The Rain certainly had an interesting concept. Set in the southwest of England, where rain is abundant and constant, rainwater is contaminated with an alien organism that kills if touched. Excellent! But a great concept cannot fuel interest for over 300 pages….so I had a few problems.
Ruby, the main character, had to deal with a lot. Only 30% through the book and her family are all dead. She has to fend for herself. I was expecting a strong female protagonist to arise from the ashes of the dead, and storm the world. But, alas. Ruby is the brattiest character I’ve ever had the displeasure of reading. The writing style was autobiographical, so Ruby was documenting the events of the rainwater apocalypse. To begin with, her voice was realistic and she acted how you’d expect any teenager to act when faced with imminent death. However, her personality was so ungrateful and judgmental, I found myself really disliking her. (Hate is a strong word.)
Things started to look up when she discovered Darius, the nerdy boy with a mind for survival, but Ruby was still so hung up on school-girl-politics that she couldn’t appreciate what Darius was offering her. So, what if he wears glasses, has acne and a gangly figure? It doesn’t mean he’s not going to be a good companion for the apocalypse. Ruby just whined and whined about her situation, which really grated against my patience.
This book had a slightly ‘The Darkest Minds’ feel to it when a replica of Zu was introduced: a girl that couldn’t speak, who wore strange clothes. Ruby wasn’t about sticking together – she wanted to dump the kid as soon as possible, but when it came to animals, she wanted to keep a veritable zoo in the boot of her car. Where are this girl’s priorities?!
The plot progressed well, I’ll give it that. Ruby and co moved from her home town, to Bristol, to Chippenham and then to London. I didn’t quite understand the logistics of car-jacking, but I let that slide. Ruby’s mission was to find her dad, who lived in London. If I learnt anything from this book, it was ‘STAY PUT’ otherwise people are just running around in different directions trying to find each other without crossing paths.
And perhaps the second lesson is never trust the army. ‘The Darkest Minds’ taught me that as well.
Predictably, a romance emerged between Ruby and Darius (well, they could have been the last boy and girl on Earth…) FINALLY Ruby saw past his exterior, and realized he was a catch. Oh, prejudices, why doth thou exist?
In conclusion, I would give this book 2.5 stars. I applaud its originality of concept, although the severe dislike of the main character detracted multiple stars. I know that ‘The Rain’ is the first book in a duology, and I plan on reading the second book, if anything to see how the Earth copes, because its not like humans have the capability to stop it from raining.
BUT if Ruby is immune to the rain, which would be a completely predictable and clichéd way of explaining things, I will be annoyed. You’ve been warned.