Hey Misfiteers! I'm so excited to be reviewing the fourth and final book in Trisha Leigh's The Last Year series. (read an interview with her at the release of the third book here)
The series is set in a post-apocalyptic Earth where an alien race, the Others, has taken control of humanity for its own ends. Only four dissidents, children of the Others and humans whose minds can't be controlled, stand in the way of complete enslavement of the human race and eventual destruction of the planet.
Before we go on, and because it would be nice to have a graphic here, check out the covers for these books.
On the combined covers, you see Althea, the main character and narrator. At the beginning of SUMMER RUINS, we find her finally reunited with the other three dissidents, and entangled in a mad race to discover what it is the Others want from the planet and its human residents before it literally implodes. Althea, Pax, Lucas and Deshi are literally tasked with saving the world.
One of the most amazing things about these books, and on display in full force in SUMMER RUINS, is how the author manages to make the struggle so completely personal to her, and so global at the same time. Saving the world is Althea's destiny, and she struggles with the implications and challenges of that with equal measure and beauty as she does with the more personal elements of the book.
And the personal elements are sweet and, oftentimes, heartbreaking. Althea finds herself navigating so many different kinds of personal relationships, from romantic partner to caretaker of small children to leadership of the human race. At its core, like any good Young Adult book, this end to the series is a stunning example of the main character grasping the elements of who she is and finding her place in the world.
SUMMER RUINS, at the end, is about balance - setting the Earth in balance, finding balance in one's life, balancing global and personal concerns, and balancing gorgeous lyrical description with fast-paced action scenes. Trisha Leigh so expertly handles this that, even though the book weighs in at a hefty 120,000+ words, you'll breeze through the book with barely a notice.
If I have to give it stars, it gets five out of five. But really, these books go beyond that. They're everything I love about Young Adult - the struggle for yourself, the power of self discovery, and the potential to do anything you set your mind to. These books are a great read for anyone, mostly because they're not dumbed down, but at the same time are accessible in their scope to readers from ages 12-92.
Find SUMMER RUINS on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17249478-summer-ruins
Find Trisha Leigh online:
Finally, in celebration of Trisha finishing up the series, I'm giving away a full digital set of all four books, or a paperback of the book of your choice!
Just leave a comment below to enter, and tweet this blog post for an extra entry (tell me below.)