Review: The Last Star by Rick Yancey (with Spoilers)

Title: The Last Star (The 5th Wave #3)
Author: Rick Yancey (site)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Pages: 338
Release Date: 24th May 2016
Edition: Paperback, Purchased
Goodreads | Book Depository

!This review contains spoilers!

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
We’re here, then we’re gone, and that was true before they came. That’s always been true. The Others didn’t invent death; they just perfected it. Gave death a face to put back in our face, because they knew that was the only way to crush us. It won’t end on any continent or ocean, no mountain or plain, jungle or desert. It will end where it began, where it had been from the beginning, on the battlefield of the last beating human heart.

The Last Star is the final instalment in The 5th Wave, and it is no doubt a well-written conclusion to the sci-fi series.

The Last Star is much better than the sequel, The Infinite Sea. Based on some of the reviews, I know that many readers have decided to not read the third book after reading the second one. I understand this decision because The Infinite Sea suffers from the inevitable Second Book Syndrome. Nevertheless, I still like the sequel because the story is quite educational for a YA novel and I like the questions Rick Yancey has put in to provoke the readers' thinking.

This book will surprise you if you didn't like the last one. The Last Star is fast-paced and action-packed, but it still put you through an emotional and philosophical journey with several POVs. What I love about Yancey's writing is no matter how fast the story goes, he still manages to give you things to reflect on. The theme for the whole series is humanity and Yancey sticks to it tightly in this book, showing us what it really means to be human.

*spoilers alert*
Moving on to the characters. From the first book on, Zombie (Ben Parish) has been my favourite character and Cassie comes in second. I think Zombie's character development is done very well. The whole backstory with him leaving his sister behind and why he becomes protective, loyal, but also self-blaming. Yancey didn't disappoint us with Zombie in the final book. However, I feel a bit let down by the development of Cassie's storyline, not just in The Last Star but the whole series. I never felt the love between Cassie and Evan honestly. It just doesn't make any sense to me. Making Evan Walker a love interest feels forced, and after this book, we still don't know who Evan really is and how he thinks of himself. As a human? An alien? This character is super messed up and I believe you cannot love a person if that person does not even know himself (Cassie sure doesn't too). That is why I was never convinced of their relationship and I really don't like how Cassie's actions are mostly taken with Evan in mind.

What Ringer goes through surprised me. I love how Yancey made her pregnant with Razor's child because the matter itself is a contradiction. Ringer has taken so many lives, and now she is pregnant with one. "This is the world they've made, where giving life is crueler than taking it," Yancey has written and it's true. How can she give her kid a good life if she has to fight for her own safety every single day? However, What I don't like is the romance between Zombie and Ringer. I like the friendship between them and their loyalty to each other, but the romance feels forced just like Cassie/Evan. I think Zombie would be better off if he is just a godfather figure to little Cassie (Ringer's child). I am not saying a strong female character can't have a love interest, but Ringer can be alone. Love isn't something essential to her and if I didn't get it wrong, she does love Razor and I think she will always love him. Poor Zombie.

The ending of the book made me cry. From the first book on, Cassie has been trying to reunite with Sam. She has only reunited with him for a short period of time before she has to go. In the end, she has to sacrifice herself for this messed up planet and the people she loves who live on it. The writing is beautiful and heart-breaking, as though we are reading Mockingjay again. I also love how Cassie really becomes humanity after being connected with Wonderland so literally, humanity does save us human. I also like how the prologue has foreshadowed Cassie's sacrifice (the line with her flying). It's really a well-written finale.

Moreover, the epilogue is realistic. Even after all these wars they have gone through, the aftermath of how the aliens messed with Earth is still there. They have to rebuild trust and thus cooperation between one another and it will be a long journey. What Yancey is telling us is that the human life is never easy but what matters is the faith we have and how we keep going.
*end of spoilers*

For a YA series, The 5th Wave sure is a deep, provoking and meaningful one. It's not just a typical sci-fi story but one that makes you question what makes us human. The Last Star is a satisfying read and thank Rick Yancey for writing a half-philosophical tale for all the young adults out there. This book is easily my favourite out of all three and the series will always remain one of my favourites.


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