A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Last Star is the third and final installment in the 5th Wave sci-fi trilogy by bestselling author Rick Yancey. The series led to the 2016 film adaptation starring Chloe Moretz and Liev Schreiber. As in the previous books, the series ender has a lot of violence, a high body count, and some upsetting deaths, including execution-style murders. The story answers questions posed throughout the trilogy and puts every character in danger. The romance includes some passionate making out and one ambiguous love scene. These teens curse and deal with everything from jealousy and anger to lust and fear on a regular basis.
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What's the story?
THE LAST STAR continues where The Infinite Sea left off, with Ringer, now with enhanced capabilities, trying to run away from Col. Vosch, while Ben, Cassie, Sam, and Evan try to figure out how to stay alive -- and stop the fifth wave from finishing off what's left of humankind. Vosch lets Ringer go with an "Other" chaperone and a command to kill Evan Walker in exchange for her "freedom" (and that of Ben and the rest of the remaining crew). After Vosch reveals a devastating secret about the origins of the sleeper Silencers, Ringer meets back up with what remains of her old company. As Ringer decides whether she can kill Evan, who has so openly shown his ability to rebel against his programming by falling in love, Cassie decides she will once again step up to protect her little brother, her love, and what's left of humanity.
Is it any good?
Compelling but at times unnecessarily convoluted, this final installment will keep you reading but will occasionally distress more than it satisfies. Cassie, in particular, is especially infuriating through most of it. Three books in, and Cassie is still immaturely obsessed with whether her feelings for Evan are love, despite how obvious it might seem to every human and nonhuman alike. Realistic for a teen character but frustrating for a reader, Cassie's behavior is the most confused it has ever been, inconsistent and almost regressive for most of the story. Meanwhile, Evan is ever steadfast in his love for "Mayfly," his desire to make amends for his past as a Silencer, and his commitment to do anything and everything possible to protect not only Cassie and Sam but everyone.
Author Yancey sets up both couples -- Evan and Cassie and Zombie and Ringer -- as mirrors and foils. Each romance has a brave, impetuous teen fighting unimaginable odds. Ringer is fascinatingly cool and calm, even dealing with personal crises and changes of heart. She's all things Cassie isn't, and yet they must work together to rescue the men -- and the world -- they love. Unfortunately, some of the plot developments are underwhelming and anticlimactic. After years of readers waiting for the unveiling of the aliens, the resolution is disappointing. Despite the missteps, readers will zip through this final book and want to know what happens. Ultimately, courage and love reign supreme in this story, regardless of the sadness and grief everyone experiences.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why alien-invasion stories are so popular. How can these stories teach us about humanity and survival?
Discuss the violence in the book. Is it necessary to the story?
What is the book's message about love? Why is love central to the human experience?
- Author: Rick Yancey
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Topics: Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, Space and Aliens
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
- Publication date: May 23, 2016
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 14 - 17
- Number of pages: 352
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: June 19, 2019
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