Title: The Last Girl
Author: Michael Adams
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Opening lines: ‘…”The Content Planet.” Dad lifted the book from its reindeer gift bag… ‘
Synopsis: It is Christmas day and instead of lolling around in a diabetic haze of too much food, too much alcohol and way more lollies than is healthy the world as we know it comes to an end. In a split second all humans become telepathic, the desire to be connected via smart phones and the internet has resulted in a massed mind meld. Instantly a person can hear what everyone else if thinking – what your husband really thinks of his gifts, your boyfriend is actually gay, the man flying your plane once trained as a suicide bomber and your wife is having an affair with your neighbour. But not just one person’s thought invade your mind, thousands of thoughts invade and you can’t shut them out, they can’t be turned off or put into sleep mode. You now experience car crashes, train derailments and plane crashes as well as the utter chaos and violence that break out around you. In a snap the whole world changes and information overload takes on a whole new meaning. Eventually the overload is too much and one by one people become catatonic, they go into shut down mode. But who wakes these people up before they starve to death, die of dehydration? There are survivors – people like Danby who can hear people – but can’t be heard. She is not alone, but not everyone is pure of heart, some survivors have an ulterior motive.
My Thoughts: I really, really enjoyed THE LAST GIRL. A long-time fan of YA Dystopian stories I expected it to be ‘same old, same old’ but was pleasantly surprised, very pleasantly surprised. Although THE LAST GIRL is a YA ‘end of the world as we know it’ scenario the end of the world is not caused by nuclear holocaust, global warming, alien invasion or zombie/mysterious virus – refreshingly it is our increasing reliance on computers and social networks that does us all in!
Devolving into massive violence once minds have melded is not a far-fetched scenario as you would think. Already there are an increasing number of nasty people on the Internet who feel that they have the right to flame and troll anyone who disagrees with them feeling safe in their anonymity – imagine if they were in your mind – or trying to save you. Set in Sydney Australia, parts of the book are not for the squeamish as author Michael Adams spares nothing when he describes the carnage of a dying city. Everything he describes is very plausible which makes it all the more terrifying. 16-year-old Danby tells us the story, after the snap has occurred she decides to take her little brother and go to her mother’s mountain retreat a 100 kilometres away. The roads are blocked by thousands of cars and surrounded by millions of people who are in a coma. Two different men, Nathan and Jack, with two different ideas on rebuilding, come into her life. Only one she agrees with, but doesn’t totally trust – the other plain frightens her. These three main characters are very real, they make decisions and they deal with the consequences. THE LAST GIRL is the first of a trilogy and sets the scene for book 2 ‘The Last Shot’ which is due out in March 2014 and I aim to be front and centre to get my hands on it.
Rating: A – Excellent Stuff – a real page turner and hard to put down. I carved out extra reading time just so I could finish it. This book got carted into the bathroom with me, read over meals, read at work, and/or kept me up late at night. If this author has more work, I will certainly read it.
For more about the author – Click Here
With thanks to Allen & Unwin and the author for this copy to read and review.
Allen & Unwin recommended retail price is $19.99