The Last


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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 before he returns to her in San Francisco, he receives a string of push notifications. Washington D.C. has been bombed. Then New York. Then London. Then Berlin. That's all he knows before news outlets and social media goes black--and ...

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Jan 10, 2019

A refreshing apocalyptic thriller

When the end of the world happens, where will you be? Jon is at a conference in Switzerland when nuclear war hits, away from his family and friends he finds himself with a group of survivors camped at his hotel. However, when a body is discovered can he really trust the people around him?

I always struggle a little with apocalyptic thrillers as my favourite book is The Stand by Stephen King and you very often get poor imitations or very similar works that you can't help but compare. The Last isn't the usual virus/zombie apocalypse story, it's much more realistic with the start of nuclear war. There are references in there to the here and now - particularly the blame being placed on Americans for voting for 'him'. However, as there isn't any in depth detail in this it leaves it open to be timeless in when it is set and relevant for I'm sure many governments yet to come! Hanna Jameson doesn't focus too much on the whys or how's of the end of the world, she solely focuses on a small group of people remaining in a hotel in Switzerland and this character-focused approach is refreshing and interesting. There is also a bit of a detective story in there as well as our main character Jon tries to solve a murder.

The story is told through the diary of Jon, our slightly unreliable narrator who wants to document the end of the world. The pace is nicely kept up all of the way through and you get bits of flashbacks and backstories about other guests to keep drip feeding you information. The story does take a bit of an odd turn towards the end but I really enjoyed the ending as it stood and it's a great stand-alone piece which I appreciated.

Overall I really enjoyed The Last, it's a refreshing take on the apocalyptic thriller genre. Thank you to NetGalley, Penguin Books UK and Viking for a chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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