The Last Star by Rick Yancey

 

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Cassie has reunited with her beloved Sam and he’s forgotten his ABCs. This ultimate loss of childhood reminds Cassie that this world will never be the same after the Others. As long as that terrifying green orb is in the sky, the humans left over will be afraid and alone; and that’s how the Others want it.

 

This was a terrible ending to a sub-par series. On top of everyone being so annoying, there was a lot of inconsistent characterization and plotting. There’s something to be said for trusting your readers to understand what you’re getting at, but leading them blindly and letting them walk off into the abyss is something else entirely. The plot was… questionable at best. At times, it was so fast I was like WTF is happening? Sometimes entire chapters would pass with nothing interesting happening.

Just a heads up: the conflict of this story boils down to climate change. And how even the the crazy aliens and military men recognize this is happening. This is really a mercy kill; they’ll kill 6 billion people because significantly fewer people can do significantly less damage. The aliens are altruistic; they’re doing us a favor. They get nothing out of it except for feeling philanthropic because they stopped the disaster that was the human race from destroying itself. Thought I’d recap, because it’s not like it’s ever plainly explained. It’s all dramatic allusions and riddles. 

Yancey never did answer why they don’t just kill everyone either. Yes, I get that they want to stop the cooperation of the human race; make it so they can’t trust each other long enough to cooperate and collaborate. So many of the world’s advances come from people working together; if they can end that, they end human advancement. But here’s what I still don’t understand. If they just killed everyone, there’d be no cooperation to worry about. Maybe that’s short-sighted of me. I guess eventually some new life-form would evolve from the ashes of everything the humans left behind. At least with a few paranoid humans left, there would be something there to kill it before it became problematic.

I’ve seen this ending to Cassie’s story before in films like Independence Day and Oblivion. That was the Divergent series ended, and people hated it then. They saw it for what it was; lazy story-writing. There are no loose endings left to worry about. We needn’t be bothered with the pesky emotional impact, because it’s the main character, and the only one who we were ever allowed to get emotionally attached to. With Cassie, this sort of selflessness is not something we’ve seen from her, so it’s not just lazy, it’s also out of character. The ending was overall unfulfilling.

Overall, it’s crappy story writing. Yancey attempted to be as profound as posssible while impersonating a teenage girl. He made Cassie a rambling, babbling, high school bobble head who went through an existential crisis when her existence was threatened. The plot was poorly planned, poorly paced, and poorly executed. The problems that have prevailed through the last two novels returned with a vengeance in this one, culminating in an unsatisfying ending.

I would not recommend this series. Rumor has it Yancey is planning a second trilogy surrounding these same characters and others in this world. I may pick it up from the local public library, but I wouldn’t count on it.

 

 

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