A final battle for the survival of Earth is coming.
Between the alien Others and the destruction of humanity stand four Dissidents.
When the Prime Other banishes them to the Harvest Site to live the remainder of their time on earth as slaves, the Dissidents use the opportunity to learn more about the substance that keeps the Others alive…and how they might use it to their advantage. But the Others guard their secrets well, and the Prime Other has proven his willingness to do whatever’s necessary to secure a future for his race, no matter what or who is destroyed in the process.
When Althea and the boys realize their lives could be the key to allowing another planet to suffer the same fate as earth, they promise they’ll die before they let that happen. If they can’t figure out how to turn the tables in their favor before the Summer Celebration, they might have to do just that.
The end draws near, and there’s only one question left—are the Dissidents going to save their chosen people or perish alongside them?
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
(Source: Purchased on Kindle from Amazon.co.uk for £2.65.)
This is the fourth and final book in the ‘The Last Year’ series, and picks up where book 3 ‘Betrayals in Spring’ left off. **Warning, some unavoidable spoilers for the previous books in this series**
Althea, Pax, and Lucas are imprisoned by the others, with little hope of escape. If they are unable to find a way out, mankind is doomed, and the Others will continue to pillage Earth until it is no longer habitable.
Not only do the dissidents need to escape, they also need to find some way back to their friends, find a way to defeat the Others, and work out how to get things back on track for the remaining humans.
Can the dissidents escape the Others captivity? How can they possibly fight back? And what to do with the Others once they have defeated them?
This was a good ending, but I didn’t like it as much as the previous three books.
Althea remains strong and determined in this book, no matter what is thrown at her, or who the Others kill to get back at her. Her relationship with Lucas stays strong, and her friendship with Pax is solid also. There are appearances or mention of a lot of characters that we met in previous books in this story, but a lot of the side characters get killed in this book. A lot. There are very few people who are actually safe in this final instalment, but I didn’t feel emotional about these deaths the way I expected to. They just happened, and I just kept reading. I don’t know why I felt this way, but their deaths just didn’t affect me. How much of this is just me I don’t know.
I actually don’t like talking about what I didn’t like in this book, I loved the other three books, and I feel like I’m dissing them by not liking this one as much, but there were things that just bugged me about the storyline in this one.
Althea, Pax, and Lucas have to escape the Others to start with in this book, and it takes them a long time. They get moved around a bit, and they think about ways to try to escape, but it takes them weeks to even attempt anything. I know how stuck they were, but this very slow ‘trying to escape’ period began to drag after a while, and the constant talking but not doing was a bit annoying too.
The plan that the Dissidents came up with for fighting back also irritated me. They decided that they would work out what the Others were mining, work out how it worked for them, and then synthesise an alternative that looked the same, but didn’t do what the Others expected it to do. This storyline would have been fine, if I had actually believed that these kids had the ability to actually do this. I mean, admittedly they had a chemistry teacher with them for a short time, but this was before they even started looking at the metal on a chemical level, and her telling Leah some stuff while they were in the mines, just didn’t seem like enough to explain to these kids how to do what they did.
Even though they found a lab, I just don’t think that these kids had the knowledge to do what they did, especially considering that this chemical/metal was also radioactive! And even if they did have the knowledge, ability, and raw materials to manufacture a synthetic form of this compound, and change it enough so that it didn’t do what the Others wanted it to do, how exactly were they able to produce enough of this stuff to deal with all the Others? This just seemed a bit far-fetched to me.
As interesting an idea as this was, I just didn’t believe it, and this spoilt this instalment for me. I expected the dissidents to use something other than chemistry to beat the Others. I expected their powers to have more of an input at the end, but they were almost forgotten about.
As if this whole metal/chemistry stuff wasn’t difficult enough to believe; Althea, Pax, Lucas, and Deshi decide to start testing these random chemical compounds that the kids have created on themselves!! How stupid and dangerous is that? I just couldn’t believe it! What a bad example to set to kids reading this book! Drinking random chemical concoctions that your friends have made in a lab??? Utterly ridiculous. I’m sorry, but that is just such a bad idea I can’t not say anything about it. I know they justified this by saying that they had to test it on someone, but considering that they were biologically only half-Other anyway, I just did not like this idea. Kidnap an Other for heaven’s sake, don’t start drinking random chemicals!
I did enjoy this book overall, and I thought that the overall end outcome was okay, I just didn’t like how they got there. I did find the ending of the series quite sad, and I can understand why the author was teary by the end, but I found a lot of emotion lacking from the rest of this book.
I have enjoyed this series, and I would still recommend it to people, but this last book is just not quite up there with the rest. I would definitely read whatever the author writes next though, as I love what she has done with this series, and can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.
Overall; an end to a great series.
8 out of 10.
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