You'd think after five books, the Extinction Cycle might start to get a bit stale. Somehow, though, Nicholas Sansbury Smith has managed to keep this series rocking and rolling, presenting a cross-genre affair that continues to impress and excite.
I've really appreciated the way Smith continues to up the ante, transforming the Variant threat into a global crises that only grows more and more complicated. The elements involved in crafting an Extinction book work wonderfully well, and Smith ties up action, science, horror, and military thriller into a tight, impossible to put down read. Even after five books, I'm still on the edge of my seat.
Here, Team Ghost, led as always by Reed Beckham, are making their last-ditch push toward ending the threat of the monstrous Variants, whose offspring have evolved some particularly nasty new elements that allow Smith to craft several wonderfully gruesome scenes. Packed with a ton of action and a lot of heart, we're taken across multiple front lines on land and at sea as Team Ghost contends with monsters and monstrous humans. The fighting is intense and masterfully crafted (a staple of this series), right on up through an excellent climax that blends the suspense and action of Aliens and Die Hard (or maybe Under Siege is a better example), with a lot of heart-string tugging and plenty more "oh sh--" moments.
For all intents and purposes, this is supposedly the last book in the series, although there's plenty of wiggle room left for another book if the author so chooses. And if it is, in fact, the last book, rest assured that Smith is not resting on his laurels here.
I've been a big fan of this series, and this might be the best entry of the lot. Smith gets full-on cinematic in his epicness here. As far as I'm concerned, this is a fitting conclusion for Sgt. Reed Beckham, Dr. Kate Lovato, and the other members of Team Ghost. If we do get a sixth book down the line, I'll definitely be reading it (especially if Smith presents some of the catastrophe and struggle in Europe or Asia. This series has been focused on the US front-lines of the war, but I'm itching to see a more global examination of the story.). If we don't, then it's been a fantastic run for Smith, his characters, and this reader in particular.