The Last Place – book review

The Last Place

The Last Place is the thrilling final instalment in The Last series, written by Michael Adams.

Danby is desperately fighting to save the last of humanity. But with Jack’s sinister influence more powerful than ever, Danby fears that all hope for freeing his minions – and her little brother – is lost. It seems that the only way to survive is to escape.

With her own sanity at risk, Danby is willing to do anything to stay alive and save those she loves. In order to do this, Danby must adopt a warrior code, but the price is high. In this final explosive instalment, Danby will forced to save who she is able to, even if it means abandoning hope for her last remaining family.

*

I was so excited to read The Last Place and I was even more exited to see that it surpassed my expectations. I fell in love with this series from the very first page of the first book, The Last Girl, and I was very pleased to see that I remained as enthralled and as eager to read it as that first book. I found this series very intriguing. As it’s set in Australia, that is something that sets this book apart from a lot of other YA books, let alone dystopias. I loved the setting, the characters were complex and enjoyable to spend time with and the plot was one that kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time.

Let me start off by saying that this book is told from past and present point of views. As I started reading that, I was initially confused as to what was going on. I didn’t understand what was happening and why the chapters seemed so jumpy. But as this progressed, I soon figured out what was going on and how this made a big impact on the story. It was pleasantly surprising to see that I quite enjoyed the past/present chapters. Although, this book would have benefited from having the chapters labeled accordingly to avoid confusion in the beginning. I would have liked to know whether I was reading from the past or from the present to avoid this confusion all together because at times I felt as though I spent more time wondering where I was reading from instead of concentrating on the plot and thinking about what might happen. However, I did really enjoy reading from the alternating chapters and felt that they really made this book unique and all the more interesting.

I’ve loved seeing Danby’s character development between The Last Girl and now. How much she had changed is astounding. At first, she was somewhat shy and seemed very gentle, but as the series progressed, she changed into a brave and even sometimes brutal character who is willing to do anything to make the world right again. In this book, she also experienced some times where she was severely affected by her past actions even to the point that it made her unable to think rationally. It was definitely very interesting to read these parts because it would be expected that any person who had done and seen the things that Danby had, that they would be scared in some way and wouldn’t be the same person after as they were before. Seeing her affected like this and seeing her break down made her really relatable because it’s unrealistic to expect that anyone can remain brave and selfless and resilient during such devastating and destructive times.

Travelling with Danby around the areas of Sydney and the Blue Mountains was again amazing to experience. Often I feel either slightly disconnected from the plot or kind of anxious when the main character is on their own for a while, but I really enjoyed it in this book. I liked exploring these areas with Danby because they were so well described and I really felt like I was there. These places also had meaning in the plot and nothing that happened seemed like just something to add pages. The pacing in this book was also really well done, as was the pacing in the two previous books. There was that perfect mix between action and quiet moments that made me feel like I didn’t want to put this book down, while also managing to keep me from feeling as though it was tiring to read this book.

This was one fast-paced thriller of a book. There were a lot of deaths and a lot of killing, so if you don’t think you could handle that, then I recommend just brushing over those parts because they do get a little graphic in parts. In saying that, the descriptions were amazing just because of how real it seemed. It was like I was experiencing everything Danby was experiencing, every sound, smell, taste and sight. To have this series come to an end after three spectacular books is disappointing, but I’m very happy with how everything turned out and I’m looking forward to seeing what the author writes next. I’d give The Last Place by Michael Adams a score of 9 out of 10. I definitely recommend getting into this series if you haven’t already!

Thank you to Allen & Unwin Australia for providing me with this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Last Shot – book review

The Last Shot by Michael Adams

The Last Shot is the second thrilling book in The Last Girl series, by Michael Adams.

After the terrible things that happened in Shadow Valley, Danby is determined to get her revenge on the one she thinks is responsible for everything – Jack. With Jack dead, her little brother and hundreds of other Minions would be free from Jack’s control. With Jack dead, Danby and her friend Nathan would be able to revive thousands of catatonic Goners.

But what if she’s wrong about everything? Once Danby confronts Jack, all of her feelings are turned upside down. Not only are his feelings for her real, he is working to rebuild society and save lives. Much to Danby’s horror and disbelief, it seems to be Nathan who is threatening the new order.

Danby will be forced to choose a side in a deadly battle that will determine the future of the world. With allies becoming enemies and foes becoming friends, who can Danby really trust? And to what lengths will Danby have to go to set the world right again.

*

I’m really loving this series! The Last Girl was phenomenal, and even though I felt as though The Last Shot wasn’t as good as the first book in this series, it fell short only by a little bit. I was almost completely happy with this book. The start was completely grabbing and the ending was extremely surprising, however there was a little bit of time in the middle where I felt my attention wandering at times. But that’s not even because it was boring. This is the type of book where things are constantly happening, one intense scene after the other. Is it just me who sometimes feels like there has to be just a mini break from the action so we as readers can catch our breath? My heart was constantly thudding and at one time it got to the point where I had to force myself to stop reading, because this book wasn’t getting any less intense before the time I was going to bed. There was just so much happening in this book.

I have mixed feelings about the characters in this book. There were some that I really enjoyed spending time with, but there were some less important characters that I just couldn’t connect with and I found it a little hard to completely understand their personalities. I felt like in the middle of this book, there were parts where I just couldn’t get a hold of each persons individuality and I felt like some of the more minor characters didn’t have an impact on me. There’s some books that I read and all the characters, even the minor ones, have unique and sparkling personalities. I just didn’t feel that way with this book.

In saying that, I absolutely loved spending time with main characters. Danby is completely awesome. I loved her attitude and how she dealt with situations. Admittedly, she changed her mind a lot in this book about what she was going to do and what she thought about certain characters, but I loved this because it felt real and it made me think of what I would do if I was in her position.

Another character I enjoyed spending time with was Nathan. I really liked how him and Danby work together and I loved seeing their relationship grow even more from the first book. Jack was also a character that I completely adored spending time with. He was such an intense person and I never knew whether I could trust him or not, which meant the times he was with Danby, I was constantly on the edge of my seat. Even the mentioning of his name drew me back into the story. In all, I really liked the main characters, however I didn’t really think the minor characters were that interesting to read about.

I enjoyed reading this book overall. The beginning and the ending are by far the best parts of this book. I loved how this book and the first book in the series both ended on such massive cliffhangers. I’ll definitely have to read the next book in this series! I’d give The Last Shot by Michael Adams a score of 8 out of 10. If you haven’t read this series yet, I definitely recommend getting into it!

A huge thank you to Allen & Unwin Australia for providing me with this book in exchange for an honest review!

The Last Girl – book review

The Last Girl

The Last Girl by Michael Adams is the riveting and action-packed first book in its series.

The end of the world wasn’t like what all those TV shows and movies make it out to be. There wasn’t some big explosion. The sun still shone. The world ended in the blink of an eye and suddenly everyone’s thoughts drowned the world in telepathic voices. Everyone’s secrets and lies are laid bare, causing people to become insane and violent. That is, everyone except for 16 year-old Danby. What might have been an evolutionary leap instead becomes an apocalypse.

Danby’s telepathy works different – she can tune into other people’s thoughts but they can’t hear hers. What makes her different to everyone else? With this slight advantage, Danby must protect her little brother and venture to the safety of their mother’s remote retreat. But it’s a hundred kilometres away and the roads are blocked by thousands of cars and millions of people coming undone in the chaos.

Their escape becomes even more dangerous when Danby meets a charismatic young man who has the ability to save lives. Danby begins to question is this power is going to be used for good, or for evil…

*

I really enjoyed reading The Last Girl. I absolutely loved the plot and the idea of the story was utterly compelling. I was drawn in from the very start. However, at first it was a little confusing as to what was going on. It took me a while to realise some parts of the story was what was happening in the lives of other people. I found the jumps between Danby’s life and the lives of the other people she was seeing/experiencing was a little too jumpy. But once I got further into the book, I understood the writing style and everything made sense to me. This book is really well written. I’ve read a lot of books that take place in a future after an apocalypse-like event, but never before have I read one that takes place before and after an apocalypse. It must be difficult from a writer’s point of view to create a believable apocalypse.

I was very impressed with how the end of the world, as we know it at least, came about in this book. It was dramatic, but not unbelievably so. In my opinion, this is a perfect example of how an apocalypse should take place. I really liked the ideas and issues raised in this book to do with social media and being connected with those around us. How connected to people do we really want to be? Where’s the line between what we share on the internet and what is private, and when does that that line begin to fade? This book made me ask myself all of these questions, and so this book was quite thought-provoking.

Another thing I loved about this book was that it was set in Sydney. I’m a real fan of books that are set in various places in Australia, and so I really enjoyed reading this book for that aspect as well. I’ve been on numerous trips to Sydney and I loved reading about places like the Blue Mountains, Parramatta and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. I could clearly imagine all of the places Danby was going and that helped me to really connect with the setting of The Last Girl. Everywhere Danby travelled to I could picture vividly and everything that happened really impacted me because I’ve been there before.

I loved all of the characters, most of all Danby. She was a fun main character to be with and I loved being inside her head. It was very interesting to hear the ‘voices’ inside her mind and this was done exceptionally well once I understood how everything happened inside her head. I really liked how the unsaid voices of others were written-like-this and it was very original. At first, I was a little confused as to what she was doing and I wanted more of a personality that I could latch onto in the first few pages. The more the book progressed however, I came to understand her character and enjoy spending time with her.

In the beginning of the book, I felt like there was a lot of things going on that didn’t really have a relevance to the plot. I think this was used to set the scene of the world in the future, however I found it a bit confusing. I couldn’t really understand what was going on at some points and new characters were introduced before disappearing and never returning a few pages later. But once the book really got going and set into the action, we were left with few characters, and that was much better. I prefer to have few characters and feel like I really understand them than having lots of characters who I can’t connect with. Another character I loved spending time with was Nathan. He was a funny person who was trustworthy and just generally a great person. Him and Danby were really similar, and I’m hoping to see more of them together in the books to come.

Overall, this was a really great book to read. It was action-packed and riveting; everything I hoped it to be. I’ll definitely be reading the next book in this series, The Last Shot, as soon as I can get my hands on a copy! I’d give The Last Girl by Michael Adams a score of 8.5 out of 10. This is definitely a really good series to get in on!

A huge thank you to Allen & Unwin Australia for providing me with this book in exchange for an honest review!