TITLE: The Last
AUTHOR: Hanna Jameson
GENRE: Adult, Thriller, Mystery, Dystopian
RATING: 3/5 Stars
BREAKING: Nuclear weapon detonates over Washington
BREAKING: London hit, thousands feared dead.
BREAKING: Munich and Scotland hit. World leaders call for calm.
Jon Keller was on a trip to Switzerland when the world ended. More than anything he wishes he hadn't ignored his wife Nadia's last message. Twenty people remain in Jon's hotel. Far from the nearest city, they wait, they survive. Then one day, the body of a 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 happens if the killer doesn't want to be found?
What I Liked:
- Jameson is certainly a skilled writer. I liked the journal entry formatting - told day by day after the nuclear bombs hit, and all through Jon Keller's POV, a historian before the end of the world. It is an interesting way to read about the situation.
- I think this book's greatest strength is its ability to provoke reflection and discussion. Many different cultures and personalities are within the band of twenty or so survivors and each have a different viewpoint on how to handle the various situations they come across throughout the story. It certainly made me think a lot about where I would stand within that.
What I Disliked:
- This is very clearly relies on its characters to drive the story rather than actual plot points, and yet I hated them all. Everyone seemed infuriatingly short with each other, and mostly for no reason. Jon, the main POV, was a bit of a wet blanket with very little personality of his own other than the constant self pity. Then there was Tomi, his love interest with the worst attitude ever, Peter who was rude and argumentative to absolutely everyone and I'm supposed to believe is good with children, Dylan who thought it would be a grand idea to keep everything a secret and Tania who infuriated me towards the end of the book. Ugh.
- Considering the slow build and how much I was getting into the last third of the book, imagine my surprise at the really awfully revealed murderer. I didn't see it coming, and not in a good way. It was impossible to predict, which takes the fun out of murder mystery.
The concept of this book was cool, and I liked the element of critical thinking that was involved in reading it. There were a lot of influences from current events, which was a little sobering, and I thought the political and social debate aspect was interesting. But though I was mildly invested in what little plot there was, I found all of the characters infuriating and that became a big problem for me. I was also pretty disappointed with the murder's resolution all things considered. I think this would be a great read for a book club though, it poses some pretty interesting questions.