A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Inhuman, by Dark Rising author Kat Falls, is an exciting blend of fantasy and science fiction. It's a dystopian novel that imagines a near-future United States where a viral infection causes genetic mutations, creating human-animal hybrids. Descriptions of violence are infrequent and mild until the climax, when beating, stabbing, fighting, and gunshots play a major role. There's much blood, including a few descriptions of dramatic injuries (for example, a hand getting chopped off). The strongest language is infrequent use of "crap." The story explores feelings of physical attraction and vaguely describes a few kisses. Main character Lane, 16, makes a strong action heroine: thoughtful, smart, resourceful, and brave.
What's the story?
INHUMAN imagines a near-future United States devastated by a viral infection that causes genetic mutations. Creating human-animal hybrids, these mutations bring a strong fantasy element to a bleak, dystopian future. Everything east of the Mississippi River has been abandoned to the \"ferals,\" and people live behind a massive wall built along the river. However, survivors, some human and some hybrid, remain in the east. To save her father's life, heroine Lane has to risk infection and worse to bring something back from the wild, dangerous territory.
Is it any good?
Kat Falls starts off Inhuman at a brisk trot and builds nicely to a heart-pounding finish at full gallop. Her characters, both human and fantasy, are relatable and believable, with dialogue that rings true. The post-viral-apocalypse world is realistically and vividly imagined. A dramatic twist at just the right time will take readers by surprise. Suspense and peril ebb and flow at a good rate, which will keep those pages turning all the way to the big finish and satisfying ending.
Talk to your kids about ...
Why are science fiction and fantasy so popular? Which parts of Inhuman are sci-fi, and which parts are fantasy? Do the two genres work well together?
Is it OK to treat the ferals the way they're treated in the kingdom of Chicago? Why, or why not? How does it compare to the way we treat animals or the way slaves were treated?
How does society cope with a massive, life-threatening viral outbreak in Inhuman? Does it seem realistic? What role does the mega-corporation Titan play, as opposed to the U.S. government?
- Author: Kat Falls
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Great Girl Role Models, Misfits and Underdogs, Science and Nature
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Scholastic Press
- Publication date: September 24, 2013
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 17
- Number of pages: 384
- Available on: Nook, Hardback, Kindle
Themes & Topics
For kids who love science fiction and fantasy
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.