by Rick Yancey
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You say you know how we think? Then you know what I’m going to do. I’ll rip your face off with a pair of tweezers. I’ll tear your heart out with a sewing needle. I’ll bleed you out with seven billion tiny cuts, one for each one of us.
That’s the cost. That’s the price. Get ready, because when you crush the humanity out of humans, you’re left with humans with no humanity.
In other words, you get what you pay for, motherfucker.
Pulse-pounding, heart-throbbing, intense, brutal perfection. Not a moment passed where I wasn’t 100% enthralled in this crazy world where literally no one is immune to death and there is no sanctuary. I must admit that I was terrified I wouldn’t love this book. I read the first book, what, like over a year ago? I was obsessed with it. Consumed by it. But then a year passed and, like with all great book series and movies, I couldn’t see myself falling for the characters so easily again. It’s so hard to do, anymore. But then, this book. This goddamn book. From page one, I was swept into the spellbinding pages of death and destruction, of utter hopelessness and despair. I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that no matter how it ended this time I would not doubt Rick Yancey’s otherworldly ability to capture my soul for the next novel.
The Others understood that, understood it better than most of us. No hope without faith, no faith without hope, no love without trust, no trust without love. Remove one and the entire human house of cards collapses.
This book….was beyond words. I see that some people were disappointed with the length of the novel…why? It was absolutely fantastic in the number of pages given, can’t we just enjoy what we have while we have it? Don’t we want to make this world prosper and last? We don’t want it to perish even faster, do we? Well, I don’t. I don’t want everyone to die all at once because the story is pro-longed, I want to see his masochistic brain work to it’s full potential and to spread it into as many books as he damn well pleases. I just don’t know what everyone wanted-if he kept going, he’d surely have had to confirm or deny some deaths and probably even slash some more….nah. He’s waiting. He’s biding his time-he’ll wait to kill them all. I don’t know who is going to make it (I have my suspicions) or who will die a horrible death (Again, damn those suspicions), but I know this author is biding his time. He’s toying with our emotions…and I love it.
Onto his stomach. Then knees. Then hands. His elbows quivered, his wrists threatened to buckle under his own weight. Self-centered, stubborn, sentimental, childish, vain. I am humanity. Cynical, naive, kind, cruel, soft as down, hard as tungsten steel.
I am humanity
I am humanity.
I am humanity.
He got up.
Did I mention….that the peril in this book was astounding? I read a lot of books with a lot of peril, but this is the harshest, cruelest world I’ve read about in a while. It tore my soul to pieces and sucked the life right out of me. It’s not so much all that happens, it’s more how the characters react, handle, endure every situation. Their reactions have the ability to make you care or not care, feel or just sit motionless….I guess it all depends on how much you love these characters and how attached to them you are. For me, that tiny seed of hope for each individual character was planted in book one, and now I would be devastated to lose any of them (okay, okay, aside from a couple).
Virtues are vices now, and death is the cost of love. Not the death of his body. His body was the lie. True death. The death of his humanity. The death of his soul.
I don’t want to give a single thing away, so I’ve been studiously avoiding the plot. I think I’ll just focus on the relationships. The relationships formed and severed in TIS were what tied me, even more than the perilistic plot, surprisingly, to this story. Friendships are formed, old enemies are forced to work in close quarters, and loyalty is tested in the truest sense of the word. Everyone had me guessing their loyalty, aside from the main characters that I know really well, from the very beginning. I’m ashamed to say, also, that I made an incorrect assumption about a certain person that I have never been able to pin down on morality…my face burned with shame at a certain point in the story. The bravery brought forth by these wonderful characters in a world where nothing you hold dear is without it’s consequences was astounding to me. They all had such strength in spirit, and that fueled them when all was lost….but even the strongest of mind can break.
The uncertainty of my own experience is crushing. I am drowning in an infinite sea. Sinking slowly, the weight of the lightless depths forcing me down, forcing the air from my lungs, squeezing the blood from my heart.
Promises. This story was fueled by promises-made and kept, lost and found. The idea that a promise, in a world like this, is all that keeps humanity intact-the last shred of humanity that alters the line between being a ruthless, cold-blooded killer from a person doing what it takes to survive, to live-on, to keep your goddamn promises. Rick promised me brutality and angst-he promised no mercy and little hope….and that’s a promise he kept to me, as a reader. No nose went uncrunched if the situation permitted, bone was shown, blasted, obliterated…oh yes, he delivered. The brutality in this story made me giddy with delight, and I can’t wait to see
who what else he blasts into oblivion in book three.
When the game is fixed, how do you avoid losing?
So, again, here I am waiting, without answers, without an idea of who will end up with whom (I suck at the who/whom thing-spare me), who will live, who is still living, if certain people will be okay…and it kills me. It kills me I have to wait another year, maybe more. It’s brutal. Unfair. Cruel. But, being the masochist I am, I don’t care. Because, in the end, I enjoyed the ride while it lasted. And now, when book three comes out, I know I won’t have anything to worry about. It’s calming despite the inner turmoil boiling inside me. On the inside I’m a tsunami just circling the island, about to unleash my fury on those who stand in my wake. But on the outside…on the outside I’m a serene lake, hiding all my emotions deeply underneath the surface. Because from what I’ve seen of the last two stellar books, there’s an infinite sea (nudge nudge) of possibilities.
People die. Love endures.