Author: Mike Hooper
Series Number: 1
Publication Date: June 23, 2016
Genres: Dystipian, YA
Where I received the book: I received a copy from the author in exchange for my honest review.
Summary: Spending your life underground isn’t living, it’s surviving.
But with the surface of the earth left ravaged from war, those surviving in the Burrows might be all that’s left, and their lives come at a cost.
As an orphan born in the depths of the Burrows, Foren has spent his life dreaming of this day. Amongst a group of unlikely friends, he’ll step foot on the Surface for the very first time. Together, they’ll pay their dues to the Burrows as they search for what’s needed to keep the human race alive.
They don’t exactly know what they’re looking for, what they do find … will change them forever
i was very intrigued by the summary of this book. yes, it sounds like every other post apocalypse novel, but i found it different at the same time. they live underground and go to the surface to collect things so they can survive in their cave-like home. the plot twist (which i won’t spoil) at the end was very smart and well thought of. i thoroughly enjoyed it.
so, this book has some similarities to the 100 (both books and tv show). i kinda feel the need to mention this mostly because the similarities actually annoyed me. in the 100, they live in space and come to earth because their supplies are running low. in devolve, they live underground and go to the surface because their supplies are running low. they both meet people on the ground that shouldn’t be alive. not to mention, in season 2 of the 100 there was the people of mount weather who live inside the mountain/underground due to the outside world being poisonous to the people inside (very similar to the situation of the characters in devolve.) it’s probably nothing, but i felt this comparable.
the start of this novel is very slow. at first it’s okay and bearable, but it only gets worse as it drags out. nothing happens until the second half when they go to the surface. it’s a short book so holding out through the boring bits isn’t so bad, but i felt something else could’ve been going on here to make it more interesting or the characters had spent more time on the surface.
gonna throw in a really positive comment here — i really love the naming system. everyone’s name is 2 letters (or numbers) long. the main character’s name is Foren, which is 4N. i found this really original and quite cool. throughout the whole book, as a new character was introduced i “tried” (not really trying if it isn’t hard to figure out) to discover the letters that make up the names. other characters are: casey, geo and vici.
no spoilers here– but i disagreed with some of foren’s decisions at the end of the book. like i understand why he did it, but it was so stupid and is going to cause problems later.
there were a couple of sexist jokes throughout this book, and every time one was said it was dismissed like it’s nothing – like with an eye roll or something. i hate sexist jokes. they’re pointless to the story and demeaning to the female audience. it affected my enjoyment of the novel, thats for sure.
there was this scene when they were on the surface and i felt it was kind of thriller/horror (or something, i don’t tend to read those sorts of books), and i really liked it because i couldn’t stop reading. i wish there were more parts like this throughout the rest of the book, it was intense af.
there were a couple of issues with the editing. there were moments when someone was talking and there was no closing speech mark, or at the end of a paragraph when no one was talking and there was one. a couple other grammatical errors too, but this didn’t impact my overall reading experience and is easily overlooked.
i felt the romance in this book didn’t work out at all. there was no build up. even the friendships – the characters are best friends even though they’ve just met ?? walking around, holding hands and you don’t even know them. a bit weird. doesn’t make me dislike the story, but i felt like pointing it out as it was kinda annoying. i just wish there was more development of the characters and their relationships.
i rated this book 4/5 stars, but thinking back it’s probably more of a 3.5. i really did enjoy the second half of this book in terms of action and whatnot, and found the surface adventures fun. and yes, i do recommend this book to others. i look forward to the sequel and i know it’ll be way better based off what’s been set up for it!!