This is a spoiler free review of the second book, but may contain spoilers for the first book. For my review of book one, The Rains, click here.
Last Chance by Gregg Hurwitz
The Hatching has begun – and the end of humanity is near.
Phase one of the invasion began with spores that turned everyone over the age of eighteen into vicious, unhuman beings, unrecognizable as the trusted adults they once were. These Hosts paved the way for the invaders and transformed the small town of Creek’s Cause into a war zone. Holed up in the local high school, frightened kids and teens struggle to survive – at least until their eighteenth birthdays.
Now a new breed of predatory creatures has been spawned and is spreading across the world, devouring everything in its path. Earth’s only hope is two overwhelmed teenage brothers – and their closest friend, Alexandra – who may hold the key to humanity’s only survival. But how far will they have to go to save everyone and everything they care about?
This book was just as good as the first, although a bit more horrific and violent. The hatchlings are a pretty terrifying alien. They are also pretty mindless and violent, killing anything and everything they encounter. Once it is revealed how Chance and his brother are going to save humanity, I pretty much had the end figured out, but that didn’t keep me from enjoying the ride to that ending.
Chance is still the main narrator, but there are a few chapters told from other perspectives. I’m not sure how Chance, or any one in this story, keeps their sanity. But his ability to do what needs to be done, even when that means killing someone you care for because of what they have become, is more than most 15 years olds could do. Chance grows a lot in this series, and has to tolerate so much violence and brutality, not just from the aliens, but even some of the humans that are left. I even appreciated that he was also in love with his brother’s girlfriend, but tried really hard not to be. Patrick continues to be the strong and silent brother throughout this book, and he accepts his role as the Earth’s only hope with grace and beauty. Alex was a bit confusing in this book, but I think she was also a bit confused about her feelings for the brothers. But she is still a badass with a hockey stick.
One of the minor characters from the first book really shines in this second book, JoJo is only eight years old, but she is smart and understands what needs to be done. She saves her brother and the other kids in the gym many times with her smarts and ability to think fast on her feet. She is one of the few kids to survive the invasion and I was glad she did. I would love to see a spin off book with her as a teen, she will be a total badass.
This book is pretty fast moving and hard to put down. There is a lot of violence, not only on the part of the aliens, but unfortunately from humans as well. There are a few violent images that even a week later, I am having a hard time shaking out of my head. Like I said before, you know how the story will end, but the ride getting there is amazing and at times you are not sure that it will happen. The only thing I can say bad about it is that I needed a bit more closure at the end. I wanted an epilogue about what happened after Patrick and Chance save the world. All of the adults were dead and only kids were left, how did they survive and get the world going again? Otherwise, an outstanding duology with a nice mix of horror and humanity.