Thursday, December 8, 2016
The Rains - Gregg Hurwitz
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 would appeal to both male and female readers. See for yourself - read an excerpt of The Rains.
You can connect with Gregg Hurwitz on his website, like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter. And keep your eyes peeled for the next book - Last Chance.