The Harvest by Chuck Wendig
So here at the beginning of 2020, I have become absolutely addicted to the Heartland Trilogy by Chuck Wendig. The first book started off as a country version of Metropolis where people on the ground are forced to farm inedible corn for the rich living in a island in the sky. But soon expanded into a surprisingly layered scifi epic. I just couldn’t get enough of. And finally after everything that has happened so far, it’s time for the conclusion. Here is my review of the final book in the Heartland Trilogy. The Harvest by Chuck Wendig
So what is it about? It begins with Cael waking up after a year long coma in the care of the maize witch and he wakes up to changed world. After the events of the last book, the rick sky people (known as the Empyrean) retaliated. They decided not to deal with farmers and their free will. They decided to take the farmers and use their lobotomized brains as computers for robotic workers. The towns are all destroyed and people are on the run. Cael is horrified by this, but the maize witch tells him she may know a way to save the world. Says if he goes to Pegasus City, the last real community of people in the Heartland they could stand a chance to save the heartland. And of all people, its mayor is his long time friend Lane.
But it’s not that simple. His arranged marriage fiancé stayed with the witch's blight community (Blight are people infected with plants and have roots growing under their skin) and decided she loved him so much that she wanted to be like him and infected herself to be like Cael who’s is infected. Crazy I know. She’s the super needy crazy type. And she insists on coming along. Cael’s girlfriend and frenemy find out he’s alive and find him at Pegasus city. Rigo find his way there as well.
The reunion is a bit bumpy bit all of them, but they must work together to find this weapon to kill the corn, before the Empyrean destroys essentially the last of the Heartlanders.
So onto the good and bad. Let’s started with the good. This is a good ending. Most trilogies have an okay ending at best, but this didn’t. Everything continued to escalate to a grand finale that was perfect. It was so unpredictable, original, and full of so many left turns that kept the readers on their toes. There are a couple plot points in particular I hated and I was thinking to myself, “Why is the author doing this?” I mean one plot twist I’ve seen destroy so many books and movies, but the Wendig would do the impossible and twist it into something with an incredible pay off. Also it’s great to see how much these characters have grown after all the tragedy and loss. There’s a point where the book slows down a little bit and focuses on the reunion of friends. It was just great to see them all together and happy again. It’s a very nice calm before a very big storm. It’s just a perfect book for the most part. Also these characters are still teenagers trying to do their best and not very good at it. It’s even stated in the book by Lane. They mean to do the right thing, even if they don’t know what the right thing is at the moment. These teenagers are not meant to be heroes. They fumble and screw up a lot but because the world falls down to them, they have to work two, three times as hard to get the job done. And that, I find fascinating. To see how they pull this all off is just amazing. And it makes their journey in incredible.
The bad? The last hundred pages seem a bit rushed. It can be inferred from the circumstances in sky city toward the end, why the characters get to break into some places really really easy without being caught. But it’s never really explained. The reader is asked to fill in the blanks. That is odd. What else is odd, is the lack of detail this section. It felt like Wendig had to get from point A to C . A and C were well realized, but he didn’t have an idea of what point B should be. It does not hurt the story that much. It’s a minor problem compared to the greatness of the rest of the book though. Also there’s another thing many people might not like. The books has the characters go through so much, and after all that the reader will want a certain ending, especially for two certain characters. And the readers are not going to an ending they want, but they will get something very bitter sweet. Those who live get a happy ending of sorts. The repercussions of all that happened have the characters different than before wanting different things in life. Some may find that disappointing. I personally didn’t know what to think about it at first, but ended up loving it in all its imperfection because life is messy and it felt natural. But I feel many may not like it. Also another thing is, this book series again is classified as Young Adult and that is a lie. There are sex scenes, torture, gore, sex slavery to an extent, cursing including F bombs and full on body horror. A lot this is detailed too. So I ask why is this young adult? Is it because the majority of characters are in their late teens? If that’s the case shouldn’t the first half of It by Stephen King should be broken off into a YA novel as well. Or should the Friday the 13th movies be re rated to PG-13 instead R? Because it’s the same thing in this book. Point is, just know what your handing to your ten year old if you want to them to read this book. I feel many older children will be mature enough to read this. But this is just a warning that this is not Harry Potter.
Overall, this is a fantastic epic scifi tale that took me by total surprise. I only read this because Kindle versions were $.99 a book and I was just trying to save money. But it was a real treasure I did not expect. I expected okay at best, but was real fantastic read. I daresay a masterpiece in dystopian future genre. It has extremely flawed, yet fantastic characters. A great world. An amazing layered story with so many twists and turns you’ll get whiplash. There’s never a dull moment and it’s a must read. So go out and read the Heartland Trilogy. It’s worth the read.
4 smoothies out of Four
Overall Rating: An Amazing Conclusion to an Unique Dystopian Masterpiece
Have You Read This Book?
Rose McCoy from West Virginia on August 03, 2020:
Looks interesting! I’ll have to check these books out.