Extinction War - the finale of the Extinction Cycle
The previous book was a total cliffhanger so it is up to this series finale to wrap up all the open storylines. The war in Europe went FUBAR when the dirty bombs did not wipe out the Variants as intended so Team Ghost is now up against a whole new level of enemy. The radiation from the bombs has caused the monsters to accelerate their rate of mutation and it has resulted in the evolution of a Queen mutant capable of controlling the others. Back in the US there is a full blown civil war underway and President Ringgold is on the run since many believe she ordered attacks on the very safe zones that she created. Horne is doing his best to keep Dr. Novato alive while Beckham is lost and presumed dead. Is it finally time for the human race to go extinct or will the remaining humans give all they have to prevail?
I must admit it has been 2 years since I read book 6 so it took me a little time to get my bearings, but once I did it was a wild ride to the finish line. I didn't really appreciate the new cast of characters that took over the main roles in book 6 but before this one ended I felt the storyline reached a nice balance of new and old characters both playing key roles in the outcome. One new character I did enjoy is the lone Italian soldier and his pet mouse as they try to survive underground in the infested city of Rome. Beyond that it is mostly the same type of military action this series has served up from the start, for better or worse. From the new Queen mutant in Europe to the terrorists in the U.S. using the virus as a weapon, each thread escalates until it reaches resolution with a final crisis that determines who lives and who dies.
When I reviewed book 6 I commented that this series could have ended with book 5, and I still feel that way. Books 6 and 7 do add to the story in a meaningful way but because of the change in character focus they certainly feel optional. And if 7 books aren't enough for you then know there is plenty more available. There are two volumes of short stories (written by other authors) as well as a prequel novel, Extinction Red Line, and a whole additional series that starts 8 years after this one ends. The new series is called Extinction Cycle: Dark Ages and the two books of short stories are called Missions from the Extinction Cycle, Volumes 1 & 2.
For the audiobook versions Bronson Pinchot delivers an excellent performance narrating the entire series, as well as the two volumes of Missions, while R. C. Bray takes over the narration for the Dark Ages series. I did enjoy this series, and may partake of the Missions and Dark Ages at some point, but for now I am happy to let this one sit where it is.