Devolution: No One Is Innocent - Christy Alexander, Christy Sechrist
I won this in a First Reads Giveaway.

I enjoyed this book. I finished it in one sitting and didn't even notice the time going by. I was hooked wanting to know more about the characters, what was going to happen to them and who was behind it all. I do plan on reading the next books am are looking for it. The characters were interesting. We didn't go much in-depth with them though. All the character information was strictly plot related so we are left a shadow cast on bare bones. This sounds bad, but it's not. It works. The novel is kept so tight together, winding quickly around, the tension keeps it taut, and the twist at the end is the bow on top. A wonderful, albeit not pleasant, present for those who like the thriller genre.

The ending I wasn't expecting that's for sure. There was the mini-reveal and then the BIG reveal. The mini-reveal went off like a charm for me. I was surprised and really felt it. The BIG reveal I didn't see it coming and thought "Wait,what?". It didn't make sense at first given the beginning. I began digging through it to pick out specifics to what felt wrong and found that I could find excuses or reasons for things to make it work. But I wished they had been addressed in the book itself, that would have felt more complete to me. So I didn't really get the full effect of the ending how it was intended. I'm the nit-picky, can't stop wondering, can't just let it go to enjoy it type, so obviously take it as you will. I'll put the specific things about below a spoiler tag beneath, in case people don't see what problems I had with it.

I don't enjoy reading about torture, even though it's been used in books I've read and liked. I, being the nit-picky type, don't like it when things are omitted to be convenient or aren't realistic. The thing about torture being used in books and movies is that the picture being shown is incomplete. I mean there was plenty of blood spray and loss but humans do have other bodily fluids. No mention of characters throwing up due to the gore or needing to use the bathroom. We're perfectly fine with blood all over the place and being drenched in it, but mention the characters threw up or gagged, pissed or shat themselves and it becomes gross. Yeah, it's gross, that's what torture is. Torture is a terrible inhuman thing, don't gloss it over. Let people know what they are really getting into. I think this portrayal of torture, in general, is part of the problem with people supporting it in real life. At least the issue of hunger and lack of sleep came up. It did also bring up how the characters being tortured where just coming up with anything, anything at all to say to appease the torturers and get free of the predicament. Torture is horribly unreliable, with people just saying or doing whatever the torturer wants, whether is true or right.It's just in this case what they wanted from Lucy was true.
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The thing about the twist ending is...and please keep in mind, if you read this spoiler before you read the book, it will completely and utterly ruin the whole book for you, it's like finding out who the Psycho was so only continue if you have read the book or don't ever plan on reading it.... Ava's point of view read true through the beginning and middle. But with having her as the mastermind, she clearly wasn't innocence and there's no way she was acting and thinking like that.

I mean if she's the mastermind why is she asking "Where am I? What's going to happen to me? Why am I here?" She knows the answers. We were in her thoughts. She wasn't just acting the part, she was literally surprised in the beginning about finding out about Lucky. But maybe she only knew about the three big things Lucy had done and actually was surprised regarding the rest of her crimes.


Why would Anna try to break free when she knows the game? "She needed to pretend to get out to fool Lucy!" When Lucy got there, yeah, I have no problem with that. But before, when Ava was alone? "Well, she wanted to see if her puppets where confident, competent and wouldn't fuck it up" Actually, I can grant that one but it would have been nice if it was brought up for clarity in the book.

Then there was the moment of Ava speculating that Lucy is in on it. Obviously, she new that wasn't true, so what gives?

I mean there is some leeway to work with in general since maybe Ava didn't give specifics for the torture, or didn't realize how bad it would be or the situation was really getting to her or she was having doubts about her partners or she wanted to back out.
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This type of ploy or twist is often used but it's hard to make it work due to people's willingness to suspend belief. The saying goes "People will believe the impossible but not the improbable". The part that makes this twist harder to work when written, instead of through movies, is when it's first person of the mastermind is involved. It makes it a real work of art to pull off. While I think the ending is indeed serviceable and works currently, I'm just bothered by none of these things not being addressed, so I didn't get the full intended feelings from it.