Ginger Nuts of Horror
By Tony Jones
“The fightback to save Earth continues
Back in October of 2016 Ginger Nuts of Horror gave Gregg Hurwitz’s first foray into YA writing “The Rains” a five star review for its exhilarating mashup of science fiction, horror and the good old fashioned alien invasion of Earth tale. It might not have been anything new, but it was expertly told and I felt at the time a sure fire way of dragging bored teens away from their computers, social media and handheld devices. I don’t intend to regurgitate the whole review of book one, so the link is here should you want to read it:
“Second Chance” starts pretty much exactly where the first book ended, there is no time to breathe, regroup or hide. We are straight back into the heart of the story with the alien invaders strengthening their grip on the beleaguered remote country town the brothers Chance and Patrick Rain defend to the last supported by lots of other former classmates and local kids. Remember that anyone over the age of eighteen transforms into something no longer human and the days are ticking down for seventeen year old Patrick, the elder of the two brothers…
The previous review noted that not enough was resolved in “The Rains” and we certainly get all the answers and a proper conclusion in this novel. However, that aside it just does not have either the whack or the freshness of its predecessor. I get the feeling the author used up too many of the best ideas in the first book, and lacking the pace of its predecessor it is a much slower read. I think many teens will find it dull and struggle to finish it. There is a huge difference in the excitement levels and pace if you compare the novels and this unfortunately comes up second best in almost every category.
Do not try and read “Second Chance” as a standalone novel, it’s just not going to work as the pair are just so intrinsically linked. Much of the plot revolves around what makes the Chance brothers different and why are the aliens so interested in them? I didn’t think this alone was enough to keep the plot interest at the highest level, but it was nice to see support characters from the previous book appear at different stages.
You could even question why there were two books at all? A good editor could have heavily cut book two and added in what was needed for a bigger and arguably stronger one volume novel. But in today’s publishing the sequel sells, we all know that. As of yet neither of the books has picked up an official UK release, however, Tor Teen have a paperback available on Amazon UK about now. I would recommend that you make your own mind whether you want to persevere with “Second Chance” if you enjoyed “The Rains”.
This area is a very competitive market and teens can be very harsh critics, it takes thirty seconds for a fourteen year old to get bored and so this book is just way too talky to hold the attention of most. Having said that the Chance brothers are engaging characters, there are some good action sequences and the potential romances are handled very well. Also, there are a couple of key death scenes which the author delivers powerfully, the problem being many kids might have switched off before they get there. The book ends with a strong ending and proper conclusion, which I think it needed. I will be very interested to see if Hurwitz returns to YA and if he does, what he does differently next time around.
The Rain brothers fight for the survival of humanity in Last Chance, the thrilling sequel to New York Times bestselling author Gregg Hurwitz's YA debut, The Rains.
The New York Times bestselling author of Orphan X, Gregg Hurwitz, returns to Creek's Cause to follow the Rains brothers as they fight an alien threat that has transformed everyone over the age of 18 into ferocious, zombie-like beings, in this thrilling sequel to The Rains.
Battling an enemy not of this earth, Chance and Patrick become humanity's only hope for salvation.
"The Rains is one of those all-too-creepy-and-believable stories that leaves you looking in your backyard for the next strange weed to poke through the ground. Chilling!"--Ridley Pearson, New York Timesbestselling author