Sunday, November 25, 2018

Review: The Last

The LastThe Last by Hanna Jameson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jon Keller is in Switzerland, half a world away from his family, when Washington DC and a lot of other cities get nuked. Now, stranded in a hotel with dozens of strangers, cut off from the internet, wondering if his family is still alive, Jon and others find a girl's body in one of the hotel's water tanks...

My man Easy E was bragging about how great this book was on Twitter months ago and I added it to my Netgalley wish list. Eventually, I was invited to read it and I read it on a single dreary Sunday. It was gripping, to say the least.

In a way, The Last reminds me of The Last Policeman. While the world is crumbling, one man has a mystery to solve, a mystery not a lot of other people seem to care about. In other ways, it reminds me of The Stand, a story of people surviving in the ruins of civilization. In all ways, it was one hell of a book.

I was surprised at how enthralled I was with the book. Hanna Jameson does a great job at building suspense and sewing some misdirection. Her characters were surprisingly rich. It would have been easy to go with stock characters in a story like this but Jon, Tomi, Dylan, and the rest were a complex bunch. Even Peter had his hidden dimensions. The book had a paranoid feel at times, like anyone at the hotel could have been the killer, and that anyone could be hiding in the vast but nearly vacant hotel.

I don't really want to reveal anything else. The Last combines my favorite things about post-apocalyptic fiction and mystery fiction. I can't recommend it enough. Five out of five stars.

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