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The Rains

Written by: Gregg Hurwitz
Narrated by: Todd Haberkorn
Length: 9 hrs and 55 mins
4 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

In the tradition of Rick Yancey's The 5th Wave, the first YA novel from New York Times bestselling author Gregg Hurwitz. In one terrifying night, the peaceful community of Creek's Cause turns into a war zone. No one under the age of eighteen is safe. Chance Rain and his older brother, Patrick, have already fended off multiple attacks from infected adults by the time they arrive at the school where other young survivors are hiding.

Most of the kids they know have been dragged away by once-trusted adults who are now ferocious, inhuman beings. The parasite that transformed them takes hold after people turn eighteen - and Patrick's birthday is only a few days away.

Determined to save Patrick's life and the lives of the remaining kids, the brothers embark on a mission to uncover the truth about the parasites - and what they find is horrifying. Battling an enemy not of this earth, Chance and Patrick become humanity's only hope for salvation.

©2016 Gregg Hurwitz. (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What the critics say

Thriller Award Winner, Best Young Adult Novel, 2018

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A great sub-genre fusion

Gregg Hurwitz enters the realm of young adult fiction with an interesting fusion of zombie and alien invasion sub-genres. That sentence isn't much of a spoiler, as both facts are abundantly clear early on. The devil is in the details, however, and and it's those detail that make this book so interesting.

Overall the book remains a thriller, Hurwitz's specialty, and it's a good one. I've come to the conclusion that an important part of the reading (or listening experience) when it comes to thrillers is that the reader must simultaneously be eager to learn what happens next, yet also dreads to find out. There must be an undercurrent of great risk to the characters that sometimes hits home. There must be failures, even tragedies, and enough of them to make the reader really feel that there's a great possibility that the current action might go against the protagonists. In this, I found The Rains a great success.

The action is sometimes a little over-the-top, but not extremely so. It falls within the realm of action films, with enough exaggeration to be exciting, but not so much as to make one wonder about the physical humanity of the characters. In this, I have nothing really to complain about. Characterisation matters more: their motivations during these sequences, how they feel and react to their situations, and how they behave towards each other. It's far more important that realism exists there and Hurwitz shows great skill in crafting the characters.

There isn't really a singular villain. Like any zombie plot, it's more of a matter of the world broadly turning against the protagonists. There is a in important figure later into the book, but even that figure doesn't factor as an individual who seems to be ultimately critical to defeat. It's important, sure, but not the main focus. Again, as a zombie plot, it's the entire situation that's against the protagonists.

If there is one named individual who seems to act against the protagonists, it's the character of Ben Bratton. He, however, is less of a villain than he is a foil. Ultimately, he has the same interest of survival as everyone else, but has less motivation to be proactive. He's a bully, but rather defensive in stance, and it is revealed that his actions are driven by what amounts to a rather nihilistic view of his life in the town. He is by no means one-dimensional, though he tends to vacillate between being a blatant impediment and being regretful over his actions. In short, he's very human.

The protagonists themselves are strong and virtuous. Chance Rain idolises his big brother Patrick, who is very much a decisive leader. It comes almost to the point where I initially thought that Patrick was ultimately the hero of the story, with Chance as the narrator playing witness to it all. That's not quite the case, however, as (like all good YA fiction) there is a measure of growth in Chance over the course of the book.

The story does not end with this volume. Indeed, The Rains ends in a bit of a cliffhanger. I fully intend to listen to the second book, though perhaps after a bit of a break from thrillers.

The narrator, Todd Haberkorn, turns out a great performance. He provides a youthful sounding voice to Chance and rather shocked me with his first voicing of Patrick's girlfriend, Alexandra. I thought a female narrator had popped in for a moment...

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  • Andrew
  • 2016-12-09

Doesn't End!

The story has exciting moments, but bottom line...it ends as if in the middle of a chapter. The story is left hanging without any version of resolution. It is clear the story was designed to run on and on filling enough pages so that they could drag out the plot into at least one other book to sell. Not worth it at all.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • The Zombie Specialist
  • Secret Fortress
  • 2017-01-20

A nice surprise

After I finished the audio book I thought I would read some of the other reviews before I got started on my own. In doing so I was a little disappointed to read some reviewers refer to this one as a zombie story. It is not a zombie story but there are some similar characters from popular zombie titles. For example, the main character 'Chance Rain' reminds me a lot of Zach Gunderson from 'Zombie Rules'. Both characters are young, smart and struggling with a hard luck story and both are looked as gifted leaders despite being so young. As the story unfolds I can't help but be reminded of 'Falling Skies' and 'The 5th Wave'.

The narration is clear and at a fair speed. I only turned this one up to 1.25x speed, meaning the original listening time of nearly 10 hours listening time was not decreased too much. This might be important for people whose purchasing decisions include a $/per hour factor.

I can't help but think that the story is aimed at a younger audience (not kids). The lack of swearing, and the lack of sex scenes is unusual in this type of thing.

This one was a step away from my usual zombie genre and truthfully I wasn't expecting much. However, I was kept interested the entire time. It had just enough twist and turns to keep me coming back to it. The narration suited the main character. There was just enough tension (I did not get worked up over it and upsetting my already upsetting work day!). I did get the sense that this one is going to be a long series and I will at least be willing to give the next one a go!

This 'fatman' is willing to give this title two fat thumbs up with a small 'heeeeey' being thrown into the mix... not a full on... loud and smiley 'HEEEEEEY!' That might be reserved for the next one, if and when it should appear in the series.

14 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • Rose Marie Di Muccio
  • WEST MIDDLESEX, PENNSYLVANIA, US
  • 2019-04-08

worst narrator I have every listened to.

I had to stop after the first paragraph . The Story and the narrator , not my cup of tea. I usually love his books, but this one was not his usual. Save your credits

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Reader guy
  • 2017-12-13

Stupid book

A completely stupid book. Thankfully I used a credit and spent no money on it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Peter Bergler
  • Duvall, WA
  • 2017-06-26

Not my favorite Hurwitz work but a captivating end

Any additional comments?

This book felt like a set up, and it was. It made it a bit slow, though the ending was great and has me eager for the next installment

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Sarah Castleberry
  • 2016-12-07

Couldn't get past the first gory scenes

Gregg Hurwitz is my number one auto-buy author.
And I'm a fan of many young adult series like Hunger Games, Maze Runner.
So this was horribly disappointing.
His thriller books often reach a line of horror/disturbing images when dealing with evil bad guys.
This book crosses the line into gratuitous gore.
And even cheesy/ridiculous gore.
The one zombie from the first scene had holes bored where the eye sockets should be. All the way through the skull - so the zombie's shadow on the wall showed points of light through the eye holes in the head. Really?
It was too much gore for me in the first few minutes - turned my stomach, and combined with poor writing, I got a refund from audible and deleted the book.
The character and place names were so cheesy -- so it's an odd mix of "playing down" to a younger audience and heightened gore.
Maybe for teenage/YA boys it's a fit, but I would discourage my teens from listening to this.
Sorry Gregg!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Tommy
  • 2016-11-08

Good for YA genre

Love Gregg Hurwitz, all of his books are excellent. This is a good book, worth reading if you like the Zombie genre and I'll get the sequel to see what happens. But it is a young adult book and plenty of cheesy parts for teens which make this book not up to par with his normal thrillers.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • JMcB
  • 2016-11-05

Gregg Hurwitz-lite!!

I anxiously await anything written by Gregg Hurwitz. They are based (or were based) on the same formula--but I find them suspenseful and addicting. This is not the same. Granted, it is advertised as a YA novel--so the intended audience of this work is not the same.

That said--I liked the book. I wasn't hanging on every word like in his other books--but it provided an enjoyable distraction. I will purchase the next one to see what happens--but I won't be counting the minutes until publication. I hope he continues to write his other books-one of those I would gladly give up a final credit!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • sheila a hogan
  • 2017-06-22

interesting and worth reading

kept me wondering throughout. Just finished...still wondering. Have found with this author thst I'm always hoping the book is a series.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Greg Kennedy
  • 2017-05-17

Starts slow, then picks up!

Really got into this book the last 4 chalters or so, can't wait for the sequel.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful