Since the Arrival, I've been beset by more cravings than a women pregnant with triplets, and always for things I'll never taste again. Chocolate ice cream cones. Frozen pizza. Whipped cream in a can. Those cinnamon rolls Mom made every Saturday morning. McDonald's french fries. Bacon. No, bacon was still a possibility. I would just have to find a hog, slaughter it, butcher it, cure the meat, then fry it up. Thinking about the bacon -- the potential of bacon -- gives me hope. Not all is lost if bacon isn't.
And there's the best that this series can do -- when there's no reason for hope, no reason to keep going -- Yancey's characters find a reason (other than inertia) to keep struggling, to keep walking, to keep surviving, to keep hoping.
Sadly, I pretty much needed that same kind (not extent, kind) of perseverance. I thought The 5th Wave rocked, and I enjoyed The Infinite Sea, but not as much -- but the wheels really came off this time. It's not an Allegiant-level disappointment, but it was closer than anyone should want.
The writing was skillful -- I liked a lot of what the book had to say about humanity, enlightenment, and teddy bears (no, really). Yancey nailed the character beats, moments, observations -- but he utilized this great writing and surrounded these strong elements with a story that just wasn't worth telling. Somehow in the end, the whole was less than the sum of its parts (anyone know the German for that?).
I'm going to skip the plot summary because it's just the next stage in the series, leading up to the final confrontation between the survivors we're following and Humanity's foes. That's really all you need to know -- and everyone who's been reading the series knew that already.
This is the 10th book I've read by Yancey, and it's so clearly the weakest link. I'd still recommend this book for those who've read the first two -- but on the whole, I'd tell those who hadn't started the series to skip it. I'm more than ready to give whatever Yancey does next a chance, if for no other reason than to get the taste of this out of my mouth.