The 5th Wave: Book 3 – The Last Star (Book Review)

The Last Star is the third and final novel in Rick Yancey’s 5th Wave trilogy for young adults.

…warning: potential spoilers for those not already familiar with books 1 and 2…

Check out my review of book one, The 5th Wave here, or book two, The Infinite Sea via this link.

Continue reading “The 5th Wave: Book 3 – The Last Star (Book Review)”

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The 5th Wave: Book 2 – The Infinite Sea (Book Review)

The Infinite Sea is the second novel in the 5th Wave trilogy from science fiction writer Rick Yancey.

 

***warning: this review may contain spoilers for those not already familiar with book 1, The 5th Wave***

Continue reading “The 5th Wave: Book 2 – The Infinite Sea (Book Review)”

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey (Book Review)

The 5th Wave is a science fiction novel from writer Rick Yancey and is the first book in the 5th Wave trilogy to become a major motion picture, recently released in cinemas.

 

Wave 1 – An electromagnetic pulse that wipes out all of the planets power and electronic devices

Wave 2 – Destruction by tsunami

Wave 3 – Infection via birds

Wave 4 – Alien invasion

Wave 5 – We Fight Back!

 

The Rules:

1 – Don’t trust anyone

2 – To stay alive is to stay alone

 

Cassie Sullivan, a sixteen year old survivor of the first four waves of the alien invasion is possibly all that is left after she loses her family to this apocalyptic tragedy. She must remain alone if she wants to survive, because there is only one rule that can protect her now: trust no-one.

But when she meets Evan Walker everything changes. He saves her life, and she saves him by giving his life purpose and meaning. Together Cassie and Evan keep each other safe, and alive. But can she really trust him? Is he really who he claims to be?

Meanwhile, an army of uninfected children are being trained for the war.

 

Favourite Quotes:

Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vosch (quoting Stalin): “A single death is a tragedy; a million is a statistic.” (p128)

 

“We’re here, and then we’re gone, and it’s not about the time we’re here, but what we do with the time.” – Evan Walker, (p178)

 

The 5th Wave is a story full of courage and hope against the worst odds imaginable. Aliens have invaded Earth, their intention: to make our planet their home. But in order to do so, they must neutralise the human race.

The book begins at the end of the 4th wave and is a little confusing when it jumps back and forth between present day and the past, or between the viewpoint of one person and that of another. However, eventually we reach a period of cohesion and the story starts to make a bit more sense.

Unfortunately there are a few areas that to me don’t quite seem logical, though I am loath to discuss them here for fear of spoiling the story.

Despite those occasional little niggles that I am unable to comprehend I did enjoy this interestingly unique take on the invasion genre and give the book 4 out of 5 stars, but I’m not sure that the story actually reached any real conclusion. Maybe this was intentional in order for the author to release his story as a trilogy, but even separate novels should have some sort of cohesive end that fits the overall arc of the book.

Those interested can check out The 5th Wave on Amazon.co.uk here.

 

 

See also:

Book 2 – The Infinite Sea

Book 3 – The Last Star

Wayward Pines: Book 3 – The Last Town (Book Review)

Dr. David Pilcher has dedicated his life to the planning and implementation of a scientific research model that he hopes can preserve and prolong the survival of the human race. The small town he created is flanked by mountain cliffs, and nestled in amongst a large grove of pine trees, it is the last town habitable by humans, situated amidst a hostile environment.

Local Sheriff, Ethan Burke, has finally chosen to inform the residents of Wayward Pines, about the harsh reality that surrounds them and the reasons behind their old-fashioned ways of living.

David Pilcher, angry that Ethan has betrayed his trust, powers down the electrified fence that surrounds his idyllic town and opens the door to the danger that lies beyond. His town is no longer a safe haven, the last town in which humans can live in peace and tranquillity, instead it is about to become overrun with monsters.

Ethan’s rash actions have dire consequences on the town’s inhabitants, but can he save the lives of those he’s put in danger, including those of his own family?

 

Favourite Quotes:

“I’ve found in my life that sometimes the best company is your own”. – Belinda Moran. (p79)

 

“I think I finally understand why God went away and left the world to destroy itself”. – David Pilcher. (p168)

 

“I alone have the key to what will save us all”. – Adam Hassler. (p197)

 

“I think you got your scripture wrong. God didn’t get exiled. It was the other guy”. – Ethan Burke to David Pilcher. (p258)

 

The Last Town is the third and final instalment in Blake Crouch’s sci-fi mystery trilogy, Wayward Pines. Book 3 is not as strong as Blake’s earlier novels, with the feeling that it is being fleshed out a little too much, just to extend his story that wee bitty longer than is strictly necessary. However, with a rating of 4 out of 5 stars, it does provide a fitting conclusion to the overall mystery.

Those interested in reading The Last Town can find it on Amazon.co.uk here.

 

Wayward Pines has now been edited for the big screen, combining all three novels:

  • Pines
  • Wayward, and
  • The Last Town

Into a ten episode mini-series, directed by M. Night Shyamalan and starring Matt Dillon and Shannyn Sossamon.

 

There are a number of differences between the book and the TV show but the main plot themes remain in tandem.

 

You can watch the trailer for it here:

 

Or check out series 1 of Wayward pines on Amazon Prime Video via this link.

 

See also:

Wayward Pines: Book 1 – Pines

Wayward Pines: Book 2 – Wayward

 

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson (Book Review)

A vampire plague has wiped out the vast majority of humanity, and the blood-thirsty beasts roam the streets at night.

Robert Neville is the last man on Earth, the only survivor of this devastating apocalypse. By day he scavenges for essential supplies: food, water, fuel etc. as the vampires take shelter from the deadly rays of the sun. While at night, once evening blooms and shadows lengthen, he locks himself away indoors, riding out the night in the confines of his house, praying for the dawn.

After months of repetitive struggle, Robert accidentally discovers something unexpected about the vampires, changing his outlook on a bleak situation. He begins to research otherwise ignored areas of vampire lore and biomedical science, as he attempts to uncover the cause of the outbreak, and concoct a cure that might save humanity. Will his efforts be successful?

 

Favourite Quotes:

“In life there were the deranged, the insane. What better hold than vampirism for these to catch on to? He was certain that all the living who came to his house at night were insane, thinking themselves true vampires although actually they were only demented sufferers.” – p102

 

“I am predominantly vegetable, he often thought to himself.” – p105

 

Richard Matheson’s short novel I Am Legend is one of the original attempts at a gothic horror interpretation on the vampire genre from way back in 1954, long before it was romanticised by the likes of Stephenie Meyer or Charlaine Harris.

It centres on main character, Robert Neville and focuses more on Robert’s seemingly futile struggle with the loneliness and isolation of being the last human being alive on Earth, as opposed to those of the vampires, who must attack and feed on living creatures for their survival.

 

It has been a long, long time since I read a novel from a writer who truly knew how to tell a compelling story, keeping the reader interested and entertained from start to finish. I Am Legend is definitely one of the very best depictions of a vampire apocalypse to have ever been written, and at 5 out of 5 stars is a must-read for all fans of science fiction or horror.

You can check out Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend on Amazon here.

 

The Hatching 3: Zero Day by Ezekiel Boone (Book Review)

Zero Day is the third instalment of Ezekiel Boone’s terrifying spider apocalypse trilogy, and after reading all of the edge-of-your-seat suspense and action in The Hatching, I had high hopes that this would be a really exciting and creepy set of books.

In The Hatching the world has been overrun with an extremely ancient species of cannibalistic, human-eating spider. After wreaking absolute chaos all over the planet, these terrifying spiders suddenly retreat, appearing to die in the process. At first, the monstrous threat is believed to be over. Then, thousands of egg sacs are discovered in various locations all over Los Angeles, including a large infestation covering the interior of the Staples Centre. These egg sacs are soon discovered all over the world.

Unfortunately in Skitter, book 2 of The Hatching trilogy, just when people begin to think that they are handling the situation, burning these egg sacs before they have a chance to hatch, it quickly becomes apparent that the problem is far too large and widespread for their initial efforts to be successful; Many strategically hidden egg sacs will survive and the spiders will return. Also as if all of this wasn’t bad enough, a massive glowing, pulsating egg sac as large as a pickup truck is discovered in Shinjin Prefecture, Japan.

Now, faced with the knowledge that 10% of the people in Los Angeles who survived the first wave of spider attacks are carrying egg sacs inside them, and that a large proportion of these individuals have been released from the quarantine zone, the President of the United States of America must accept that the spider problem is no longer contained, and drastic measures much be taken to ensure the survival of the human race.

How far will the American government go to safeguard their country, and how many people will die as a result? Can these spiders be defeated? Is anywhere safe from this terrifying threat? And just what is up with these giant glowing egg sacs?

 

Zero Day, like both of its predecessors, contains rather a lot of unnecessary dialogue, and persistently jumps around from one location to another. Some of these locations and events are meaningful and play an integral role in the story, however some are only briefly mentioned and simply serve the purpose of showing the epic scale of the disaster. As mentioned previously in earlier reviews, I think it would have made more sense to have stuck with a smaller number of strategic locations, helping to slim down the story a little and helping readers to keep track of events with a more limited number of characters.

Since this is the final book of The Hatching trilogy I had expected there too be far more action, and squeamishly terrifying events than there actually turned out to be. As such it was a little disappointing, rating at just 2 out of 5 stars. It did however, wrap the story up with a nice neat bow, bringing all of the different strands of the story together and coming to a satisfying conclusion. Those interested in finding out how this creepy spider apocalypse ends can pick up a copy of Zero Day from Amazon here.

 

See Also:

Book 1: The Hatching

Book 2: Skitter

The Hatching 2: Skitter by Ezekiel Boone (Book Review)

Skitter is the follow-up novel to Ezekiel Boone’s terrifyingly creepy debut The Hatching.

An extremely ancient, calcified egg sac has been unearthed beneath the Nazca Lines of Peru, and despite having been buried deep in the Earth for 10,000 years, the egg sac hatches releasing a cluster of creepy, ancient, flesh-eating arachnids upon the unsuspecting world.

Unfortunately, Peru isn’t the only place that these scary, carnivorous spiders have been discovered. With outbreaks in China, India, Europe and now the USA, the entire planet has descended into chaos, as these human, flesh-eating, carnivorous spiders quickly take over major cities across the entire world.

However, just as soon as the spiders appear they seem to suddenly die out. At first glance you might expect this horrific threat to be over, but in reality the real threat is only just beginning.

As scientific experts, government officials and the armed forces race to destroy the egg sacs which have popped up all over the globe, a disturbing discovery in Japan heralds a much larger, and more devastating problem, a second wave of spiders are coming.

 

Skitter is the second book in Ezekiel Boone’s spider infestation trilogy, and to properly understand and get the most out of this terrifyingly creepy story, it would be best to have already read its predecessor The Hatching. For those familiar with the original outbreak of arachnids, Skitter pushes forward with the spine-tingling reality that the spider situation is only going to get worse.

In similar fashion to the earlier book, Skitter is littered with a large number of different characters and locations. Some, many readers will recognise from the events portrayed in The Hatching, while others are newer, and quite often short-lived. It can be difficult and frustrating to keep track of such a wide variety of characters and locations, and I know many people will dislike the novel for that reason, myself partially included.

Unlike its predecessor though, it takes a little while before the real action of Skitter begins. While The Hatching was a ferocious onslaught of creepy-crawly, skittery things on eight, hairy legs, this is essentially the calm before the storm, in that quiet place between the first and second attacks. Therefore it can feel as though the reader is cheated a little when the story fails to reach a satisfactory conclusion, especially when the story hasn’t moved very far forward, and there are many questions requiring detailed answers. We’re asked to be patient, and wait for the release of the final instalment, if we wish to know how this terrifying story ends.

As much as I love the premise of this quite well-written, but creepy, arachnophobia inducing tale of terror, it has some problems and is unfortunately, nowhere near as entertaining as The Hatching resulting in a rating of just 3 out of 5 stars. I hope that the final novel will bring all of the numerous characters, locations and action sequences to a rewarding and satisfying end.

You can pick up a copy of Skitter by Ezekiel Boone at Amazon here.

 

See Also:

Book 1: The Hatching

Book 3: Zero Day