The Last by Hanna Jameson

Locked room mystery? Post apocalyptic shenanigans? Neither? Well…

The Last by Hanna Jameson

Genres: Thriller, Mystery
Published: 31st January, 2019 (expected)
Goodreads
Series: N/A
Rating: 3

Breaking: Nuclear weapon detonates over Washington
Breaking: London hit, thousands feared dead
Breaking: Munich and Scotland hit. World leaders call for calm
Historian Jon Keller is on a trip to Switzerland when the world ends. As the lights go out on civilization, he wishes he had a way of knowing whether his wife, Nadia and their two daughters are still alive. More than anything, Jon wishes he hadn’t ignored Nadia’s last message.
Twenty people remain in Jon’s hotel. Far from the nearest city and walled in by towering trees, they wait, they survive.
Then one day, the body of a young girl is found. It’s clear she has been murdered. Which means that someone in the hotel is a killer.
As paranoia descends, Jon decides to investigate. But how far is he willing to go in pursuit of justice? And what kind of justice can he hope for, when society as he knows it no longer exists?


Post apocalyptic stories tend to stress me out. I like order, and I like rules. Most of them, anyway. When the world ends, none of those things seem to matter anymore. Twenty people, trapped in a hotel in the middle of nowhere in Switzerland try their best to maintain some sense of normalcy, even after they discover a dead girl in one of the water tanks on the roof. Jon Keller, our narrator decides to pass the time playing amateur investigator, while the rest of the people worry about things like food and trying not the freeze their asses off.

The book is written in the form of Jon’s accounts of the events. He’s keen to tell anyone who’d listen that this is not a diary. It shows. Our historian tries to be as accurate as possible, and as a result comes across as objective, and somehow removed from the subject. Later on he cracks, and actually includes some of his feelings and opinions, but by the time I got to this point I was on the verge of boredom.

While all this sitting around, swapping stories, engaging in philosophical arguments and just generally trying to establish some kind of new normal in a situation like this make sense, it doesn’t mean I want to read about it in such detail. I wanted an exciting murder investigation, craved some action, some thrill! I don’t need zombies to spice up a post apocalyptic story, but I also haven’t really felt a sense of real danger. There were plenty of occasions where the situation could have turned dire, but somehow I always had this feeling that they will be fine.Β They even forgot about the murder for a while to recount weird stories for Jon’s non-diary, and I was there thinking “Are you guys even trying here?“.

Meh.

A mildly entertaining story, set in a post apocalyptic world of which we barely feel anything at all, The Last is a possibly accurate account of how most people would actually behave should the world ever end. Well, let me tell you, the fun factor of such event is vastly overrated.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my opinion.

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39 comments

  1. Post apocalyptic stories are a bit of a hit or miss with me. I love King’s Stand, have mixed feelings about McCarthy’s The Road (love-hate relationship sort of) and that’s about it….
    Fair review Norrie, thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think Inge (I can’t find the link to her blog from the phone but I think you know her) had a similar reaction. We had a nice discussion. I was the one who liked the book but for other reasons. I agree with what you disliked. I liked the questions it raised, about morality of choices, about governments. I think it’s a very useful book nowadays. My review is not out, it will be published later.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha πŸ˜€
      I’ve seen others actually liked it more than i did.
      It’s not good as a murder mystery, but they did enjoy the ideas the characters discussed instead of looking for the killer πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

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