Thursday, December 8, 2016

Book Review: THE RAINS, by Gregg Hurwitz

Gregg Hurwitz
Tor Books
YA / Apocalypse / Science Fiction

I have read many thrillers by best seller, Gregg Hurwitz. Tight chapters packed with intense action, crisp dialogue, and characters that you give a damn about. When I saw that Hurwitz was taking a swing at something in the Young Adult field, I was anxious to see what he'd do.

And what he did was, THE RAINS. It is NOT just another zombie book. Trust me.

The plot focuses primarily on three kids. Chance and Patrick Rain, and Patrick's girlfriend Alex. On a midwest farm in Creek's Cause, Somewhere USA the two brothers, raised by their aunt and uncle, realize something is wrong.

After a meteor crash . . . they call it the Dusting. Spores filled the air. Those over eighteen were immediately affected. Their appearance altered. Holes bore through the center of their heads. If only that was the worst of it. The people infected became crazed. Violent. And they wanted one thing . . . to gather up all of the kids eighteen and under.

Chance has always looked up to his big brother Patrick, and for so many good reasons. But when the three of them hole up in the high school with a group of survivors, a small group of kids who were able to escape the clutches of the things outside locked doors, he knows it is time for him to grow up and get things done.

The creatures that once were neighbors of the Rains are walking every inch of the land, as if mapping the terrain. Others gather any and all weapons only to destroy them. And then, even more of these mind-controlled beings concentrate on the crating and hauling away all of the children.

When Patrick is near death, and Alex is taken by the invaders, Chance steps up his game. Bites back his fear, and sets out to rescue his brother's girlfriend. Chance knows he has a responsibility to those inside the high school, and an obligation to his brother. He vows to bring Alex back.

Doing his best to remain undetected, but having to fight off hordes of drones to stay alive, Chance learns a truth about the aliens that is more than he can stomach.

They have a leader. A Queen. And the Queen has grotesque plans for the bodies of the kids.

Thump. Squelch.

Is there any way Chance, Patrick, and Alex can save themselves? What about saving Creek's Cause? How about saving earth? It just can't be possible. There isn't a chance . . . or is there?

You have to love Hurwitz. The writing is taut. No words wasted. He grabs readers at page one. He holds their attention, grows their interest, and promises an extraordinary journey. And then he delivers. So what's not to love? Best I can tell from the last page of the book --there may be another in the works. LAST CHANCE? One can only hope!

Phillip Tomasso
Author of The Severed Empire Series,
and the Vaccination Trilogy

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