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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.

Review The Last Suvivors

image by Stancu Alexandru via sxc.hu
image by Stancu Alexandru via sxc.hu

Introduction

The Last Survivors: A Dystopian Society in a Post Apocalyptic World is book one of a pentalogy by Bobby Adair and T.W. Piperbrook. Set in the three cities of Brighton, Davenport and Coventry the story centers around the various people as they struggle to live in a society reduced back to medieval times in terms of technology and knowledge(most people don’t know who to count higher than they have fingers), and plagued by demons(zombies) created when people are exposed to plant spores that bloom in the fall.

The story primarily centers around Ella and her son William who has been exposed to the plant spore and has the characteristic smudges that identify the afflicted from the general populous.

Every year the three cities hold the Cleansing, a mandatory public ceremony where people disrobe and have their bodies examined for smudges. Having already lost her husband to the previous year’s Cleansing Ella is distraught when she discovers her eleven year old son, William, is infected by the spores . Rather than lose him too she plots an escape to her aunt and uncle’s farm in Davenport.

The good
I couldn’t put this book down. Even though it lacked diversity in characters I still found it a good read. Ella’s fears were real and palpable and I readily identified with her struggles.

For essentially a zombie story the authors found a believable way to present the demons without falling into the stale tropes, such as being infected by their bite.

Also I thought it was a good call of their part not to have the people killed by the demons to come back as ones themselves. In this way the demons were made a potent threat without overdoing it and breaking suspension of disbelief.

The bad
Aside from a few typos the book was otherwise flawless, however I did have issues with the story. For example Father Wintrope was the cliched lecherous priest and only believed in the Word, the in universe dominant religion, so far as it enabled him to live the good life while the masses slaved away just to scrape by.

Also General Blackthorn was the trite blood thirsty soldier and his actions made little sense given that people were barely getting by and should have revolted given Blackthorn’s heavy hand. Yet you’d be hard pressed to see anyone brave, or stupid enough to go against either Wintrope or Blackthorn.

I also take umbrage with the lack of diversity in the characters. It wouldn’t have killed them to have a few people of color in there instead of the wall to wall white characters.

I also didn’t like how the book just abruptly ends once they arrive arrive in Davenport. Without spoiling the ending for you i’ll just say it could have been handled better after all that build up it just stops.

The Verdict
Overall this book was a fun read and if you’re looking for a good read to tide you over get it. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the books in the series and will review them as I finish them.