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Monday, December 5, 2016

(98)The Last One by Alexandra Oliva


Twelve contestants have signed on for a reality show.  The winner takes home the million dollar prize. The contestants have been labeled by the producers and cameramen.  There are contestants like "Waitress" and "Tracker", "Engineer", and "Zoo".  The contestants are in the wilderness and compete in a series of challenges, sometimes in a team and sometimes on their own.  The contestants are set loose on a solo challenge, just them and their cameraman.  The contestants are completely isolated and unaware that at a pandemic is sweeping the country.  "Zoo" is alone for several days, she was sick, but got through it and is now determined to win the million dollars.  She is completely unaware that the bodies she encounters are not "props", the desolate towns are not staged by production.  When she encounters a young man, Brennan, she assumes that he is her new cameraman.  Will "Zoo" ever realize that this world is not just a set, but truly an apocalyptic wasteland?   Will "Zoo" be able to survive this new apocalyptic world?

I really, really liked The Last One. As a fan of Survivor the similarities were unmistakable. The author alternates the timeline with every chapter.  There is the present that Zoo and then Brennan are dealing with and the other chapters are the story leading up to the present.  Zoo getting involved in the show and her relationship with her husband.  And then the early days of the game.  It was fun and fascinating.  And a little bit terrifying.  Zoo experienced my worst fear by breaking her glasses.  I am completely blind without my glasses and when she broke hers I freaked out just a bit. She adapted the best way she could, in fact, that is what Zoo does throughout the whole story.  She adapts because she knows if she doesn't she will lose.  The author does a great job at illustrating how much Zoo was in denial. Almost to the point of frustration for the reader, but one event forces Zoo to acknowledge their reality and her realization was heartbreaking.  I was pleased with the ending. It ended the best way that it could. - CLICK HERE FOR SPOILERS -

Bottom line - It has been a while since I have read a good post-apocalyptic novel and The Last One did not disappoint.   It ties current pop-culture (reality shows) with "the world is ending" events and the results is one book that you won't want to put down.

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