June 11, 2015
The Harvest, by Chuck Wendig
It’s been a year since the Saranyu flotilla fell from the sky, and life in the Heartland has changed. Gone are the Obligations and the Harvest Home festivals. In their place is a spate of dead towns, the former inhabitants forced into mechanical bodies to serve the Empyrean—and crush the Heartland. When Cael awakens from a Blightborn sleep, miles away from the world he remembers, he sets out across the Heartland to gather his friends for one last mission. As the mechanicals, a war flotilla, and a pack of feral Empyrean girls begin to close in on the Heartland, there isn’t much time to make their next move. But if they can uncover a secret weapon in time, Cael and his friends might just find themselves with the power to save the world—or destroy it—resting in their hands.
The epic conclusion of the Heartland Trilogy floored me like a punch from Mike Tyson in his prime. Books one and two seemed to move along steadily. In book three, Wendig must’ve pressed the button and injected nitrous oxide leaving me with a surge of speed akin to the wheelie-popping scene from Fast and Furious.
When I saw The Harvest was available via NetGalley, I immediately downloaded it and moved it to the top of the to-be-read pile. I tore through his words in less than twenty-four hours and was satisfied with the ending.
All the familiar characters are there from the first two books, and they continue to be written in a compelling manner that makes them likeable, despicable and above all real.
The adrenaline rush from the opening prologue to the epic showdown between the Heartlanders and the Empyreans was only topped by a new villain that was both scary and sympathetic. Cael made this villain in such a way that reminded me of the Batman/Joker dynamic.
The ending of The Harvest wrapped up the series, but still left a thread of more stories to come if the author so chooses. I for one would like to continue reading the aftermath of The Harvest and its epilogue.
Chuck Wendig is a novelist, screenwriter and game designer. He’s the author of many published novels, including but not limited to: Blackbirds, The Blue Blazes, and the YA Heartland series. He is co-writer of the short film Pandemic and the Emmy-nominated digital narrative Collapsus. Wendig has contributed over two million words to the game industry. He is also well known for his profane-yet-practical advice to writers, which he dispenses at his blog, terribleminds.com, and through several popular e-books, including The Kick-Ass Writer, published by Writers Digest. He currently lives in the forests of Pennsyltucky with wife, tiny human, and red dog.