Author: Hanna Jameson
To Be Published: April 9, 2019
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: March 19- April 2, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
For fans of high-concept thrillers such as Annihilation and The Girl with All the Gifts, this breathtaking dystopian psychological thriller follows an American academic stranded at a Swiss hotel as the world descends into nuclear war—along with twenty other survivors—who becomes obsessed with identifying a murderer in their midst after the body of a young girl is discovered in one of the hotel’s water tanks.
The Last by Hanna Jameson is an apocalyptic novel from an American’s perspective (Jon) who is stuck in a huge hotel in the middle of nowhere in Switzerland after nuclear bombs fell and whole countries are gone. Jon keeps a daily journal or as he calls it “A Narrative Chronicle of the Initial Post-nuclear Months by Possibly the Last Living Historian”.
This is a character driven novel with a side of murder mystery. The Last is written in first person perspective, and I was pulled in from the first line. Jameson shows what could happen in the world whenever the bombs fall. Of course, there is panic and we keep up with the news until it is no more. Then we are in seclusion with 20 strangers and the mystery: a dead girl. Jon becomes determined at all costs to figure out who killed her.
Everything felt realistic with The Last: From the fear of the unknown, adjusting to a new world with strangers, to thoughts of ‘should we stay or leave?’ We get to experience a variety of situations that occur and the consequences of those decisions in this new world. The Last is like an episode of The Walking Dead but without zombies. There is a little action, but the story focuses on the people and their situation.
I really enjoyed The Last. The ending is ambiguous, so it could be the end of the story or it could continue if Jameson decides to write more.
The only negative for me was a big one, and why I rated it four stars: The mention of politics and characters blaming each other based on if they were American and if they voted for the president. The president’s name is not mentioned, but you know who he is based on what is said. I like my fiction to be free from politics (unless I happen to be reading a politically charged book) or it is necessary to the story, so these instances were not enjoyed. Let’s keep politics out of our fiction!
The Last is recommended. Special thanks to Atria Books for granting me an e-arc copy via NetGalley. I really enjoyed it!