The Last (Publication Date: April 9, 2019)
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?
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An intense epistolary novel full of suspense and chills, with an ending that is a tad anticlimactic.
I love books written in this style. Particularly stories describing a disaster, or “end of days” scenario. The author does this beautifully and The Last hooked me instantly. I was fully gripped right up until the end. Every character was intriguing, and any one of them could have been the murderer!
This book is toted as being for fans of “The Girl with All the Gifts” but I’m not sure why. Aside from it being an apocalyptic tale, there are no similarities at all. It’s not a bad thing, just a weird pet peeve of mine that I feel worth mentioning. I hate when books are miss-classified or wrongly compared to other books. It affects a reader’s perception and can unfairly cause them to dislike a story. In this case, the story is good enough that it doesn’t matter, but I still found it irksome.
I really enjoyed this book despite the ending. Part of me feels, maybe I’m making a big deal out of nothing. The ending isn’t bad by any means, after all, I am still happily rating this book 4 stars, I was just a little disappointed. I was hoping for a bang and it was too quiet for me. Maybe you have, or will have a very different opinion.