The Plague Forge

September 16, 2013 Review 0 ★★★★★

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Plague ForgeThe Plague Forge by Jason M. Hough
Series: The Dire Earth Cycle #3
Published by Del Ray on September 24, 2012
Genres: Dystopia, Science Fiction
Pages: 448
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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five-stars
After discovering the first key in the wreckage of a crashed Builder ship, Skyler Luiken and his crew follow the migrating aura towers in search of the four remaining relics. But time is running out: the team learn that the next Builder event will be the last, and one of the objects has already fallen into dangerous hands...Will the survivors finally reveal the Builders' plan?

I have a confession to make. I had this book for months, just sitting on my eReader. I neglected to read it not because I didn’t want to, but because once I read it the series would be over. I wish I was exaggerating, or kidding here, but I didn’t want this series to ever end. This book, this series, was the perfect hard sci-fi book for me, it mixed in all the genres and tropes that I adore (zombies, creepy aliens, dystopian world, awesome leads, and unpredictability). But I finally sat down to read it and couldn’t sleep until it was done. This book was… well, not what I was expecting at all!

In The Plague Forge, the action is picking up, which is a funny thing to say for a series that is so full of action to begin with! The next Builders event is coming up quickly and Skyler and the rest need to finish preparing for what can only be the end of everything. After all, when the last Builder event happens, what  will happen to Earth and humanity? So they break off into groups, all with the task of retrieving the next key for the Builder ship that is floating in the air above Earth. There is a lot of fighting and struggling, some old characters from the first book resurface, friends are reunited, bad guys start to seem redeemable, and then the end comes and… It was not what I expected at all.

I pride myself and generally being able to figure out just what to expect and what will happen next in a series. In fact, I haven’t been truly surprised in years. But this book? Surprised me. I’m still reeling after the ending, and I still don’t know if I liked it or not. Either way, it was a fantastic novel, and I cannot recommend it enough.

Again, Hough’s writing is tight, leaving no margin for error, while still remaining starkly evocative. When reading this book I can still picture this as a movie in my head, and I still truly believe that if there isn’t a movie made from these books then it will be a crying shame.

The characters are flawed, and real. They have their own problems, and none of them are perfect which makes them so much more. You have Skyler who is immune, and angry, and a little bit bitter, but he’s still going out there day after day to protect and help the people who need him. Tania started off the series as a scientist who becomes a leader, and later on a warrior. And these aren’t the only two characters who change as the series goes on. Blackwell starts off as a middle man, becomes a leader (though not one we much care for), but later on manages to redeem himself.

If you haven’t given this series a shot, now is definitely the time. All three books are currently available, so there is no need to wait even the month between them to find out what happens to the characters and to Earth. Give it a shot!

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