Sunday, October 6, 2013

BOOK REVIEW - THE LAST GIRL by AUSTRALIAN AUTHOR - MICHAEL ADAMS - THE LAST TRILOGY # 1 - YA APOCALYPTIC THRILLER - ALLEN & UNWIN


By: Michael Adams
Published By: Allen & Unwin
Released: Available Now
Details: Paperback from publisher for honest review, 382 Pages

RATING : 3.75 JACK STARS!

Blurb: Goodreads

The end of the world happened quickly. The sun still shone, there was no explosion - just a tsunami-sized wave of human thought drowning the world in telepathic noise as everyone's inner-most secrets became audible. Everyone's thoughts, that is, except sixteen-year-old Danby.

Everyone looked like bad actors in a poorly dubbed movie. Their expressions didn't match their emotions and their lips didn't sync with what they were saying. But they were all so loud.

God-he-looks-hot-Can't-she's-my-best-friend-How'd-she-lose-that-weight-No-don't-you-dare-Oh-no-please-

The end of the world happens in the blink of an eye.

When The Snap sweeps the globe, everyone can instantly hear everything that everyone else is thinking. As secrets and lies are laid bare, suburbs and cities explode into insanity and violence. What might have been an evolutionary leap instead initiates the apocalypse.

Sixteen-year-old Danby Armstrong's telepathy works very differently. She can tune into other people but they can't tune into her. With only this slender defence, Danby must protect her little brother and reach the safety of her mother's mountain retreat. But it's 100 kilometres away and the highways are blocked by thousands of cars and surrounded by millions of people coming apart at the psychic seams.

Danby's escape is made even more dangerous by another cataclysm that threatens humanity's extinction. And her ability to survive this new world will be tested by a charismatic young man whose power to save lives may be worse than death itself.






BOOK REVIEW by Michelle:

This was a great start to Australian author Michael Adams’s debut YA apocalyptic thriller, set in and around Sydney Australia. I have lived in Sydney for a few years, it brought home the whole apocalyptic feel , even more for me. 

I have read quite a few apocalyptic reads and there is something about being in the head of the few survivors as they work towards a common goal. It can feel quite real.

That is something I loved about The Last Girl, Danby’s character was very real and made very real choices for her age. This apocalypse felt very real with all the fall out. I can tell how much work and thought Michael put into his world.

Danby Armstrong is only sixteen years old, she is a survivor. She has a good heart. She finds herself alone after The Snap has helped to kill off a large portion of the world’s population.

Michael has thought up a very unique idea.

A clever idea.

I have read a lot of zombie apocalyptic stories and even watched movies made about them. I have read about alien apocalyptic stories and we have seen movies made, most notably War of The Worlds. Who can forget that one?

What is The Snap?

Michael brought a refreshing take using instant global telepathy.

You can go to my interview chat I had with Michael and read about his idea. He explains it well. 

http://novelsontherun.blogspot.com.au/2013/09/interview-with-australian-author.html

Michael’s world he has built for the reader has humans being exterminated via, suicide, murder, being in the wrong place at the wrong time because they can hear each other’s thoughts. Imagine hearing what somebody thinks of you, multiplied by many voices. Enough to make you go crazy, jump off a building, turn murderous and kill. Michael will give you many examples and prove his apocalyptic idea, convince you of its deadly outcome.

This I thought was fantastic. Not been done before. We have all read about a character in a paranormal read who is telepathic and can converse with somebody else. But what happens to humanity when everybody can hear every ones thoughts at once?

Some people go into shut down mode. Catatonic. But who wakes these people up before they starve to death, die of dehydration?

What happens when some survivors work out how to revive the catatonic, but you could be reviving a potential killer or a druggie, even a rapist?

Very few people are pure at heart and want to fight for the good guys. People have ulterior motives. People are frightened.

Danby finds herself fighting for her autistic brother’s life and her own life. She must learn to trust and get to her mother’s home, one hundred kilometres away.

Many obstacles lie in her path.

Many threats to her existence.

Michael can paint a visually frightening panoramic view of Danby’s surroundings. He uses what I call floating characters that are there to show the reader examples of why humanity is not safe when trying to wipe the slate clean and start a new world.

Nathan Kapur is a great character. He becomes somebody Danby is forced to trust, she needs his knowledge. But, is he totally trustworthy?

For me personally the book got real interesting when Jack’s character came into play. There is something that has you staying wary of him. It’s a natural reaction, he has power among the people. 

‘I’m serious,’ he protested. ‘With great power comes great responsibility and all that.’

I felt the last section of the book was the liveliest for me.

Michael does take his time showing us around the streets of Sydney and its suburbs, cementing his world in our minds. This book is written from ground zero. We watch The Snap happen and that takes time.

This book is well written but for me personally I am looking forward to The Last Shot, book # 2, I want to feel a connection between myself and the main characters. I want more focus on them. The bigger picture is always massive in any apocalypse but can slow a book down. 

Something Jack does at the end of this book, I felt like I needed more of a connection during his section of the book for it to be believable for me. It came out of the blue , I felt. I read a lot of books of all genres and age brackets and I kept looking for this connectivity. I think I needed more time spent with a couple characters. I’m trying not to do any spoiling. I want to say more, but I won’t.

All the questions I asked myself when reading this book, Michael eventually answered. This I liked. He really thought about consequences of things his characters did. They are intelligent characters.

I did feel the book couldn’t help but slow down in parts as Michael had to do the world building for the reader. This is a new type of apocalypse , it isn’t as self explanatory as an alien apocalypse or a zombie apocalypse.

It’s new, it needs time to be set up in the readers mind.

I am looking forward to the next book. I know Michael can write, he visually has me looking around his streets and the carnage left behind by The Snap in much description, but I want to see in book # 2 more dialogue and more connecting with characters so that I am rooting for their survival and having more page turning adventure and action. I want to care more about being betrayed and want to scream at Michael for being so hard on his characters.

Don’t get me wrong, Michael gave me a full viewing of humanity and how it can be quite vile towards others. He showed me tough choices have to be made, you can’t save everyone.

I want the fight for good to be explosive. I want to feel torn up at what the characters are doing. I want to see hurt in characters eyes, feel their pain, feel their outrage.

I recommend reading The Last Girl the first in a three book series.

Michelle

4 comments:

  1. Excellent review! There were so many aspects of this book that I loved, but in the end I still think it was a 3 (??) star read for me. Michael really made me think about humanity in this book and admittedly I am looking forward to the next book :)

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    1. I know what you mean , Rachel. I will admit I got frustrated in parts because I wanted to move forward. But then there were the parts that were very very good. But, hey just one opinion in an ocean of readers and opinions :)

      Mich

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    2. Gotta love Aussie fiction though--plus! It was practically in my own back yard so that made me happy!

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    3. Aussie authors are making themselves known!

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