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The Last Star (The 5th Wave #3) – Rick Yancey

The Last Star (The 5th Wave #3) – Rick YanceyTitle: The Last Star (The 5th Wave #3) by Rick Yancey
Publishing Info: May 24, 2016 by Penguin
Source: Audiobook borrowed from library
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Apocalyptic
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: September 2, 2017
Related Posts: The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave #1), The Infinite Sea (The 5th Wave #2)

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.

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** This review will contain spoilers for the book! To view with spoiler tags and avoid any direct plot points, please see my review on Goodreads! **

My initial reaction to this book was… What did I even just read???
So to give this book the benefit, I did not look up what had happened in THE INFINITE SEA before starting it so I know I was missing a few things that had happened in book two, but I was kind of hoping it would all come pouring back once I started. (It did not.) I did finally watch THE 5TH WAVE movie a few months ago so at least I had that refresher of how it all started.

I’ve always had a hard time with Evan because I just like… really didn’t want Cassie to be in love with an alien… But the whole series it’s like, is he? Is he not? What in the world is going on?! That’s part of the appeal of the whole series — we never truly know — but I felt like I was jerked around for so long that I just didn’t believe anything anymore and I ended up feeling more numb towards the big, final answer because I wasn’t going to believe it no matter what happened. I was also Team Ben so as much as I got pushed toward Evan as a love interest the whole series, I wasn’t having it.

The book was slow and didn’t seem to move the plot forward much at all. Most of the true action and plot development happened in the last few chapters of the book, and they were also quite confusing. It felt like so much was jammed into the end of the book that I was trying to sort it all out at once instead of being given little kernels of information that I could apply to the series as it came to a close.

There were a lot of perspectives which didn’t bother me but I also think that things could have been a lot more concise and cohesive and better told through a few less. The addition of Ringer as a main perspective always felt a little off to me and I kiiiiind of wish her character had been rolled up into Cassie and allowed Cassie to stay in the spotlight with the romance and the badassery. I get why it was necessary, as far as the end of the plot went, but meh. Not a fan.

I also hated what was done to Ringer’s character. It seemed messy in so many ways, like there were so many ideas and they couldn’t be done to Cassie so let’s do them ALL to Ringer. There was a pregnancy story like which WHAT? UGH. Why was that even necessary? (It wasn’t.) It just felt so off and it didn’t do anything for the book except make me annoyed. I guess like, let’s preserve humanity and rebuild the world but ugh, that could have been accomplished with Sam and Megan. I also really just hate pregnancy story lines so I’m totally biased but I just didn’t feel like it fit at all. 

The whole book felt sloppy and confusing and like it got way too far from the first book, which I loved so much. The tone, pacing, and direction felt totally different (although I’m sure that was the master plan all along, but it didn’t feel like it) and some of the ending was so cheesy. I hate the “love is the answer” plot because it’s cheesy and overdone. It’s also STUPID in this book because if the aliens had been studying the humans for oh, thousands of years, HOW COULD THEY NOT HAVE TAKEN LOVE INTO ACCOUNT. If they’re that smart to mastermind this whole thing, even if aliens don’t understand a love emotion, it can be observed and people’s actions can be explained by it. Nope. Not buying it. I also know that I was doing other things while listening to this audio but what in the world even happened in the end? So what was the answer!? That’s a tough thing with being intentionally misled and redirected so many times — even the reader starts to wonder what’s real anymore, even if the truth is presented plainly. The characters still had doubts so that made me continue doubting. I don’t even know if I understand what the whole point was…

I’m glad I finished the series because it’s been on my shelf for so long but man, I haven’t been this confused and frustrated by a series finale in a while. I’m not even mad because I was already sort of detached (okay, I’m a little mad) but the biggest disappointment comes from loving the first book in a series and by the end, you feel like you can’t even recommend that series anymore. What a letdown.

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Kept Me Hooked On: Aliens, I guess. I enjoyed that this was an alien series that didn’t really feel so alien and far-fetched. Except for this book, where it felt totally far-fetched.
Left Me Wanting More: Conclusion. I just… I was so disappointed. This wasn’t what I expected at all and this whole series fell apart. I feel sad because I was one of those people who loved the second book where so many others didn’t and it ended up falling apart in the next book anyway.

Addiction Rating
If you’ve made it this far, might as well read it?

This isn’t a long book so if you’ve already read the first two, maybe worth finishing the series… But I’d still have a hard time recommending it and I don’t feel like I can even recommend the series now.

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BOOKS LIKE THE LAST STAR

          

The Infinite Sea (The 5th Wave #2) – Rick Yancey

The Infinite Sea (The 5th Wave #2) – Rick YanceyTitle: The Infinite Sea (The 5th Wave #2) by Rick Yancey
Publishing Info: September 16, 2014 by Penguin
Source: Received from the publisher for review purposes
Genres: Apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: October 5, 2014
Related Posts: The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave #1), The Last Star (The 5th Wave #3)

How do you rid the Earth of seven billion humans? Rid the humans of their humanity.
    Surviving the first four waves was nearly impossible. Now Cassie Sullivan finds herself in a new world, a world in which the fundamental trust that binds us together is gone. As the 5th Wave rolls across the landscape, Cassie, Ben, and Ringer are forced to confront the Others’ ultimate goal: the extermination of the human race.
    Cassie and her friends haven’t seen the depths to which the Others will sink, nor have the Others seen the heights to which humanity will rise, in the ultimate battle between life and death, hope and despair, love and hate.

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Last year when THE 5TH WAVE came out, I actually had no interest in an alien story but once I heard the buzz, I ran out to the store, picked up the book, and when I started reading, I couldn’t stop. I finished THE 5TH WAVE in one sitting and absolutely loved the book. I’ve been waiting a while for THE INFINITE SEA to come out and once again, Rick Yancey totally hooked me straight away. If I hadn’t had to stop for food and sleep and work, I could have easily tore through this book cover to cover like its predecessor!

What really hits me the most about these books are the characters and the action. In THE 5TH WAVE, the readers are introduced to the core set of characters and they make a sincere connection, all the while just as unsure as the characters what’s going on with this wave of invaders and how they can possibly survive. THE INFINITE SEA starts off with just a big of a bang and right away I was anxious how the opening scene would no doubt affect the entire rest of the book. The action kicks off in high gear right from the start and I really felt like it carried me through the book. I couldn’t stop turning pages and I was totally riveted.

Whereas we spent a lot of time with Cassie and Zombie in THE 5TH WAVE, THE INFINITE SEA opens up to a larger range of POVs from some of the secondary characters, now in the spotlight. Cassie, Zombie, Evan, and Sam are still very much main characters, but Rick Yancey allows us into the minds of people like Ringer (who is known to be antagonistic — and I always love being able to see inside of the mind of an opposing force) and even characters like Poundcake. I feel like there was a mixed reaction to the slight shift from Cassie and Evan’s perspectives but I really enjoyed how the new perspectives really added another layer to the overall story. The characters who were once secondary step forward and really show how much they have to offer and how much they might change the entire plot of the series so I thought it was really interesting to see how the focus started to spread further than just the initial core main characters. There are still the same POV shifts from section to section which I’ve seen some readers still struggle with a bit, but I didn’t feel like they jumped around too much. Sometimes it does take a few sentences before you’re able to pin down whose POV you’re reading , but that really wasn’t something that bothered me, personally!

Keeping true to book one, THE INFINITE SEA also has no shortages of twists, one particularly shocking one which of course, I will not divulge! I’m always impressed with the way everything sort of loops back around and all comes together. I absolutely love twists so some of the big bombs that were dropped in THE INFINTE SEA totally caught me by surprise! They really made me think and I almost feel like I need to go back to book one to see how these things are even possible! (Are they?) But there’s always book three to figure that out too, right?

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“The View from Goodreads” is a new featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

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Ringer // Character Obsessions: Loyalty, independence, determination. I barely even remembered Ringer from the previous book. I’m not sure why since it seemed so many people were up in arms about her being such an antagonistic character to start focusing on… Maybe I was just too focused on Cassie/Evan/Zombie. Anyway! I actually really enjoyed her POV. She’s one tough cookie but also in a different way than Cassie. So much of Cassie’s fight to survive is also for her brother and Ringer has her people she fights for but she is also very much self-reliant. Cassie’s protection feels more caring and Ringer’s protection seems a lot more straight-forward and intense. I just really liked the new mix of POVs and really ended up enjoying hers!

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Kept Me Hooked On: Science-Fiction. I am very choosy about my science fiction and never would have picked up a series based on aliens without the glowing reviews from others but I still have tons of praise for this series from Rick Yancey! It makes me want to branch out and try some more straight-up sci-fi!
Left Me Wanting More: Memory of the first book? I read the Recaptains review before I started but even still, I feel like I wasn’t remembering a whole lot. I think maybe reading in one day sort of muddled my memory because the whole book melted together. The only thing I felt a little in the dark about was the secondary characters but they characters did their job of quickly catching me up anyway!

Addiction Rating
Buy it!

I’m still really enjoying this series and I also definitely want to take a look at Rick Yancey’s other books. There’s just something about his writing that TOTALLY hooks me.

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE THE INFINITE SEA

(Click the cover to see my review!)

        unremembered           the adoration of jenna fox

The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave #1) – Rick Yancey

The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave #1) – Rick YanceyTitle: The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave #1) by Rick Yancey
Publishing Info: May 7, 2013 by Penguin
Source: Anderson's Bookshop
Genres: Apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: July 14, 2013
Related Posts: The Infinite Sea (The 5th Wave #2), The Last Star (The 5th Wave #3)

    After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.
    Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

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I was terrified to start THE 5TH WAVE. I do not like alien stories — basically ever — but after so many rave reviews and friends telling me it’s a totally different kind of alien story, I decided to trust them! The aliens in this book — usually referred to as “the Others” (because they’re something other than human) — are not little green men with big eyes come to Earth in corporeal form. They co-inhabit human bodies and have been “awakened” at the right moment, basically after all the growing up and puberty and whatnot, so they really are ONE with the human — body and soul. They look like humans, talk like humans, act like humans… Until they turn around and shoot you.

I think one of the things that also helped with the alien topic was that they were believable. We don’t know what aliens would look like if they did exist and I think this is a great way of NOT putting a body that we couldn’t possibly imagine to that idea of life outside of our planet. Also, the Others are essentially destroying the humans in waves (hence, THE 5TH WAVE) so there’s a sense of post-apocalyptic Earth that was a big part of the book as well. I usually enjoy those kinds of books. (I do love my post-apocalyptic & dystopian books!)

THE 5TH WAVE focuses mainly on Cassie who is essentially telling us her story as it happens to her with a few flashbacks here and there. I gotta say… I loved Cassie! She used to be the nice girl, and once the 1st wave hit, she really instantly toughened up. I loved her sarcasm and biting humor and she actually reminded me of one of my friends so it was almost like reading about someone I knew! I loved that we get to see how tough and brave Cassie is, but she’s still totally scared out of her mind at the same time. She has a lot of tough decisions to make to stay alive and I really felt that sense of nervousness and constant fear from her.

I know a few reviewers had said that the change of narrators was a bit confusing, but it didn’t really bother me. I was expecting each chapter to alternate or jump around, but there are specific sections and each section — not chapter — is narrated by one specific character. Sometimes it changes from first to third person and sometimes the voice is not always immediately clear, but I really wasn’t bothered by it too much. I think it was more of the fact that regardless of POV or narrator, I needed to focus just a bit more. Some parts were alternating between present time and flashbacks, some parts were jumpy because of action, some because of a stream of consciousness-style flow, but I didn’t find it confusing. It just required a bit more focus than reading a “fluffier” type novel.

The thing I loved the most was how all of the loose ends tie up in the end. Stories come together, mysteries solved, and we FINALLY find out who is good and who is bad. The whole point of the book is that Cassie can never trust anyone because the Others look just like any other human and there’s nothing to give them away as untrustworthy. I kept suspecting people left and right, switching my opinions of good and bad in my head, and when everything finally came together, I felt much better! I think because the book received so much hype, I wasn’t let down per se, but I wasn’t TOTALLY amazed and shocked. I loved the suspense, action, characters, and plot, but it wasn’t quite a five-star read for me.

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Cassie // Character Obsessions: Staying alive, not trusting anyone, her Luger and M15, her brother Sammy.
Cassie was totally awesome. I loved her as our main character. She was loyal, brave, and determined despite the fact that she was completely alone and totally scared beyond belief. I loved that she sort of turned tough (although that’s the side that we as the readers always see) and her sarcasm totally cracked me up. I feel like I could be her sidekick… Although I totally wouldn’t want to be involved in the alien apocalypse, but yeah. I think we could get along!
Evan Walker // Character Obsessions: The Others, keeping Cassie safe.
Evan Walker was mysterious. I wanted to love him — okay, I totally did — but I also couldn’t trust him. Cassie had that tiniest bit of doubt despite all that he did for her so how could I not? I loved his role in this story from start to finish.
Zombie // Character Obsessions: Training, Nugget, Ringer.
Oh hey, Zombie. Didn’t expect you to be such a big part of the story and you totally made it twice as awesome. The whole entire way Zombie’s character is brought into this story… I don’t want to go into detail at the risk of spoiling, but it’s awesome. Just you wait and see! 

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Kept Me Hooked On: Science fiction. Most of my sci-fi reads are more paranormal… dystopian… even a hint of fantasy. Aliens? That’s sci-fi for sure. True, the aliens did make it more of a post-apocalyptic world, but this was more sci-fi than I usually read and I really enjoyed it! Looking forward to more.
Left Me Wanting More: You know what… I can’t think of anything. Although it wasn’t a FULL five stars for me, I can’t think of anything it was missing!

Addiction Rating
BUY IT!

THE 5TH WAVE lived up to the hype. PHEW. I devoured it in one day (seriously). It kept me on the edge of my seat with suspense and action and even had some nice romance in there!

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         Cinder         Reboot