I first heard about The Rains by Gregg Hurwitz earlier this month at BookCon while attending the YA/Adult Crossover Panel, for which Hurwitz was one of the speakers. Sci-Fi and Zombies aren’t really my go-to book topics, but that’s not to say I don’t enjoy them every once in a while; which is why, after hearing Hurwitz talk about his book, I decided to give it a go. And wow – what a ride!
The Rains put an interesting spin on the traditional and stereotypical zombie theme and I very quickly realized that it was way more sci-fi than I had anticipated – which was A-Okay! (Yes, yes, the synopsis makes it glaringly evident that sci-fi is a big component of the story, BUT – and this may come as a shocker, so brace yourselves – I don’t actually always read the synopses of books before I read the books themselves. “*gasp!* whaaaat?!” That’s right, you
heard read correctly. Sometimes, if I’ve heard a bit about a particular book and have liked what I heard and have therefore already made up my mind to read it, then I’ll just jump right in – synopsis be damned. And I’ll tell you why! ….Later. In a separate blog post.) Okay! Enough talk. Read on for my spoiler-free thoughts of The Rains, Book 1!
YA, Fiction, Sci-Fi, Thriller
While the main characters are teens and young adults (wait, how old do you have to be to be considered a “young adult”?), I believe this book is one that can transcend the YA boundaries and also appeal to (us) older folk. I’d say if you’re a lover of sci-fi and a fan of books, tv shows, and/or movies about zombies (or zombie-esque beings) then give this a read!
Overview (From book jacket)
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.
The small town of Creek’s Cause. Just how small is “small”? Well, I’m not sure, but the characters seemed to know most of the people they encountered. So either it’s pretty darn small or I just suck at learning the names and faces of people in my own neighborhood/town/city.
The story revolves around brothers Chance and Patrick Rain and all I can say is: Chance Rain is someone you want on your side. …okay, Patrick’s pretty great, too. But Chance is my favorite and the story’s conveyed through his perspective. He’s clever, resourceful, caring, and loyal and I really enjoyed his character development.
What I Liked
Writing style! It was all very cinematic and suspenseful and thrilling! I seriously felt like I was right there with the characters, in the thick of things, barely breathing as
we they tried to sneak quietly by, undetected. I could very easily see everything play out in my head, like a tv series or a movie. Or a video game! (Oh my gosh – PLEASE make this a VR video game! I volunteer as tribute to help beta test 🙋)
I also liked how the narration was set-up. It was told from Chance’s perspective via journal entries (each “chapter” is an entry).
Another plus for me was the biological plausibility of the backstory. Do I have a PhD or an MD? No. However, I do have a background in biology and public health and, for the most part, I was totally buying what Hurwitz was selling. With that being said, I also didn’t feel the need to cross-check every bit of his explanation(s). Because, well, FICTION. But I did like how every question I had was eventually explained one way or another. It wasn’t just ZOMBIE! GRR! ARGH! (Mutant Enemy Productions? Anyone? Anyone?)
Lastly, I thought the pacing was excellent and very well done; which is part of the reason I breezed through it so quickly.
What I Liked a Little Less
Um….nothing… I liked it a lot. Some of the revelations at the end seemed pretty abrupt and definitely veered further into Sci-Fi territory (if there was still any doubt at this juncture), but we’ll see how things are further explained in the next book.
4/5 ✨ The Rains was a solid read. I wasn’t head-over-heels for it, but that’s okay. Also, I initially thought this was a stand-alone novel. If Hurwitz talked about it being a series during the BookCon panel then I must have missed it, because there I was, near the end of the book thinking “there’s no way this can all be wrapped up in 50 pages…… can it?” The answer was no. Now I have to wait for the next book to find out what happened 😫 Fortunately, Book 2, Last Chance, will be out in October of this year. Which isn’t too far away. (Is what I keep telling myself). On a happier note – I convinced my husband to read this next! …Okay, “convinced” is a strong word. He loves science fiction and zombies, so our conversation literally went like this (he was also at the BookCon panel): “you should read this!” “OKAY!”
P.S. A big thank you to my husband for helping me make fake blood for this photo! 💕