Sunday, September 6, 2015

The last place by Michael Adams

The last place is the final book in the Last trilogy.  This review contains ***SPOILERS*** if you have not read the first books in this trilogy.  This is one of those series where it really pays to read the books in order so stop reading this review now and read The last girl and The last shot before reading the review!

The past few months feel like years to Danby and the other survivors of the Snap.  Their once safe and comfortable world is slowly crumbling into ruin as the mighty machine starts to fall apart without the human cogs in it's machine.  A life of certainty is now a life on the run hiding from an army of Jack's that are determined to bring Danby back, determined to stop at nothing to get what he wants, and no one is safe from his far reaching mind.  Danby is determined to bring Jack down, so determined that she is finding herself increasingly isolated, her determination mistaken for a blood lust.  Her determination is what keeps her going, her determination to free her brother Evan from Jack's grasp - either by rescuing him or by releasing his soul from his body.

This is a difficult book to review, because talking about what makes the book so great would ruin the twists and turns that make it so interesting.  This has been a truly original and intriguing series, one that stands out in a field full of dystopian novels and series that seem to crop up in batches.  The concept is new and seemingly completely random, one that doesn't fit into any of the dystopian threads that seem to be so popular at the moment.  The writing style is interesting too, not light and fluffy or written at break neck speed - and at times I have to confess that I found it a little off-putting, but I persevered because the story and characters were so interesting and absorbing.  

This third book in the series brings the story of Danby and Jack to a very satisfying close - not a neat cookie cutter ending, but one that does leave you with a sense of closure (at least for now).  One of the most annoying things Adams does is jump around in time though - it took a few chapters for me to realise that he was doing a chapter in the past, then a chapter in the present, and then a chapter in the past.  It had been so long since I read the first and second books that it took a little time to dredge up all the names of the characters and how they fit into the story.  Too often books for teenagers take a "once over lightly" approach, taking an idea and watering it down for the teen audience - Adams doesn't do that, there are some very hard hitting themes in this series and The last place is no exception.  This is not a series for younger teen readers who are reading books on their own, however younger teens with a supportive adult they can talk issues through with, or older teens who like a gritty, hard hitting read should find a lot to like here.

In many ways I would describe the Last trilogy as Tomorrow, when the war began for a new generation.  Adams has brought the Australian landscape to brutal life, creating a battle field where a small guerrilla force takes on a seemingly unstoppable army.  It will be interesting to see what Adams comes up with next - and we can all hope that a world like Danby's doesn't truly lie in our future.

If you like this book then try:

Reviewed by Brilla

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