Title: The Last
Author: Hanna Jameson
Publication date: 31st January 2019
My rating: ★★★☆☆
Goodreads rating: 3.77
Genre: Mystery Thriller, Post Apocalyptic
I won an ARC of this book in 2018 through a competition the publishers, Viking were running. All opinions and views are my own and are not influenced by winning a copy of this book in any way.
I would like to thank Hannah from Viking Books, Viking Books UK and of course, the author Hanna Jameson. #gifted
*Trigger Warnings – Suicide, death, murder, drug use and overdose*
Breaking: Nuclear weapon detonates over Washington
Breaking: London hit, thousands feared dead
Breaking: Munich and Scotland hit. World leaders call for calm
Historian Jon Keller is on a trip to Switzerland when the world ends. As the lights go out on civilization, he wishes he had a way of knowing whether his wife, Nadia and their two daughters are still alive. More than anything, Jon wishes he hadn’t ignored Nadia’s last message.
Twenty people remain in Jon’s hotel. Far from the nearest city and walled in by towering trees, they wait, they survive.
Then one day, the body of a young girl is found. It’s clear she has been murdered. Which means that someone in the hotel is a killer.
As paranoia descends, Jon decides to investigate. But how far is he willing to go in pursuit of justice? And what kind of justice can he hope for, when society as he knows it no longer exists?
Overall opinion of the book:
As soon as I read the blurb of The Last I was hooked. Any sort of post apocalyptic books hols my attention, and this had such an interesting concept; I was over the moon when I won a limited edition proof. As the synopses suggests, Historian Jon Keller becomes stranded at a hotel in Switzerland when the world as he knows it comes to an end. Nuclear war occurs and leaves him stranded in an unlikely place with 20 strangers, separated from his wife and children in America. Those who survive the initial nuclear attacks find out via Social Media – if anything sums up the 21st Century it’s this! As is to be expected, from here all hell breaks loose and panic ensues.
I thoroughly enjoyed the psychology surrounding this book. It’s so interesting to see how different people act when they are put into an end of the world – everyone fights for themselves scenario. While everyone is breaking down and panicking about what is happening in the world outside of the hotel, Jon discovers a body of a young girl and becomes fixated on figuring out who committed the murder. Jameson is so clever to combine a whodunnit style of novel with the post apocalyptic, it’s unlike anything I’ve ever read before.
If you’re a fan of The Walking Dead comics or TV series, then it’s likely you’ll enjoy this novel too. Although there aren’t any zombies, the complexity to everyone’s relationships and the ever changing dynamic of the group left at the hotel is similarly intriguing. It was interesting to follow each character’s own journey whether that was turning to drugs, ending their own life, relying on alcohol or forming romantic relationships. No character acted in the same way and I loved following Jon’s documents in his journal of their lives and stories being unearthed. In regards to the murder, I was left constantly guessing who the culprit was, and every time I thought I may have been right, I was wrong – a sign of a great Mystery Thriller!
Jameson ensures that readers get to know every person left at the hotel and she creates strong personalities and traits for each of them. All were easily distinguishable from each other and added something different to the hotel group. I loved the aspect of politics that gets discussed within the surviving group too, with those who voted for and against the president that opted for nuclear war. Although the current president’s name isn’t mentioned, it’s clear that he may have been used as inspiration here. Without giving too much of the plot away, what was extremely interesting was life outside of the hotel and how other groups of people coped with the nuclear war. I would have liked to have found out more about this, as we only see this side of the world at the very latter end of the book.
In my opinion, the contents of this book could easily have been made into a trilogy. As explained in the previous paragraph, there is so much more Jameson could have written about and explored, and I would have happily kept on reading about Jon and the other characters. The ending did feel slightly rushed and I was left feeling a little deflated as the book was building up such a suspense and left me with more than a few questions surrounding what happens, especially regarding the murder. If there were a second or third book, or even 100 more pages then these aspects could have been explored in more detail.
That being said, I still thoroughly enjoyed the book. The style of writing was brilliant and I liked that it was written as Jon’s journal and notes about the end of the world. The characters were interesting and although Jon was a character I found difficult to like at certain times, he was in intriguing main character to follow. Jameson creates so much suspense and her descriptive language was great. The spelling, punctuation and grammar was flawless too. Given that Jon wasn’t an inspector, he gets to the root of what happens in an organic and natural manner, rather than it being forced, and the story flows well.
If you’re a fan of thrillers and post apocalyptic novels, The Last this is definitely the book for you. It action packed, full of suspense and contains so many interesting and intricate characters.
Although I was left feeling a little deflated at the ending, overall the book was great and I would certainly recommend it. It’s a scary thought, but it does feel as though the events that happen in this book aren’t far from what could potentially happen to us all in the future! Jameson is a fantastic writer and I’ll definitely be reading more books written by her in the future.
If you would like to purchase this book, you can do so here:
It’s only £1.99 on Kindle at the moment too – bargain!
Have you read The Last? What were your thoughts on the book? Let me know! 😊
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