The Extinction Trials: Rebel is the third book of the series and closes the trilogy out in a very satisfying way. The bulk of the story takes place on Piloria, the dinosaur continent, and this one is as action packed as the first two. There's also a lot of character development, which I found very welcome, as Storm and Lincoln have to come to terms not only with their burgeoning relationship, but also with a new way of life.
Storm has of course been on Piloria for six months with her father, Reban Don, and they've just begun to form a rather tenuous relationship themselves, as father and daughter, when they get a big shock. There are other people on Piloria! Refugees from Earthasia, where things are not going well. An unintended side effect of the blistering plague cure is that more people are living, and the overtaxed resources of Earthasia can't keep up. People are starving and it all comes to a head early on, with Lincoln and some of the other supporting characters barely making it to Piloria.
Storm is of course happy to see her friends again, but it soon becomes clear that the refugees, under the leadership of Silas, do not intend to live with the land- they intend to conquer it. Storm and Reban must therefore decide how far they're willing to go to assist the newcomers- but will their efforts be appreciated? Things get dicey when Silas and Reban go head to head, and things begin to look dire.
As I said this is a satisfying conclusion to the series, and yet at the same time it's fairly open ended. I feel like there could easily be more books set in this world, and while the ending is fairly conventional, there are still a few surprises. The body count, as always, is fairly high, and if you like dinosaur mayhem there's no shortage of that! There's also an expanded map, which I may have hooted in delight over when I saw it, to go along with the new areas they explore in this one.
I was especially fascinated by the questions raised here. What is the right way to colonize a continent teeming with dinosaurs, but also with natural resources that have run out back home? Do you try to live with the peaceful dinos, or just eradicate them all? That's the heart of the story here, with Storm determined to live in harmony with the land, and Silas out to conquer everything that might stand in their way. A heavy-handed look at our own way of life? Perhaps, but frankly I thought it was handled well, with a lot of heart and no easy answers.
Storm's relationship with Lincoln was handled well. It's definitely slow burn- not a lot of romance here- and both characters are likable. Reban gets a bit of a makeover as well, in the sense that we see hidden layers emerge. And the supporting cast as always are a part of the action, which is nice- we also see more of Lincoln's family and Jesa's family from the second book.
All in all this was a great read. There were a few minor errors, such as missing words in a sentence, but it wasn't a big deal, although I did notice early on that there were forty zones in Earthasia and then twice later there were four hundred, so perhaps the editing could have been tighter, but other than relatively small issues like that I had a blast with this book. Lots of fun.
I wanted to discuss more in depth since I have a fair amount of thoughts on this one.
I was a little disappointed that we never really get an explanation for Storm's bond with Milo. The plesiosaur does show up but doesn't have a lot to do- but am I the only one who wonders if there is something more to Storm? Not only does she have the bond with Milo, but she has that moment with the titanosaur where she almost seems to connect with it somehow?
Triceratops! I loved the early scene with the triceratops rampage and the duckbills fleeing- really set the stage for how dangerous Piloria can be.
I liked Lincoln a lot more here- his character development has been nice. I kind of expected the relationship with him and Storm to move a little faster, but at the same time it was done well.
The science is a little iffy? I mean viruses that enhance the raptors so quickly? If the virus is causing a mutation to make them bigger and more intelligent, wouldn't that take longer than six months?
We never find out what the deal is with this world. Is it Earth in some form (I mean the name Earthasia is sort of a hint) but why is one continent overcrowded and depleted, and one continent has no people and tons of dinosaurs?
I wanted a little more resolution at the end. Letting Silas get off scot free, relatively speaking, seemed iffy to me as well, although it does make him a possible recurring villain if this series were to continue. I feel like he was fairly one dimensional though- we never get to really see why he's such a jerk.