Monday, October 8, 2018

All Things Halloween Review - The Last Star

The Last Star (The 5th Wave, # 3)

By: Rick Yancey

Published: May 24th 2016 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers

338 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Post-Apocalyptic, Dystopian

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

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Goodreads description--The enemy is Other. The enemy is us.

They’re down here, they’re up there, they’re nowhere. They want the Earth, they want us to have it. They came to wipe us out, they came to save us.

But beneath these riddles lies one truth: Cassie has been betrayed. So has Ringer. Zombie. Nugget. And all 7.5 billion people who used to live on our planet. Betrayed first by the Others, and now by ourselves.

In these last days, Earth’s remaining survivors will need to decide what’s more important: saving themselves…or saving what makes us human.

I've had The Last Star in my possession for about two years. Well...a year and a half at least. Regardless. I've put off reading it until just now because I'd seen ratings start to come in shortly after release date that were only mediocre. And this was so disheartening for me. I loved The 5th Wave and while The Infinite Sea had a slow start for me, I still really enjoyed it. Often when I see a book have mediocre ratings it lowers my expectations and then I end up enjoying it more than I expected to, but that's not always how things happen. Of course, sometimes the mediocre ratings lower my expectations and I only end up agreeing with everyone else. And unfortunately that's what happened with The Last Star for me.

A large part of my frustration with this book is my own fault. Due to the amount of time between when I read The Infinite Sea and when I read The Last Star, I'd forgotten so much of what happened that I felt utterly lost when I started this book. Unfortunately I never ended up feeling like I fully knew what was going on. I mean obviously by the end I knew but there were things that characters did or said where it was as if the reader should just know what they were talking about and I couldn't figure out if this was because I'd forgotten so much information from the previous book or if it was due to the author just not doing the best job fleshing everything out in a way that made the most sense.

I'd say the overall theme of The Last Star was self-sacrifice. I was initially hesitant to bring this up because I didn't want anyone to feel like I was ruining the ending of the book, but truly this theme runs from action to action throughout the entire book. While I love my happily-ever-afters, I don't immediately hate a book when a character goes self-sacrifice as long as it is legitimate and not self-sabotage. I mean I didn't rage against Allegiant because Tris died in the end. I hated that it had to happen, but to me, it actually made sense. And that's essentially how I felt with all of the self-sacrificing acts throughout The Last Star.

I didn't love how Cassie suddenly seemed to question Evan and his feelings for her despite everything that he's done for her in the past. Yet I almost feel like this was needed for all of those readers who were completely grossed out by the idea of Cassie and Evan considering he's an alien at all. And how that played out ended up feeling predictable to me.

I struggled a bit with Ringer and her story line as some things were just hard for me to comprehend. Sam got on my nerves. Probably mostly because I understand a 9 year old boy who has been through this level of trauma about as much I understand quantum physics. Ben was likable, but for some reason I felt a distance with him compared to how I've felt in the previous two books.

I'm not exactly sure what I would have wanted Rick Yancey to do differently in ending this story, but overall it just felt a bit anti-climatic to me. I'd read some sections quickly and be anxious to get back to them when I had to put them down and other sections felt as if they dragged on and had me trudging through.

In the end, I guess that's how I'd sum up The Last Star...anti-climatic. Again, I'm not sure if this was more my fault for forgetting so much of the previous story or because things felt too predictable to me. The characters felt a bit more flat than they have in the past, and even though I typically appreciate stories that delve into true self-sacrifice, I guess I wasn't connected enough to anyone or the story to care adequately about their sacrifices. The Last Star was a bit disappointing to me, and for that reason it gets 3 Stars. Have you read The Last Star? What did you think? Let me know!

This review is part of my All Things Halloween event--a month of paranormal, supernatural, mystery/thriller, etc reviews and books.

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