Tag Archives: dystopian

Review: The Last Refuge

Introduction

The Last Refuge, the penultimate installment in The Last Survivors series, picks right up where The Last Command ended and is a roller coaster ride from start to finish. I couldn’t put this book down it was so good, and can’t wait for the next book in the series to be released. Warning: spoilers ahead turn back now

This time around Ivory helps Melora navigate back to Bray and company and he stays with them a few days and agrees to introduce them to Jingo, which doesn’t turn out as planned and results in the death of Ella by Bray as he tries to attack Jingo and she gets in the way. Ella’s death causes William to snap and he runs away to live with the demons.

To make matters worse Father Winthrop and his followers make it to the Ancient City and stir up all the demons with their racket, forcing Jingo and company to flee on Jingo’s boat during a storm.

Meanwhile Oliver and Minister Beck continue their trek back to Brighton while avoiding the demons and blue shirts.

The Good

Overall this book was a good read. It held my attention from start to finish and left me chomping at the bit for the last book in the series, due out this summer. Honestly I was shocked when Bray accidentally killed Ella and by how William up and decided to leave them. It should be interesting to see what happens to him in the finale.

I was also pleasantly surprised with how Fitzgerald and the other women were able to take out Tenbrook and his men. I won’t give away how they manage this but it was a good comeuppance for Tenbrook and all the hard hearted men who treated the barren women like dirt.

The Bad

Overall I didn’t find many areas to critique. There were a few typos but none that really detracted from the story. Overall I was a bit taken back by the viciousness Tenbrook displayed when he killed Franklin and had his men take out the clergymen.

The Verdict

If you’ve enjoyed the first four books so far then by all means go out and get this book today.

Review: The Last Command

Introduction

Picking right back up where The Last Humanity left off, The Last Command ratchets up the action and is a real page turner. A common theme for this book is all roads lead to the Ancient City.

First Bray and company make it to the Ancient City and take refuge in the remains of a museum. William sneaks off in the middle of the night and Melora follows after him only to get lost and is saved by Ivory, who just returned to the Ancient City.

Meanwhile William is confronted by Jeremiah and commands a horde of the infected to kill him.

The Good

I really liked how all the story lines converged to the Ancient City and how it was all wrapped up nicely. I was also pleasantly surprised when my hypothesis about William was confirmed. The way I see it he’s becoming like Jingo and won’t lose his mind to the spores.

I was also shocked when Father Winthrop lost his mind and killed General Blackthorn. I didn’t see that coming and found it a little hard to believe. I also found his delusions about being a war god laughable and down right pathetic.

The bad

I was thoroughly disappointed with the resolution of Oliver’s pot to kill Father Winthrop. After all that build up and him growing as a character just to wimp out at the last minute and run up under the skirt of Minister Beck.

Honestly had Oliver just killed Winthrop it would have saved everyone a lot of heart ache later on, but no. Instead Oliver chickened out, allowing Father Winthrop to kill Blackthorn and turn most of the blue shirts to his side.

I was also disappointed in the resolution of the coup to oust Tenbrook. Even though he just assumed power he had the Dunlow Twins, and their family ,tortured and burned at the pyre along with Scholar Evan and the other conspirators.

The Verdict

Overall this was a good read and i suggest to give it look if you’ve enjoyed the other books in this series thus far.

Review: The Last Humanity

Introduction

Picking up right where The Last Escape left off, The Last Humanity is action packed and full of twists and turns that will keep you turning the page.

The Good

Overall this entry in the series really ratcheted up the action and left me wanting to know what happens next. I particularly like Fitzgerald’s story line in this book and was glad to see her make it to the end without being killed off, unlike some characters who weren’t so lucky.

When she laid out her pan to force Father Winthrop to ride out on the mission to the Ancient city I thought she was a goner for sure, but I was pleasantly surprised that it paid off and she was left relatively unscathed, save the brutality she experienced at the hands of Tenbrook, who has been picked to replace General Blackthorn.

I also liked the interaction between Melora, William and Ella. It was nice given everything that has happened so far they could find a little happiness in their lives. Though it not all fun and games for them as they make their way to the Ancient city and encounter demons on the way there, but they manage to kill any of the infected they come upon and carry on without Bray to guide them.

During the fight with the demons William climbs a tree thinking he can control the infected and surprisingly they listen to him. Ella thinks this is another sign that his mind is going, but given what we know about the infected and in a later scene with Ivory and Jingo, I think William won’t become a savage like the other demons.

I also liked the plot line of Scholar Evan plotting to oust Tenbrook only to have someone close to him inform Tenbrook about the coup.

The Bad

I didn’t particularly like how General Blackthorn helped Fitzgerald after he found her after Tenbrook ravished her. It didn’t make sense given that up until that point he was depicted as a callous and heartless hard ass.

Sure I get Fitz reminds him of his first wife but that alone wouldn’t explained his sudden soft-heartedness. It came off as out of character for him. Now had he demonstrated an inkling of kindness before this it wouldn’t have been so jarring.

I also didn’t like how Franklin got rewarded for his less than stellar actions toward Oliver and Father Winthrop, Sure he may have been forced to put Father Nealson to the pyre for questioning his promotion to Bishop of Brighton, but overall he didn’t suffer any repercussions for beating Oliver or plotting to oust Winthrop.

The Verdict

Overall if you liked books one and two, go heard and get this book.

Why Dystopian

Introduction
From the Hunger Games, to The Divergent Series and shows like The Walking Dead, dystopian fiction

image by Piotr Pawel via sxc.hu
image by Piotr Pawel via sxc.hu

is riding a wave of popularity, but what is it about this genre that draws people to it?

Uncertainty 

Given the times we live in it’s easy to picture how things could go wrong. While the US economy has recovered from the crash in ’08 many people still struggle to make ends meet, and fears abound about the implications of the Chinese economy slowing down, as well as the possible exit of the UK from the EU.

Moreover, the cost of going to college continues to rise, saddling students with thousands of dollars in debt that must repaid after graduating into a ever fierce job market. It’s gotten so bad some people forego college all together and instead go into the skilled trades. And it seems everyone is fed up with the state of American politics and the direction the country is going ¬†in to becoming a plutocracy.

Where There is Life There is Hope
Given all these issues it’s no wonder people turn to stories about how bleak the future will, but at their core dystopian stories are about the strength of the human will to endure the darkest time and fight for a better future. Even in the most crap sack world there is hope for the future otherwise there would be no point to the story. It’s this hope for a better tomorrow that people find comfort in and gives them a renewed outlook on life.

Viva La Revolucion
Often times in these stories it falls on the protagonist and his/her cohorts to take on the powers that be and reform the society. And we root for these underdogs because secretly we wish we could too take on the status quo and shake things up, but we’re afraid of the consequences. History has shown revolutionaries have short lives. But still we wish to have the power to change the world, which is another reason we turn to dystopian stories.

Conclusion
While dystopian stories appeal to readers for different reasons, at their core they celebrate the endurance of the human spirit and the will to find hope in the darkest of times, and fight for what you believe is right.