The Rains By Gregg Hurwitz
Summary from Goodreads:
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 weeks 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.
A very intense and grim reimagining of a zombie apocalypse. The adults turn into terrifying creatures that shouldn’t be alive, but are. They don’t do the typical things that we associate with zombies, no eating of human flesh, but they are not themselves, they are slaves of the enemy.
The story starts pretty much at the beginning of the horror. The brothers Rain hear noises on the neighboring farm and go to investigate, and find horrible thing going on. They rescue the kids and return home to find their aunt and uncle have been taken over as well. They then head out to rescue Patrick’s girlfriend and head into town to find help. They are met with a horror to hard to believe. They do find one adult who has not been changed, their high school science teacher, and other kids hiding in the school, which has a fence surrounding it that keeps the changed adults out. They slowly start to put together what is going on, but can not come up with any solutions. The kids can only sit and wait for their 18th birthdays.
The story is told by Chance, in a notebook that he grabbed from his room. He is fifteen and a typical teenager. I liked him immediately. He is not as sure of himself, always having had to live in his older brother’s shadow, but he has an inner strength and he is smart. He is the one along with Dr. Chatterjee, who figures out how and why the change happens. There is some nice explanations about other parasites in our natural world and they are able to figure out the science, as much as possible in the situation, about what is going on.
Patrick was also a likable character, he isn’t as book smart as Chance, but he has strengths that help them on their quest to figure out what is happening. He is also a natural leader, although he doesn’t see himself that way. He is also fiercely loyal to his brother and girlfriend and will do what he needs to protect them. He will also protect those who need it, like the younger children stuck in the school with them.
I liked Alex as well, she also has a lot of good strong qualities to her. She has a strong moral compass as well, and is determined to help the other kids that have been captured by the Hosts (what they have decided to call the changed adults), and to figure out what they are doing with them. She can also hold her own in a fight.
This is a creepy and terrifying story, steeped in natural science. It is a story of survival against horrible odds that will keep you turning the pages well into the night. The ending was not at all what I expected either, it was shocking and alarming. The next book in the series will be out in October of this year and I am looking forward to seeing how it all ends up. At this point I have very little hope for the survival of humanity in this series, and I so hope I am wrong.