Thanks to NetGalley and Tor Teen for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: October 18th, 2016
Synopsis: In one terrifying night, the peaceful community of Creek’s Cause turns into a war zone. No one under the age of eighteen is safe. Chance Rain and his older brother brother, Patrick, have already fended off multiple attacks from infected adults adults by the time they arrive at the school where other young survivors are hiding.
Most of the kids they know have been dragged away by once-trusted adults who are now ferocious, inhuman beings. The parasite that transformed them takes hold after people turn eighteen–and Patrick’s birthday is only a few days away.
Determined to save Patrick’s life and the lives of the remaining kids, the brothers embark on a mission to uncover the truth about the parasites–and what they find is horrifying. Battling an enemy not of this earth, Chance and Patrick become humanity’s only hope for salvation.
Before I begin my review, a word of caution: The Rains is not for the faint of heart. Some of the scenes are so graphic that they actually made even me a tad queasy, and I have a pretty strong stomach for blood and gore. But it also fits in within the theme of the story, so for me, it wasn’t generally a problem. For anyone who doesn’t recognize the author’s name, Gregg Hurwitz is a bestselling and prolific author of adult fiction written for the suspense/thriller genres. He’s one of my favorites, so I’ve been chafing at the bit since I heard he was going to try his hand with YAs, and The Rains does not disappoint. It’s a completely unique take on the popular zombie apocalypse trope, where the action takes off from the very first page and never lets up. This also is not your typical zombie story and that’s because of the very real and touching relationship between Chance and Patrick. I honestly just loved these two, but especially Chance. The chapters are laid out as “Entries” in a journal he’s keeping, so you get more of a personal look into his mind than anyone else’s. 15 year-old Chance and 17 year-old Patrick have already had to deal with the tragic loss of their parents before alien spores infect all the adults in their small town. They’re extremely close and Chance idolizes his good looking, popular big brother, but he also feels the pressure of walking in his shadow. While it would be completely understandable if he held some resentment toward his brother, especially as he also has a crush on Patrick’s girlfriend, Alex, he doesn’t. Instead, he turns inward, and is constantly trying to live up to his brother’s example. Patrick actually annoyed me a little in the beginning because he’s a little too perfect, but Gregg Hurwitz does such a great job at fleshing out his personality that my annoyance didn’t last long. The secondary characters, particularly the kids are equally well developed and I even felt a certain amount of sympathy for the local juvenile bully. The only disappointment I had was with the relationship between Patrick, Alex, and Chance. While there’s not much room for romance in this first book, there’s definitely some hints to a love triangle developing in the next book, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Hurwitz rethinks this. The pacing in this is absolutely insane! I started reading this about 7:00 last night and by about 10:00 pm, I kept thinking at the beginning of each chapter that it would be the last one and then I’d go to bed, but I just couldn’t stop reading. So, I was up until the wee hours of the morning because I just had to see the story through to its finish. The ending is a perfect cliffhanger in that it leaves me excited for the second book without being frustrated. I highly recommend this for older teens and adults who love science fiction and horror. If you’ve never read anything by Hurwitz, The Rains is a great book to start with. If you’re already a fan of his, this book will further cement your love of his writing.