My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Ask yourself this question: If you were thousands of miles away from home, away from your family, at a remote international hotel and nuclear war broke out, what would you do? You find yourself stranded. No phones. No internet. No connection to the outside world. Just you and the handful of hotel guests that stayed, living off the remaining supplies. And then…. You find a dead body. And you realize that one of the survivors among you may be a murderer.
The Last by Hanna Jameson takes you into this world. A world where nuclear holocaust is a reality. The world as we knew it is gone. And now all there is left to do is survive. And we may find that if the elements don’t kill us, we might kill each other.
This reminded me of Shari Lapena’s An Unwanted Guest in that it slowly introduced a line up of characters in a remote hotel and centered around a murder mystery. I really enjoyed the main character, Jon, and his constant struggle to come to terms with the new world surrounding him. As a historian, he constantly worked to document the aftermath. I enjoyed that characters were introduced slowly by way of Jon interviewing everybody for the sake of documentation. It was a nice way to get to know each person individually, and share in their background stories.
This did have a little bit of a The Walking Dead vibe without the zombies (I feel like I say that a lot about post-apocalyptic thrillers). There were many similarities in the way the characters scrounged for food and supplies, tried to establish leadership among the group, interacted with other settlements of survivors, etc. I’m a big fan of this type of novel, so it was right up my alley.
If I could have asked for anything to be better, it would probably just be a little bit more differentiation between characters. At times I found myself getting their names confused because there were so many of them and most of them had pretty standard, American type names which made them blend together. And the ending was maybe a tad abrupt, but overall satisfying.
You can pick up your copy on Amazon here!
-I was gifted a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to NetGalley, Hanna Jameson, and Atria Books for the opportunity to review.-