My rating: 4 of 5 stars
so just how do you wind up a trilogy in which the world is about to get pummeled by an asteroid?
just like Ben Winters did.
each of the books in the trilogy contains a mystery to be solved–after all, our protag is a policeman, and even if the world’s ending, he’s a detective down to his doomed bones. anyway! in this last of the series, the only mystery left for him is where his sister Nico disappeared to. and so he goes on the hunt.
Nico’s off on some maybe-real, maybe-hairbrained quest to Save the World from the asteroid. the fun thing is, as a reader of this series, you can see how the hairbrain quotient is disturbingly high, but still you don’t want the world to end. so you try to make yourself believe that the quest could be real–that the hints dropped and the odd facts (where did she get a helicopter?) could maybe possibly point to some genuine plan in the works.
and then there’s the blood–one set of drips out, one back.
so Hank starts detecting.
throughout the series, to me (and i can’t point to why) Hank’s determination to protect his sister has always felt a little thinner than the upcoming end of the world. in the book, the end of the world feels undeniably real, but Hank’s sister-thing a little weak. maybe it’s me, but i just don’t buy this determination–it never has the magnitude as the end of the entire world.
and poor Hank, as in the previous book, takes an astonishing quantity of physical punishment and keeps on ticking. i mean, how does a guy with (untaped) broken ribs fall off a ladder, flat on his back, and not even pass out from the pain? hmmm.
still, in the big ways, this is a perfectly satisfying end to the series. i really appreciate Winters’ not shying from the essential facts of the world he’s built. it’s dystopian, and society has fallen apart, and no you can’t get food shipped from South America (shame on you, California). Winters remains true to his premise. then he takes it a couple steps darker.
so bravo to the end of a very satisfying and engrossing trilogy. it’s hard to leave this world behind, but i shall be looking forward very much to what Winters comes up with next.