Review Blog

Feb 26 2018

The rains by Gregg Hurwitz

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Penguin, 2016, ISBN 9780765382672
Last chance. ISBN 9780765382696
(Age: 13+) Themes: Adventure, Invasion, Post apocalypse, Survival, Aliens, Zombies. This pair of novels pack a lot into their nearly 400 pages as Chance Rain, his brother Patrick and best friend, Alexandra, residents of the quiet community of Creek's Cause, fight for their lives against infected adults, while others hide in the local high school. This sci-fi young adult novel sets a tale of alien invasion of unrelenting pace. Chance and Patrick Rain are the heroes of this weird and unlikely story of the take over and destruction of not only their town but all of human kind.
The strange events begin with a meteorite shower which brings strange plant life which grows quickly and then dies, sending their spores into the world. Events then take a dreadful turn, when the adults change horribly into zombie like creatures intent on capturing the children of the town for goodness knows what purpose.
Chance and Patrick pit their resources and nerve against overwhelming odds and somehow prevail. They have to fight, not only the 'hosts' the adults have become, but also some of their peer group who disagree about the actions they should follow. They also discover with the aid of Dr Chattergee, the only adult unaffected by the spores, that at their 18th birthday they will also become infected.
Hurwitz delivers a frightening scenario that many young adult readers will find gripping, tense and thrilling. However I found the episodes of fighting off yet more hordes of hosts distracted from the narrative and tended to layer too many unbelievable acts of survival, heroism and mayhem.
There is a follow up novel, Last Chance, where our hero will have even more weight loaded on to his adolescent shoulders, because he and Patrick carry the genes for immunity, indeed they are the only ones in the whole wide world. I just couldn't bring myself to read it!
Mark Knight

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