Title: The Last
Author: Hanna Jameson
Publisher: Penguin Books UK
Breaking: Nuclear weapon detonates over Washington
Breaking: London hit, thousands feared dead
Breaking: Munich and Scotland hit. World leaders call for calm
Historian Jon Keller is on a trip to Switzerland when the world ends. As the lights go out on civilization, he wishes he had a way of knowing whether his wife, Nadia and their two daughters are still alive. More than anything, Jon wishes he hadn’t ignored Nadia’s last message.
Twenty people remain in Jon’s hotel. Far from the nearest city and walled in by towering trees, they wait, they survive.
Then one day, the body of a young 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 kind of justice can he hope for, when society as he knows it no longer exists?
The Last is a well-written dystopian thriller which tells the story of a group of people, stuck in a hotel after a nuclear weapon wipes out various cities in the US – and all over the world. They happened to be staying there at the time, and now they’re trying to survive together.
The interplay between very different characters – who no doubt would not have necessarily been friends in any other situation – makes for interesting reading. I really liked that ‘main character’ (or the person whose point of view we read the story from) Jon, because he’s got a good social conscience, seems very smart but also isn’t perfect. By his own admission he has faults and hasn’t been the perfect husband or father, but nevertheless I warmed to him as the novel went on.
However, the story felt a bit slow for me at points. I definitely think this is a prime novel to be adapted onto the screen, and feel that perhaps it would work better that way – I can really imagine some of the dramatic scenes being filmed, and think it would work really well. Unfortunately at some points I just felt like I was losing interest a little. Saying that, other parts kept me completely gripped, so I’d still say that I enjoyed reading The Last and would recommend it.
Many thanks to Penguin Books for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.