Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Book Review | The Last by Hanna Jameson

The Last is a mystery novel from Hanna Jameson.

For fans of high-concept thrillers such as Annihilation and The Girl with All the Gifts, this breathtaking dystopian psychological thriller follows an American academic stranded at a Swiss hotel as the world descends into nuclear war—along with twenty other survivors—who becomes obsessed with identifying a murderer in their midst after the body of a young girl is discovered in one of the hotel’s water tanks.

Jon thought he had all the time in the world to respond to his wife’s text message: I miss you so much. I feel bad about how we left it. Love you. But as he’s waiting in the lobby of the L’Hotel Sixieme in Switzerland after an academic conference, still mulling over how to respond to his wife, he receives a string of horrifying push notifications. Washington, DC has been hit with a nuclear bomb, then New York, then London, and finally Berlin. That’s all he knows before news outlets and social media goes black—and before the clouds on the horizon turn orange.

Now, two months later, there are twenty survivors holed up at the hotel, a place already tainted by its strange history of suicides and murders. Those who can’t bear to stay commit suicide or wander off into the woods. Jon and the others try to maintain some semblance of civilization. But when the water pressure disappears, and Jon and a crew of survivors investigate the hotel’s water tanks, they are shocked to discover the body of a young girl.

As supplies dwindle and tensions rise, Jon becomes obsessed with investigating the death of the little girl as a way to cling to his own humanity. Yet the real question remains: can he afford to lose his mind in this hotel, or should he take his chances in the outside world?

I was not expecting such a post-apocalyptic novel!

What intrigued me the most before reading The Last was the "Agatha Christie meets Stephen King" quote. There was just no way I was going to pass that up. First of all, I didn't find Agatha Christie or Stephen King in the pages, but it's a cool quote. The Last is a mishmash of mystery and apocalyptic fiction, though.

I want to be clear - I loved this book. I do feel like it wasn't sure what it wanted to be most of the time. I know what I wanted it to be - a pure post-apocalypse. I loved the world of The Last, and I could have stayed there much, much longer. There were so many aspects that could have been expanded and explored. The framework of the novel was a mystery, though, and the apocalypse was one hell of a setting!

This was my first experience with Hanna Jameson's work, and it definitely won't be my last. She crafted something really great not just with the setting but with the characters as well. More than anything, The Last was about the characters and the relationships they built while the world was ending.

In the end, I'm giving The Last four stars instead of five simply due to the unexplored/unexplained aspects, but I still highly recommend reading this one.


Review copy provided by publisher


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  1. Post-apocalyptic novels are always a huge draw for me. So I will definitely be checking this one out at some point. :)

  2. Oh my gosh I need this. Going to buy it NOW.

  3. I'm so glad to see some positive reviews about this book and that other people are enjoying it. It's a great book! Thanks for sharing.

    1. I hope a lot of people get to experience this one. :)

  4. I definitely need to check this one out! Awesome review!


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