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The Rains
     

The Rains

4.3 4
by Gregg Hurwitz
 

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“A brilliant, terrifying, rule-breaking reimagining of the zombie novel.”—Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of Rot & Ruin

“One of those all-too-creepy-and-believable stories. Chilling!”—Ridley Pearson, New York Times bestselling author

“Readers with a 5th Wave

Overview

“A brilliant, terrifying, rule-breaking reimagining of the zombie novel.”—Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of Rot & Ruin

“One of those all-too-creepy-and-believable stories. Chilling!”—Ridley Pearson, New York Times bestselling author

“Readers with a 5th Wave-shaped hole in their sf-loving hearts will rejoice.”—Booklist

“In his first book for teens, Hurwitz crafts a tense, disturbing tale that’s simultaneously a story driven by brother love and the determination to survive against impossible odds.”—Publishers Weekly

From the New York Times bestselling author of Orphan X and comics in the Batman, Wolverine, and Punisher universes comes this relentlessly thrilling adventure perfect for fans of The Walking Dead and The 5th Wave. A Hollywood screenwriter, developer, and producer (V, The Book of Henry, Black Flags), Gregg Hurwitz brings his cinematic flair to this suspenseful new tale.

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, Patrick, have already fended off multiple attacks from infected 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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
08/08/2016
The apocalypse comes from outer space in this unsettling thriller, first in a planned series. When a meteor strikes the small town of Creek’s Cause, it infects every resident over the age of 18, turning them into terrifying monsters working in service to a higher, unknown purpose. As the transformed adults hunt down their own children, taking them away in cages, some manage to resist and seek refuge in the local school, including brothers Patrick and Chance Rain, and Patrick’s girlfriend, Alex. While Chance is 15, Patrick is swiftly approaching his 18th birthday; they have to find a way to stop the alien invasion before he, too, becomes one of the enemy. In his first book for teens, Hurwitz (Orphan X) crafts a tense, disturbing tale that’s simultaneously a story driven by brotherly love and the determination to survive against impossible odds. It’s a grim affair, the fight scenes brutal and visceral, and the cliffhanger ending will have readers desperate for answers. Ages 12–up. Agent: Lisa Erbach Vance, Aaron M. Priest Literary. (Oct.)
From the Publisher

“A brilliant, terrifying, rule-breaking reimagining of the zombie novel. Hurwitz pulls no punches and takes no prisoners.”—Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of Rot & Ruin

“Gregg Hurwitz is a writer’s writer, fast on his feet, quick with the perfect turn of phrase. The Rains is one of those all-too-creepy-and-believable stories that leaves you looking in your backyard for the next strange weed to poke through the ground. Chilling!”—Ridley Pearson, New York Times bestselling author

The Rains is a fearsome exploration of survival that turns the horrors of the natural world into our worst nightmares. Readers will hold their breath for the whole adrenaline-packed, terrifying ride. Biological sci-fi at its best.”—Lydia Kang, author of Control

“The alien-zombie mashup that science-fiction fans won’t want to miss. The novel’s ultimate cliffhanger ending is a satisfying conclusion of intrigue and suspense and will leave readers wanting more. Alex, a major character and Patrick’s girlfriend, is a blond, white girl and a feminist force to be reckoned with. This zombie-esque sci-fi novel will feed the needs of readers looking for a fast-paced, adrenaline-pumping story with elements of horror.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Best-selling author of adult thrillers Hurwitz turns to YA alien invasion in this suspenseful series starter. Modest, hard-working Chance, who narrates through diary entries, worships his lionhearted brother and will do anything to save him; their deeply caring relationship gives the action emotional intensity. Chance’s transformation into a determined, selfless hero is well-earned. The aliens’ full-scale plan is terrifying and viscerally repellent. Readers with a 5th Wave-shaped hole in their sf-loving hearts will rejoice. Best-seller Hurwitz has proven he knows how to hook an adult audience. Expect his YA debut to have the same effect on teens.”—Booklist

“In his first book for teens, Hurwitz crafts a tense, disturbing tale that’s simultaneously a story driven by brotherly love and the determination to survive against impossible odds. It’s a grim affair, the fight scenes brutal and visceral, and the cliffhanger ending will have readers desperate for answers.”—Publishers Weekly

VOYA, October 2016 (Vol. 39, No. 4) - Christina Jones
When the meteorite fragments of Asteroid 9918 Darwinia fall on Creek’s Cause, the crops grow to gargantuan proportions, only to then wither and die, releasing mysterious particles into the air. Fifteen-year-old Chance Rain and his brother, seventeen-year-old Patrick, band together to fight the zombielike adults who have become infected by the particles. After saving Alex, Patrick’s girlfriend, from her infected father, they head to the school. They discover that the entire town has been taken over by the Host creatures. The women, Catchers, restrain and cage the children, and the men, Mappers, are mapping the town for the alien invaders. At the school, the main characters discover that the spores do not affect humans until their eighteenth birthday. With Patrick’s eighteenth birthday in a matter of days, the group journeys to a nearby town and discovers that Hosts have also invaded there. Back at the school, the TV confirms that it is a worldwide attack. The novel’s plot moves quickly, and the conflict is engaging; however, the dairy-entry format feels forced, and the pace is often bogged down by excessive description of action. The Hosts are creepy, but readers who are used to ravenous zombies will not be impressed, although the aliens’ use for the children, when revealed, is haunting and well written. Recommend this to readers who love science fiction novels jam-packed with fight scenes. Reviewer: Christina Jones; Ages 15 to 18.
School Library Journal
10/01/2016
Gr 7 Up—Following on the popularity of apocalyptic zombie fiction, this is an edge-of-your-seat test of survival. Set in an anywhere town, the narrative moves along at a breakneck pace. Creek's Cause is a peaceful community filled with farms and hardworking people. Chance Rain is a 15-year-old who feels that he will never measure up to his brother, Patrick. Star quarterback and homecoming king Patrick is the envy of the other young men around him. Living a normal life on the farm, the brothers are content with tilling fields, delivering calves, hunting, and driving tractors. In one horrifying night, Creek's Cause becomes a war zone when everyone under the age of 18 quickly realizes that they are no longer safe. Chance and Patrick have already fended off multiple attacks from infected adults by the time they arrive at the school, where other survivors are hiding. The parasite that transformed the adults into ferocious, inhuman beings affects teens the minute they turn 18. Unfortunately for Patrick, his birthday is a few weeks away. The siblings are determined to save Patrick and the remaining kids, so they set out on a seemingly impossible mission to find out the truth. This title is one of the better YA zombie-esque novels that has been written in the last few years. It is refreshing and surprising and won't leave teens feeling as though they've traveled this path before. VERDICT Recommended for all YA collections, especially where Jonathan Maberry's "Rot & Ruin" series is popular.—Amy Caldera, Dripping Springs Middle School, TX
Kirkus Reviews
2016-07-20
The alien-zombie mashup that science-fiction fans won’t want to miss. When Asteroid 9918 Darwinia lands in the small town of Creek’s Cause, it spells major trouble for 15-year-old Chance Rain and his 17-year-old brother, Patrick. For starters, all the adults have turned into zombielike parasitic hosts. What’s worse? The alien spores from the asteroid will eventually infect all the children on their 18th birthdays. For some, 18 is years off, but for others, like Patrick, it’s only days away. And so begins a race against the clock as Chance tries to save Patrick from a grisly fate. The novel’s filmlike storytelling tactics don’t always translate well to book form, and the numerous chapter cliffhangers make the writing seem repetitive and predictable; however, the novel’s ultimate cliffhanger ending is a satisfying conclusion of intrigue and suspense and will leave readers wanting more. Chance’s and Patrick’s physical descriptions are limited to height and stature, making their race indeterminable. Alex, a major character and Patrick’s girlfriend, is a blond, white girl and a feminist force to be reckoned with. Racial and ethnic diversity reflected in very minor characters feels tacked on. This zombie-esque sci-fi novel will feed the needs of readers looking for a fast-paced, adrenaline-pumping story with elements of horror. (Science fiction. 12 & up)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780765382672
Publisher:
Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date:
10/18/2016
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
73,215
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.40(d)
Lexile:
HL770L (what's this?)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

The Rains


By Gregg Hurwitz

Tom Doherty Associates

Copyright © 2016 Gregg Hurwitz
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4668-8851-7


CHAPTER 1

ENTRY 1


It was past midnight. I was still working in the barn when I heard the rolling door lurch open. I started and lost my grip on a block of hay. It tumbled off the baling hooks.

It was creepy out here with the wind whipping across the roof, fluttering loose shingles. Bits of hay strobed through the shafts of light from the dangling overheads, and the old beams groaned beneath the load of the loft. I was plenty tough, sure, but I was also a high-school sophomore and still got spooked more often than I'd want to admit.

I turned to the door, my fists clenched around the wooden handles of the baling hooks. Each hook is a wicked metal curve that protrudes about a foot from between the knuckles of my hand. The barn door, now open, looked out onto darkness. The wind lashed in, cutting through my jeans and flannel shirt, carrying a reek that overpowered the scent of hay. It smelled as if someone were cooking rotten flesh.

I clutched those baling hooks like a second-rate Wolverine, cleared my throat, and stepped toward the door, doing my best to deepen my voice. "Who's there?"

Patrick swung into sight, his pump-action shotgun pointed at the floor. "Chance," he said, "thank God you're okay."

My older brother's broad chest rose and fell, his black cowboy hat seated back on his head. He'd been running, or he was scared.

But Patrick didn't get scared.

"Of course I'm okay," I said. "What are you talking about?" I let the baling hooks drop so they dangled around my wrists from the nylon loops on the handles. Covering my nose with a sleeve, I stepped outside. "What's that smell?"

The wind was blowing west from McCafferty's place or maybe even the Franklins' beyond.

"I don't know," Patrick said. "But that's the least of it. Come with me. Now."

I turned to set down my gear on the pallet jack, but Patrick grabbed my shoulder.

"You might want to bring the hooks," he said.

CHAPTER 2

ENTRY 2


I should probably introduce myself at this point. My name is Chance Rain, and I'm fifteen. Fifteen in Creek's Cause isn't like fifteen in a lot of other places. We work hard here and start young. I can till a field and deliver a calf and drive a truck. I can work a bulldozer, break a mustang, and if you put me behind a hunting rifle, odds are I'll bring home dinner.

I'm also really good at training dogs.

That's what my aunt and uncle put me in charge of when they saw I was neither as strong nor as tough as my older brother.

No one was.

In the place where you're from, Patrick would be the star quarterback or the homecoming king. Here we don't have homecoming, but we do have the Harvest King, which Patrick won by a landslide. And of course his girlfriend, Alexandra, won Harvest Queen.

Alex with her hair the color of wheat and her wide smile and eyes like sea glass.

Patrick is seventeen, so Alex is between us in age, though I'm on the wrong end of that seesaw. Besides, to look at Patrick you wouldn't think he was just two years older than me. Don't get me wrong — years of field work have built me up pretty good, but at six-two, Patrick stands half a head taller than me and has grown-man strength. He wanted to stop wrestling me years ago, because there was never any question about the outcome, but I still wanted to try now and then.

Sometimes trying's all you got.

It's hard to remember now before the Dusting, but things were normal here once. Our town of three thousand had dances and graduations and weddings and funerals. Every summer a fair swept through, the carnies taking over the baseball diamond with their twirly-whirly rides and rigged games. When someone's house got blown away in a tornado, people pitched in to help rebuild it. There were disputes and affairs, and every few years someone got shot hunting and had to get rushed to Stark Peak, the closest thing to a city around here, an hour and a half by car when the weather cooperated. We had a hospital in town, better than you'd think — we had to, what with the arms caught in threshers and ranch hands thrown from horses — but Stark Peak's where you'd head if you needed brain surgery or your face put back together. Two years ago the three Braaten brothers took their mean streaks and a juiced-up Camaro on a joyride, and only one crawled out of the wreckage alive. You can bet Ben Braaten and his broken skull got hauled to Stark Peak in a hurry.

Our tiny town was behind on a lot. The whole valley didn't get any cell-phone coverage. There was a rumor that AT&T was gonna come put in a tower, but what with our measly population they didn't seem in a big hurry. Our parents said that made it peaceful here. I thought that made it boring, especially when compared to all the stuff we saw on TV. The hardest part was knowing there was a whole, vast world out there, far from us. Some kids left and went off to New York or L.A. to pursue big dreams, and I was always a bit envious, but I shook their hands and wished them well and meant it.

Patrick and I didn't have the same choices as a lot of other kids.

When I was six and Patrick eight, our parents went to Stark Peak for their anniversary. From what we learned later, there was steak and red wine and maybe a few martinis, too. On their way to the theater, Dad ran an intersection and his trusty Chrysler got T-boned by a muni bus.

At the funeral the caskets had to stay closed, and I could only imagine what Mom and Dad looked like beneath those shiny maple lids. When Stark Peak PD released their personals, I waited until late at night, snuck downstairs, and snooped through them. The face of Dad's beloved Timex was cracked. I ran my thumb across the picture on his driver's license. Mom's fancy black clutch purse reeked of lilac from her cracked-open perfume bottle. It was the smell of her, but too strong, sickly sweet, and it hit on memories buried in my chest, making them ring like the struck bars of a xylophone. When I opened the purse, a stream of pebbled windshield glass spilled out. Some of it was red.

Breathing the lilac air, I remember staring at those bloody bits scattered on the floorboards around my bare feet, all those pieces that could never be put back together. I blanked out after that, but I must have been crying, because the next thing I remember was Patrick appearing from nowhere, my face pressed to his arm when he hugged me, and his voice quiet in my ear: "I got it from here, little brother."

I always felt safe when Patrick was there. I never once saw him cry after my parents died. It was like he ran the math in his head, calm and steady as always, and decided that one of us had to hold it together for both of us, and since he was the big brother, that responsibility fell to him.

Sue-Anne and Jim, my aunt and uncle, took us in. They lived just four miles away, but it was the beginning of a new life. Even though I wanted time to stay frozen like it was on Dad's shattered Timex, it couldn't, and so Patrick and I and Jim and Sue-Anne started over.

They didn't have any kids, but they did the best they could. They tried their hardest to figure out teacher conferences and the Tooth Fairy and buying the right kind of toys at Christmas. They weren't cut out to be parents but they did their damnedest, and at the end of the day that's all that really matters. Patrick and I loved them for it, and they loved us right back.

That doesn't mean my brother and I didn't have to grow up in a hurry. There was plenty of work to be done around the ranch and more bellies to fill. Jim had a couple hundred heads of cattle, and he bred Rhodesian ridgebacks and shipped them off across the country as guard dogs at two thousand a pop. Sue-Anne made sure to have hot food on the table three times a day, and she read to us every night. I vanished into those stories — the Odyssey, Huck Finn, The Arabian Nights. As we got older, Patrick grew tired of it all, but I kept on, raiding the bookshelf, reading myself to sleep with a flashlight under the covers. I think I hid inside those fictional worlds because they kept me from thinking about how much I'd lost in the real one.

By his early teens, Patrick was clearly a force to be reckoned with. He and I didn't look much alike — strangers were usually surprised to find out we were brothers. Not that I was ugly or weak or anything, but Patrick ... well, he was Patrick. He got my dad's wide shoulders and good looks, and he could ride herd and rope cattle alongside the best ranch hand, chewing a piece of straw and never breaking a sweat. The girls lost their mind over who got to wear his cowboy hat during lunchtime.

Until Alex. Then it was only her.

I didn't like math so much, but I loved English and science. I didn't have Patrick's skills as a cattleman, but I wasn't afraid of hard work. I was pretty good behind a hunting rifle, almost as good as Uncle Jim himself, but the one thing I was better at than anyone was raising those puppies. Ridgebacks are lion hunters from Africa, the most fearless and loyal creatures you'll ever meet. Whenever we had a new litter, I'd play with the pups, training them up from day one. By the time they hit two months, they'd follow me anywhere, and by the time they were half a year old, I could put them on a sit-stay and they wouldn't move if you tried to drag them from their spot. It was hard fitting in all the work around school, but somehow I managed, and if there's one thing Dad taught me, it's that the Rains don't complain.

When it came time to stack the hay, Patrick always finished his part early and offered to help me on my share, but I made sure I finished it myself. Even if it was at the end of a long day. Even if it meant I had to stay up past midnight, working alone in the barn.

Which was what I was doing after the Dusting, the first time I'd seen Patrick nervous for as far back as my memory could stretch.

Considering everything that had been going on lately, I couldn't blame him.

But hang on. Let me start where it makes sense, one week ago. Not that any of it makes sense, but if I lay out some of what I learned later, maybe you'll be able to keep up.

I do need you to keep up.

Your life depends on it.

CHAPTER 3

ENTRY 3


It began with a hard, slanting rain. And soon there was fire, too, but it wasn't fire. Not really. It was the pieces of Asteroid 9918 Darwinia breaking up above Earth, flaming as they entered the atmosphere.

It exploded twenty-four kilometers up, a bright flash that turned night into day. There was a boom above Creek's Cause and a wave of heat that evaporated the drops right out of the air. Jack Kaner's garret window blew out, and the rickety shed behind Grandpa Donovan's house fell over. The surge of warmth dried the pastures and the irrigated soil.

Fist-size fragments kicked up the powdered dirt in the field lying fallow behind Hank McCafferty's place, embedding themselves deep below the earth. A late winter had pushed back harvest, and so the fields were still full. McCafferty had been working sweet corn and barley through the fall, but this one empty plot, depleted by a recent planting, had been layered with manure to set up a double crop of alfalfa and oats for the next summer.

The soil was rich, primed for roots to take hold.

Or something else.

One of the meteorites struck Pollywog Lake at the base of the rocky ridge and burned off a foot of water. Another rocketed straight through Grandpa Donovan's cow, leaving a Frisbee-width channel through the meat as clean as a drill. The cow staggered halfway across the marshy back meadow before realizing it was dead and falling over. The coyotes ate well that night.

We came out of our farmhouses and ranch homes, stared at the sky in puzzlement, then went back inside, finishing the dinner dishes, watching TV, getting ready for bed. Living in a land of tornadoes and deadly storms, we were used to Mother Earth's moods.

We'd learn soon enough that Mother Earth had nothing to do with this.

Creek's Cause was originally called Craik's Cause, after James Craik, George Washington's personal physician. Sometime in the early 1800s, someone screwed up transcribing a map, and the wrong name took hold. But to this day we shared a pride in the purpose for which our town was named. After all, Craik had kept Washington healthy through the Revolutionary War and the following years, remaining at the first president's side until he finally died on that damp December night.

Standing there in the sudden heat of the night air, blinking against the afterimpressions of those bursts of flame in the sky, we couldn't have known that more than two hundred years later the opening salvo of a new revolutionary war had been fired.

And that my brother and I would find ourselves on the front lines.

The rains continued through the night, pounding the earth, turning our roofs into waterfalls. At the edge of town, Hogan's Creek overflowed its banks, drowning the Widow Latrell's snow peas until minnows swam shimmering figure eights through the vines.

Since McCafferty's farm was on higher ground, his crops weren't deluged. Narrow, bright green shoots poked up from the moist soil of his fallow field, thickening into stalks by the third day. At the top of each was a small bud encased in a leafy sheath. McCafferty lifted his trucker's cap to scratch his head at them, vowing to borrow Charles Franklin's undercutter to tear those strange-looking weeds from his land, but Franklin was not a generous man, and besides, there was corn to harvest, and so it waited another day and then another.

The rains finally stopped, but the stalks kept growing. The townsfolk went to check out the crazy growths rising from the soil where the meteorites had blazed deep into the ground. Patrick and I even stopped by one day after school to join the gawkers. By the end of the workweek, the stalks were taller than Hank himself. On the seventh day they towered over ten feet.

And then they died.

Just like that, they turned brittle and brown. The pods, which had grown to the size of corncobs, seemed to wither.

Some of the neighbors stood around, spitting tobacco into the dirt and saying it was indeed the damnedest thing, but there was nothing to do until McCafferty finished his harvest and tamped down his pride enough to ask Franklin for the loan of that undercutter.

McCafferty was at the bottle that night again after dinner. I can picture the scene like I was there — him in his rickety rocker on his rickety porch, the cool night filled with the sweet-rot smell of old wood. He had put his true love in the ground three summers ago, and you could see the grief in the creases of his face. His newer, younger wife fought like hell with his two kids, turning his house into a battleground, and he hid in the fields by day and in the bars by night. On this night he was rocking and sipping, letting a sweet bourbon burn away memories of his dear departed Lucille, when over the sound of the nightly bedtime squabble upstairs he heard a faint popping noise.

At first he probably thought it was a clearing of his ears or the drink playing tricks on him. Then it came again, riding the breeze from the fields, a gentle popping like feather pillows ripping open.

A moment later he tasted a bitter dust coating his mouth. He spit a gob over the railing, reached through his screen door, grabbed his shotgun, and lumbered down the steps toward the fields. From an upstairs window, his son watched the powerful beam of a flashlight zigzag across the ground, carving up the darkness.

The bitter taste grew stronger in McCafferty's mouth, as if a waft of pollen had thickened the air. He reached the brink of his fallow field, and what he saw brought him up short, his mouth gaping, his boots sinking in the soft mud.

A dried-out pod imploded, releasing a puff of tiny particles into the air. And then the seven-foot stalk beneath it collapsed, disintegrating into a heap of dust above the soil. He watched as the neighboring pod burst, its stalk crumbling into nothingness. And then the next. And the next. It was like a haunted-house trick — a ghost vanishing, leaving only a sheet fluttering to the ground. The weeds collapsed, row after row, sinking down into the earth they'd mysteriously appeared from.

At last the pollen grew too strong, and he coughed into a fist and headed back to his bottle, hoping the bourbon would clear his throat.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from The Rains by Gregg Hurwitz. Copyright © 2016 Gregg Hurwitz. Excerpted by permission of Tom Doherty Associates.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

GREGG HURWITZ is a New York Times bestselling thriller author. His novels, including They’re Watching, Trust No One, The Crime Writer,Troubleshooting, and Orphan X, have been shortlisted for numerous literary awards, graced top ten lists, and have been translated into over two dozen languages. He is also a New York Times bestselling comic book writer, having penned stories for Marvel and DC. Additionally, he's written screenplays for many major studios and written, developed, and produced television for various networks. Hurwitz resides in Los Angeles.

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The Rains 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Twink 6 months ago
Quite a few of my favourite adult authors have started writing young adult books - many of them series. Gregg Hurwitz has just released The Rains - the first in his new young adult series. And though it's marketed to teens, this adult reader quite enjoyed The Rains. That ominous cover would lead you to believe weather is the inspiration for the book title. Well, something does fall from the sky, but it's not rain. Instead it's some sort of parasitic spore that infects anyone over eighteen, turning them into some sort of zombie. The driving force behind this attack may be an alien race. So, who are the Rains? Fifteen year old Chance Rain and his seventeen year old brother Patrick Rain. And the third person on the cover is Patrick's girlfriend Alex. Together, they're leading force behind the battle for survival for the rest of the under eighteens kids. Chance is our narrator - indeed it is his journal we are reading. "If you're reading this, your life is at risk. Maybe, just maybe these pages will give you a chance." Hurwitz has plotted an inventive mashup between aliens and zombies and added lots of action and nail biting scenarios. But he has also developed his lead characters well. They have depth and feeling and the reader will immediately be drawn to them., especially Chance. Chance does a lot of growing up as the book progresses. There is also a romantic thread running through the book between Patrick and Alex, but it too is portrayed realistically. Alex is just as strong a lead as the boys. The relationship between the brothers is well drawn, believable and heartstring tugging. And with every story there has to be a negative character. Readers will love to hate Ben, who is the antithesis of the boys. Hurwitz himself is the owner of a number of Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs. In the book, Chance also raises Ridgebacks. They too endear themselves to the reader as part of the 'good guys' team. (But I have to say, there's one chapter where I yelled No, no, no!) I liked the rural setting - our heroes are a little more down to earth and pragmatic than some of the zombie novels set in cityscapes. A few of the plot devices are a bit too pat - but this is the adult mystery reader in me speaking. Just go with the flow and enjoy The Rains. It's a great addition to the teen fiction scene. And keep your eyes peeled for the next book - Last Chance.
pineappletop92 10 months ago
I haven't read many alien invasion YA books aside from The 5th Wave series, but this one turned out to be an excellent decision to read. With a zombie apocalypse-esque plot and invasion tactics that were plausible and horrifying, Hurwitz has created a story full of action and suspense that kept this reader hooked until the very last page. Told as journal entries chronicling the invasion from the moment it began, this story is immediately engrossing with its fast-pace action, suspense, and intrigue. The plot works well for the most part, with satisfying explanations for what is happening in this world, but at times does seem to become one of those 'one mishap after another' types of plots. And while the fast pace is excellent in keeping the reader engaged, it does also at times skip quickly through some moments as well. The characters are interesting and realistic, and show some great depth throughout. Since it is told by an unreliable narrator, though, a lot of the aforementioned issues could also be attributed to the fact that it is supposedly being written by a fifteen-year-old boy. Otherwise, I really enjoyed reading this, and am greatly looking forward to the sequel to hopefully answer some of those questions that popped up at the end. **This review is based on an egalley which I received through Edelweiss by the publisher in return for an honest review.**
jens1973 10 months ago
This book is a real page turner from Hurwitz. I am a fan of his novels, and he makes the change to YA thriller well. For any fan of Walking Dead, go for it! Good story, interesting characters, fast paced read.
tpolen 10 months ago
When I initially read the description of this book, it sounded kind of zombie-ish, but some reviewers had mentioned The Rains was different, not the usual trope - so I gave it a chance. The action starts almost immediately and there are some fantastic tension-filled, hold-your-breath moments throughout the story. The author does a wonderful job at showing Chance's insecurities when comparing himself to his brother, both through his journal entries and actions, and also at emphasizing not everyone's strengths lie in the same areas. Chance and Patrick have had to rely on each other from a very early age after experiencing heartbreaking losses, and their relationship is one of my favorite things about this book. There are a few unexpected twists near the end - some I found interesting, another not so much, but no spoilers here. I liked the direction this story was heading and couldn't imagine where it would go from there, but then a surprising revelation is made, and the walls of this suspenseful novel collapsed around me. I felt cheated. For some readers, this may be a welcome turn of events, heightening the excitement for the next book, so I may be in the minority. Overall, I enjoyed The Rains and would recommend it to post-apocalyptic fans - it's well-written and has some likable characters, but was disappointed that it took a well worn path at the end. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.