Inhuman by Kat Falls is a YA dystopian novel from Scholastic Inc., but it's not like any other YA dystopian story out there. Inhuman reads like a cross between Alice in Wonderland and The Walking Dead. I also find it hilarious to note that Chicago is again the setting of this dystopian society. Poor Chicago. Why do YA authors think this city is going to hell?
Set in the future, the world has been ravaged by a virus that essentially turns humans into animalistic creatures. Those afflicted are trapped on the other side of a heavily guarded defensive wall in attempt to control another outbreak and to protect the population from the danger posed by the infected. This abandoned area of the U.S. is nicknamed the Feral Zone- something that you can't really appreciate until the courageous female protagonist (Lane) adventures through it on a mission to save her father.
Inhuman is a mix of horror, suspense, action, and adventure. There's guns, bloodshed, corrupted and power-hungry antagonists, a light love story, and of course-- humans who have turned into savage part-animals. The protagonist is courageous, smart, and yet another strong female character to inspire readers. I enjoyed the fact that she's not immune to the horror around her; she's humanized in her reactions to the violence and danger in the Feral Zone.
The book explores the differences between being human and being animal, suggesting that with or without a virus, we all have a little "feral" in us. You can be "all human" and still be driven to feral qualities or actions in moments of pure desperation or in an attempt to survive; it's human nature. We see that not all "animals" are feral, but we also see that all humans have some animal in them; whether they were infected or not. It's a vague reference to evolution in that this a virus that exposes who we are at the most basic level, by turning man back into beast.
Inhuman is a fact-paced adventure through a mutated, desperate, and violent world. It is a fantastic fantasy/dystopian story that is well-written, exciting, and different from the wealth of other dystopian YA novels out there. Kat Falls is an extraordinary writer! If you enjoy teen action/adventure and dystopian novels, this is a must-read!