Friday, February 7, 2014

The last girl by Michael Adams

Christmas is a time for family and friends, it is not supposed to be the beginning of the end, but that is exactly what happens when in a moment the mind of every person opens and everyone can hear everyone else s deepest thoughts and secrets.  At least it seems like it is everyone, but Danby is unique because while she can hear the thoughts around her, no one else seems to be able to hear her.  With the world falling into chaos around her, Danby focuses on one thing - getting herself and her little brother to her mothers place in the Blue Mountains, a place where she hopes they will both be safe.  But thinking about getting there and getting there are two different things, especially when all the people around her fall into shocking silence and Danby begins to panic.

Moving through a world that is eerily quiet, Danby fights against hopelessness as she sees death and destruction all around her.  When she realises she is not alone Danby feels a stirring of hope, but that hope soon turns to terror and then relief.  Danby is no longer alone with Nathan, especially when they find a way to wake some of the sleepers around them, but their success is short lived.  Out of the minds of the people they have rescued they can see the people who come out of the shadows, people who track down the Revived and kill them in cold blood - and now those people are after Danby and Nathan.

The last girl was a surprisingly addictive read, a book that had me hooked with an idea that was delivered in full by an amazing debut author.  Danby and her world seem just a few years in the future, a future where the level of connectedness to devices has increased and people seem to spend more time with their devices than their families.  It is into this world that a disaster no one expected appears, where people are suddenly able to connect with everyone else, a glimpse into the inner thoughts and fears of everyone else - and then everyone is suddenly shutdown like they have gone into sleep mode.  It is a terrifying reality, and one that seems like it could easily come true through some giant leap in evolution.  We see all this through the eyes of a teenage girl who has just been placed on psych meds, a girl who think she has completely lost the plot - but then as the story unfolds you realise she is not crazy at all, she may in fact be the only sane person left.

The last girl has a lot of the elements of an apocalypse novel - she is one of the last ones left, there is a disaster that seems to affect everyone else, the social order falls to pieces, there is at least one person who develops a sense of power, and it is up to Danby to sort through what is happening.  Although the story is set in Australia, it could just as easily have been set anywhere in the world - the location is Australian, but the story could be anywhere.  This is an intense psychological thriller more than anything else, Danby has a lot of information to process and a lot of surviving to do, but deep down this novel seems to be about human nature and what would happen if the majority of the world suddenly stopped - and what people will do to hold onto what they have.  At the end of the novel you get a taste for the second book in the series, and it looks like book two will be as much of a roller coaster ride as book one was.

If you like this book then try:
  • Tomorrow, when the war began by John Marsden
  • The testing by Joelle Charbonneau
  • What's left of me by Kat Zhang
  • The arrival by Chris Morphew
  • Breathe by Sarah Crossan
  • XVI by Julia Karr
  • The hunger games by Suzanne Collins
  • In the after by Demitria Lunetta
  • The limit by Kristin Landon
  • Altered by Jennifer Rush
  • Slated by Teri Terry

Reviewed by Brilla

No comments:

Post a Comment