a good, long hard look at themselves.