Reviews: The Last Star by Rick Yancey and The Countdown by Kimberly Derting

the last star***Spoilers Ahead***

The Last Star and The Countdown and the final books in trilogies about aliens coming to Earth but that’s really where the similarities end.  The Last Star is the finale to The 5th Wave, which follows a few teenage survivors after first four waves of an Alien invasion.  Billions have people have already died, leaving Cassie, Zombie, Sam, Ringer and Evan as humanities last stand. Meanwhile, The Taking Trilogy, explores alien abductions and the possibility that those responsible are on their way.  The 5th Wave is far more epic in scale and more ambitious but not necessarily as entertaining.  The first book I thought was fantastic but was underwhelm by the follow The Infinite Sea.  The Taking was okay but as the series went on it got better.  Not the best series I’ve read but entertaining.  Reading both series so close together gave me a chance to read different views on Aliens.  Are they hostile? Do they come in peace?  How do they go around getting a foothold into Earth.  They both have a very different approach to those questions as the The 5th Wave also piggybacks on the latest trend of YA Dystopia as well as sci-fi.  The Taking is really more of your standard YA fare with aliens in the background.  It still explores the trials of youth and romance and of course a love triangle.

More after the Cut.

So let’s talk about the reasons for the aliens interested in Earth.  At first in the 5th Wave is just your standard alien hostile take over.  The first four waves has killed off billions of people, separating the remaining humans into camps or on their own.  As they wait, for the fifth wave to happen, the military starts training teens and kids to defend what’s left.  Cassie sets off to rescue their brother only to be shot and then saved by Evan.  The thing is the Aliens are already here and have been for years.  They have implanted their consciousness into unborn children and wasn’t until puberty did they truly awake or that is what they want us to believe.  In truth all those who are infected are not infected at all, just made to think they are to draw a wedge in humanity.  Their whole reason for coming to Earth is to save Humanity and the only way to save Humanity is to get rid of it and start over again.  What? I guess that makes sense. So it was a lot of the Aliens attacked, They are coming.  They are here.  No, they only want us to think they are here.  They are still coming and that is the actual 5th wave.  It got a little confusing at times.  It wasn’t that was a bad trilogy it was just uneven.  I really loved the first book but was kinda bored by the second.  This one I had moments of being both and by the time I got to why the Aliens were really invading I was like ,What? That’s it.  These Aliens are so idealistic that they think they can help Humanity from ourselves by getting rid Humanity all together.  First by getting rid of electricity, then disease and then storms.  Separating people from each other, making them distrust each other and eliminate hope.  The one thing that they didn’t count on is the power of love.  Aww…I agree that Love is the powerful thing but I don’t know.

countdownThe Taking is follows Kyra who is abducted for five years.  When she returns everyone else has moved on and aged but her.  For her time hasn’t moved.  She’s still 17 years old.  She still thinks she has school to go to.  She must try to figure out what happened to her and deal with the aftermath of the time gone by.  Her boyfriend has graduated from College and is now dating her best friend.  Her parents are divorced and her mother is remarried and has another kid.  She notices that she has new abilities that she never had before like strength and fast healing.  Oh and she is being tracked down by a mysterious government agency.  While Kyta and friends discover what happened to them and the motives of those who are tracking them down, they start to realize that the aliens that have taken them are planning on attacking.  So now they have to figure out a way to stop that from happening.  Through a series of trials and tribulations, we discover that these aliens are not hostile but in need of help.  Their own world is dying and they pulled a hail Mary to get to Earth to hope to try to find a cure.  They discover that we are close to them but with minor DNA differences.  The US government gave them permission to take a few people to experiment in exchange for technology.  Only to find out that they were taking more people then we knew.  Well it turns out that one of their own crash landed on Earth and well they want them back and they are willing to stop all the abductions and human experiments if they get them back or else they will attack.  Unfortunately, the people who have him are also have been returned and are very bitter about it and want revenge.  The rest of the world be damned.  They don’t want war, they just want their guy back and only Kyra can do that.  They are not hostile or evil.  They just want to survive and save their own.  In the end, crisis averted, life goes on and most of the world will never know how close they came to war by an Alien force.  All ends well that ends well. Of the two trilogies, I think I liked The Taking better.  It didn’t take itself quite as seriously.  It wasn’t that the 5th Wave didn’t have moments of humor. It did.  I found Cassie sarcasm to quite funny but I didn’t buy the reason for coming and causing trouble.  The Taking wasn’t perfect and I had moments of eye rolling but in the end it was good and in the end that’s all I really want in a book.

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